Philippe Noiret - Rotten Tomatoes

Philippe Noiret



Philippe Noiret qualifies as the ultimate European Renaissance actor. A burly, unconventionally handsome figure with a distinct countenance, Noiret established himself as a force on stage and screen, effortlessly straddled countless genres, and graced the casts of French, Italian, British, and occasional American films up through the end of his life.



Born in Lille, France, on October 1, 1930, Noiret trained as a thespian at the Comedie de l'Ouest and subsequently joined Jean Vilar's TNP stage ensemble. He segued into film at the behest of Agnès Varda -- then a photographer assigned to snap pictures of the TNP -- in her 1955 directorial debut, La Pointe Courte. In that picture, Noiret and Sylvia Montfort play a Parisian couple who migrate to a rural village and attempt to sort out their relationship while the town organizes a workers' union.



In 1959, 27-year-old Louis Malle -- the youngest recipient of the Golden Palm in movie history and a cause célèbre for his scandalous 1958 picture Les Amants -- sought an actor to play Gabriel, the transvestite uncle of the foul-mouthed 11-year-old prankster Zazie, in his surrealistic adaptation of Raymond Queneau's absurdist novel Zazie dans le Metro (1960). By its very nature, Zazie required heavy-duty improvisation and grotesque, larger-than-life, cartoonish overacting. Almost everyone -- including Malle -- perceived Noiret as the ideal choice, because of the actor's ability to draw on extensive improvisational experience (and stage projection) from his days with the Comedie de l'Ouest and TNP. In addition, Noiret demonstrated unshakable, almost foolhardy bravery on the set, when he blithely heeded Malle's tongue-in-cheek request to "ad lib" by waltzing out, in a simulated drunken stupor, onto the very edge of a platform on one of the highest rungs of the Eiffel Tower. Unsurprisingly, that shot appears in the completed film. And just as unsurprisingly, it became one of Noiret's most infamous turns until his 1989 Cinema Paradiso.



Noiret debuted as an English-language film actor in 1969, as Henri Jarre, a member of a French spy ring, in Topaz, Alfred Hitchcock's lackluster (and generally suspense-free) adaptation of the Leon Uris novel of the same title. He followed it up with a supporting role in George Cukor's equally disappointing 1969 film Justine, starring Anouk Aimée.



Noiret starred in around 120 additional films over the next several decades, but he made his most enduring mark under the directorial gaze of film-critic-cum-director Bertrand Tavernier, with whom he made eight projects -- which led many to perceive Noiret as the director's onscreen alter ego and unveiled the full-fledged, graceful extent of the actor's dramatic range. Their collaborations include L'Horloger de Saint-Paul (aka The Watchmaker of St. Paul, 1974), with Noiret as a dismayed father grappling with his son's involvement in terrorist activities; Que la fête commence... (aka Let Joy Reign Supreme . . ., 1975), a costume drama with Noiret as Philippe d'Orleans, humanistic regent to Louis XV in early 18th century France; Le Juge et l'Assassin (aka The Judge and the Assassin, 1976), with Noiret as a magistrate who balances the life of an accused child killer in his hands; Une Semaine de vacances (aka A Week's Vacation, 1980) with Noiret as Michel Descombes, one of the many small-town characters encountered by schoolteacher Nathalie Baye during her week-long leave of absence (and recuperation) from teaching; Coup de Torchon (aka Clean Slate, 1981), with Noiret as a French policeman circa 1938, assigned to a segregated African colony; Noiret's fleeting role as Redon in the jazz elegy 'Round Midnight (1986), starring the legendary Dexter Gordon; La Vie et Rien d'Autre (aka Life and Nothing But, 1991), with Noiret as a post-WWI French Army officer assigned to tabulate the number of casualties two years after the armistice; and Fille de d'Artagnan (aka Re

