Hatot, Georges

(1876-1959)
   Director and film pioneer. Georges Hatot, like so many early film pioneers, began his career in the Parisian theatrical world. He had worked in Parisian theater, most notably as a crowd scene manager at the Hippodrome Theater, when, in 1896, he was hired on by the Lumière brothers as one of their team of film directors. He became the principal "story" film director for Lumière, making principally historical reconstruction films, most notably L'Assasinat du Duc de Guise (1897), L'Exécution de Jeanne d'Arc (1897),Mort de Marat (1901), and La Vie et la Passion de Jésus-Christ (1897). Hatot remained with the Lumières until they shut their studio and ceased film production in 1901. At that time, Hatot did a brief stint at Gaumont and then moved to Pathé studios, where he directed a number of mostly comic films, many written by André Heuzé. These included films such as Dix Femmes pour un mari (1905), La Course à la perruque (1906), Boireau déménage (1906), and Les Débuts d'un chauffeur (1906), the last three all starring comic actor André Deed.
   Hatot remained at Pathé until 1908, at which time he moved to Éclair studios, where he teamed up with director Victorin Jasset. The two collaborated on nearly all films produced at Éclair in 1908 and 1909, although Hatot is often omitted on the credits. Hatot and Jasset produced predominantly film series such as the Riffle Bill series, which ran from 1908 to 1909, Morgan le pirate (1909), and La Vautour de la Sierre (1909). The most famous of their collaborations is the Nick Carter detective series, which ran in 1908 and 1909 and which was adapted from popular serial detective stories printed in contemporary newspapers. The Nick Carter series was an enormous success and spawned numerous detective series at other studios. Hatot and Jasset also collaborated on many other films, including Dans les ruines de Carthage (1910), La Résurrection de Lazare (1910), and LaReconaissance de l'arabe (1910), all of which were filmed on location in North Africa in 1909 and early 1910. Hatot stopped making films in 1910. At that time he started his own production company, Société du film négatif. Jasset directed the enormously popular series Docteur Phantom (1910) for Hatot's company, but the company was forced to close when its studio, located in Montreuil, burned down shortly after the company was founded. Hatot gave up cinema after that.
   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema by Dayna Oscherwitz & Mary Ellen Higgins

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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