1. - Jean-Hugues Anglade, 37.2 le matin/Betty Blue, France, 1980. “I wrote it,” said director Jean-Jacques Beineix, “with Lanvin in mind.” He did not do erotica!
2. - Richard Berry, Le jeune marie, France, 1982. First film of Bernard Stora.
3. - Jean-Paul Belmondo, Les Morfalous, France, 1983. Just like his split from Jean Gabin after 16 films (!), the prodigious dialoguist-turned-auteur Michel Audiard wanted a rest from Jean-Paul Belmondo and suggested Lanvin opposite Victor Lanoux. Then, realisateur Henri Verneuil had lunch with Bebel... and he decided on a 14th (and final) Audiard scenario. After 129 scripts in 36 years, the writer known as The Little Cyclist died in 1985 at 65. Even his fans saw the Clint Eastwood influence on Bebel’s polars. Now he all but ripped Clint off in an actioner about a bunch of French Foreign Legionaires stealing a fortune in gold during WWI. Bebel’s Heroes, anyone? Though the poster looked like Rambo in a kepi.
4. - Gérard Depardieu, La lune dans le caniveau, France, 1986. Refusing Beineix again... You can see, on-screen, the exact moment when l'auteur Beineix switches his love from Depardieu to co-star Nastassja Kinski.
5. - Jean-Marc Barr, Le grand bleu, France, 1988. Young, new realisateur Luc Besson auditioned the Paris possibilities as well as those in LA, London, New York, Rome for “physically interesting good actors of 25/30 who were generous, human and unafraid of deep-seat diving.” Sans oxygen!
6. - Jean-Roger Milo, Germinal, France, 1992. Locating his heroes was (relatively) easy for Paris realisateur Claude Berri. Not so Zola's “mechant absolu,” Chaval. After musing on Lanvin, Berri called up the amazing Milo - working, as per usual, for Bertrand Tavernier.
7. - Emil Kusturica, La veuve de Saint-Paul, France, 1999. Inheriting the film from realisateur Alain Corneau, Patrice Leconte had little time to find his Neel. He wanted an unknown, then a “stranger,” like, say, Swedish Peter Stormare, or one or his previous stars, Lanvin or Daniel Auteuil, before a stranger won - the Sarajevo born director, one of just four winning the Cannes festival’s Palme d’Or... twice.
8. - Samuel Le Bihan, Total western, France, 2000. Gérard had not enjoyed much of Eric Rochant’s previous “exercise in style,” Anna Oz, but was keen to try another. He was, however, tied to (the far superior) Le gout des autres.
9. - Gérard Depardieu, Vidocq, France, 2001. Lanvin was contacted for not one but two rival productions about the first French policeman.
10 - Philippe Torreton, Félix et Lola, France, 2001. Auteur Patrice Leconte wrote it for one of his ’83 stars and Sandrine Bonnaire. Over dinner, they both agreed on what was wrong - “you wrote this for the us of 15 years ago.” “They were right,” reported Leconte. “Actors usually are. They invariably have a more lucid and pertinent vision of my projects than I do!” The public’s opinion was worse - with a mere 64,000 tickets sold in France, it was the biggest of his flops.