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet La mandarine (Sweet Deception)
  • Georges Lapierre
2016
No Score Yet Rossini! Rossini!
  • Actor
2014
51% Thérèse
  • Bernard Desqueyroux
2013
No Score Yet L'une et l'autre (The Other One)
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Le Grand Carnaval
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
2013
No Score Yet Balthus de l'autre côté du miroir
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Tout L'or Du Monde
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Les copains (The Buddies)
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Les gaspards (The Down-in-the-Hole Gang)
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Le 4ème pouvoir (The Fourth Power)
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Balthus
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Trois Amis
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Marcello: A Sweet Life
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Edy
  • Louis
2005
No Score Yet The Dog, the General and the Birds (Le Chien, le General et les Oiseaux)
  • Narrator
2004
No Score Yet Let Joy Reign Supreme
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Ripoux 3 (Les ripoux 3)(Part-Time Cops)
  • Rene Boirond
2003
No Score Yet Père et fils
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Les Côtelettes
  • Léonce
2003
No Score Yet Father and Sons
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Cutlets
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Step By Step (Un honnête commerçant)
  • Mr. Louis Chevalier
2002
No Score Yet In and Out of Fashion
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Ripoux contre ripoux (Le cop 2)(My New Partner II)
  • Rene Lesbuch
1997
No Score Yet Soleil
  • Joseph Levy
1997
No Score Yet Les Palmes de M. Schutz
  • Schutz
1997
87% On Guard
  • Philippe d'Orleans
1997
No Score Yet The Grand Dukes (Les Grands ducs)
  • Victor Vialat
1996
No Score Yet Fantôme avec chauffeur (Ghost with Driver)
  • Philippe Bruneau-Tessier
1996
No Score Yet Too Loud A Solitude (une Trop Bruyante Solitude)
  • Actor
1996
50% Dead Tired (Grosse Fatigue)
  • Philippe Noiret
1995
93% Il Postino: The Postman (Il Postino)
  • Pablo Neruda
1995
No Score Yet Le roi de Paris
  • Victor Derval
1995
No Score Yet Les Milles: The Train of Liberty
  • The General
1995
No Score Yet The Troubles We've Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime
  • Actor
1994
No Score Yet Revenge of the Musketeers (Fille de d'Artagnan, La)(D'Artagnan's Daughter)
  • D'Artagnan
1994
No Score Yet Tango
  • L'Elegant
1993
No Score Yet Fish Soup
  • Alberto
1992
No Score Yet J'embrasse pas (I Don't Kiss)
  • Romain
1991
89% Uranus
  • Watrin
1991
No Score Yet Dimenticare Palermo
  • Hotel Manager
1990
60% The Return of the Musketeers
  • Cardinal Mazarin
1989
No Score Yet La Vie et Rien d'Autre (Life and Nothing But)
  • Majeur Delaplane
1989
90% Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso)
  • Alfredo
1988
No Score Yet L'Homme qui plantait des arbres (The Man Who Planted Trees)
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet The Gold-Rimmed Glasses
  • Dr. Fadigati
1987
No Score Yet Masques (Masks)
  • Christian Legagneur
1987
No Score Yet La Famiglia (The Family)
  • Jean Luc
1987
100% 'Round Midnight
  • Redon
1986
No Score Yet Next Summer
  • Edouard
1986
No Score Yet Speriamo che sia femmina (Let's Hope It's a Girl)
  • Count Leonardo
1986
No Score Yet Les Ripoux (Le Cop) (My New Partner)
  • René
1984
No Score Yet Fort Saganne
  • Dubreuilh
1984
No Score Yet Aurora
  • André
1984
No Score Yet Birgitt Haas Must Be Killed
  • Actor
1983
83% Coup de torchon (Clean Slate)
  • Lucien Cordier
1981
No Score Yet Il Faut Tuer Birgit Haas (Birgit Haas Must Be Killed)
  • Athanase
1981
No Score Yet Tre Fratelli (Three Brothers)
  • Raffaele Giuranna
1981
No Score Yet Holes
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Jupiter's Thigh
  • Actor
1981
67% Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (Too Many Chefs)
  • Moulineau
1978
No Score Yet A Purple Taxi (Un taxi mauve)
  • Philippe
1977
No Score Yet A Woman At Her Window (Une femme à sa fenêtre)
  • Raoul
1976
No Score Yet Il Deserto dei Tartari (The Desert of the Tartars)
  • General
1976
No Score Yet The Judge and the Assassin (Le juge et l'assassin)
  • Rousseau
1976
No Score Yet Il comune senso del pudore (A Common Sense of Modesty)
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Playing with Fire (Le jeu avec le feu)
  • Georges
1975
No Score Yet Le Vieux fusil (The Old Gun) (Vengeance One by One)
  • Julien Dandieu
1975
No Score Yet Amici miei (My Friends)
  • Giorgio Perozzi
1975
No Score Yet Touche pas à la femme blanche (Don't Touch the White Woman!)
  • Terry
1974
100% The Clockmaker of St. Paul (L'horloger de Saint-Paul)
  • Descombes
1974
No Score Yet Que la fête commence... (Let Joy Reign Supreme)
  • Philippe d'Orleans
1974
No Score Yet The Holes
  • Gaspard
1974
No Score Yet The Serpent
  • Berthon
1973
55% La Grande Bouffe (Blow-Out) (Blow Out)
  • Philippe
1973
No Score Yet La Vieille fille (The Old Maid)
  • Gabriel
1972
No Score Yet Murphy's War
  • Brezan
1971
No Score Yet Mr. Freedom
  • Moujik Man
1970
64% Topaz
  • Henri Jarre
1969
No Score Yet Justine
  • Pombal
1969
67% The Assassination Bureau
  • Lucoville
1969
No Score Yet Alexandre le bienheureux (Very Happy Alexander)
  • Alexandre
1968
No Score Yet Woman Times Seven
  • Victor
1967
No Score Yet La vie de château (A Matter of Resistance)
  • Jerome
1967
No Score Yet The Night of the Generals
  • Inspector Morand
1967
No Score Yet Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?)
  • Commentator
1966
17% Lady L
  • Ambroise Gerome
1965
87% Zazie dans le métro (Zazie in the Subway)
  • Uncle Gabriel
1960
No Score Yet 4 by Agnes Varda
  • Actor
1956
No Score Yet La Pointe-Courte
  • Lui
1954
No Score Yet Agence matrimoniale (Matrimonial Agency)
  • Actor
1951

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet POV
1988
  • Appearing

Quotes from Philippe Noiret's Characters