Lautner, Georges

(1926- )
   Director and screenwriter. Georges Lautner was born in Nice to actress Renée Saint-Cyr. He studied law before working as an assistant to directors such as Norbert Carbonnaux. He directed shorts before making his first feature-length film, La Môme aux boutons (1958). It was followed by Arrêtez les tambours (1960), Marche ou crève (1960), Le Monocle noir (1961), and Le Septième juré (1962), all of which feature Bernard Blier. A contemporary of the directors of the Nouvelle Vague or New Wave, Lautner opted for more commercial films that followed the French tradition de qualité. He is best known for his entertaining detective and crime films, spy parodies, and comedies; several were very successful box-office hits. Lautner's Les tontons flingueurs, with Lino Ventura, was the third largest grossing film of 1963. He directed a number of films starring Jean-Paul Belmondo that would rank among the top five most popular films in France: Flic ou voyou was the second biggest French film of 1979; Le professionel, too, was the second best-selling film in France in 1981. In 1984, Joyeuses Pâques ranked among France's five most commercially successful films of 1984.
   Lautner's most prolific period was 1960-1968, when he directed at least one film per year. In addition to the films mentioned above, these include En plein cirage (1962), L'Oeil du monocle (1962), Des pissenlits par la racine (1964), Le Monocle rit jaune (1964), Les Barbouzes (1964), Les Bon vivants (1965), Galia (1966), Ne nous fâchons pas (1966), Le Grande sauterelle (1967), Fleur d'oseille (1968), and Le Pacha (1968). His films starred some of France's most popular actors of the period, such as Blier, Belmondo, Ventura, Louis de Funès, and Mireille Darc. Lautner often worked with the same screenwriters, among them Pierre Laroche, Jacques Robert, and Michel Audiard.
   Lautner continued his energetic career as a filmmaker into the 1970s. Audiard worked on Lautner's scripts, as did emerging directors Bertrand Blier and Francis Veber. Blier worked on Laisse aller, c'est une valse (1971), and Veber worked on La Valise (1973) and On aura tout vu (1976). Carbonnaux helped to script Lautner's Ils sont fous ces sorciers (1978). France's top stars led the casts of many Lautner's films in the 1970s as well. Alain Delon starred in his Les Seins de glace (1974) and Mort d'un pourri (1977), and Miou-Miou starred in Pas de problème! (1974). Lautner also directed American actresses Mimsy Farmer and Rita Hayworth in Road to Salina (1971). In 1980, Belmondo led the cast of Lautner's Le Guignolo, and Miou-Miou acted with Saint-Cyr in Est-ce bien raisonnable? (1981) and Attention! Une femme peut en cacher un autre (1983). Saint-Cyr is also featured in Le Cowboy (1984). Michel Serrault and Ugo Tognazzi paired again to make Lautner's 1985 La Cage aux folles 3: 'Elles' se marient. The popular singer Patrick Bruel starred in his La Maison assassinée in 1988.
   In the 1990s, Lautner directed four films for the big screen: Présumé dangereux (1990), Triplex (1991), Room Service (1992), starring Serrault, and L'Inconnue de la maison (1992), featuring Belmondo. He has since directed for French television.
   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema by Dayna Oscherwitz & Mary Ellen Higgins

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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