We were sorry to read that French star Paulette Dubost (1910 - 2011) has died last week, on 21 September. Ms. Dubost appeared in more than 150 films during her 81 year career. She was a witty, naughty and clever comedienne in many French comedies of the 1930's. She also proved to be good in dramatic roles, such as Ginette in Hotel du Nord (1938) and Lisette in La règle du jeu (1939). Paulette Dubost was 100.
French postcard by Erpé, no. 8. Photo: Simson.
French postcard. Photo: Forster.
Paulette Dubost was born Paulette Marie Emma Deplanque in Paris, France, in 1910. Her father was a gas engineer and her mother a singer at the Opéra Comique. Paulette began her career at the age of 7 at the Opéra de Paris. At 17, she switched to operetta and played for two years in Les Aventures du roi Pausole (The Adventures of King Pausole) at the Bouffes Parisiens with Simone Simon, Edwige Feuillère and Viviane Romance. Her naughty look and her voice were quickly noticed by the cinema, and from 1930 on she played roles in films by Jacques Tourneur, Jean Renoir, Andre Cayatte, Gilles Grangier and Max Ophuls. In Le Roi de Champs Elysses/Champ of the Champs Elysees (1935, Max Nosseck) she appeared opposite the famous silent film star Buster Keaton in a dual role. She played a supporting part in Hotel du Nord/North Hotel (1936), the second of Marcel Carné's trio of 'fatalistic romantic melodramas' starring Annabella and Jean-Pierre Aumont. Her most famous film from this period is Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game (1939). Though it's now regarded as one of the great classics of the French film, it was not warmly received on its original release in 1939.
French postcard by EC, no. 57. Photo: Studio Arnal.
French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 125. Photo: Simson.
French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 293. Photo: Carlet.
Happy Go Lucky
After the war Paulette Dubost co-starred with Danielle Darrieux in Au Petit Bonheur/ Happy Go Lucky (1946, Marcel L'Herbier), derived from a stage play written by Marc Gilbert Sauvajon. She appeared in the interesting Swiss post-war drama Die Vier im Jeep/Four in a Jeep (1951, Leopold Lindtberg) starring Viveca Lindfors and Ralph Meeker. Max Ophüls then gave Paulette Dubost parts in Le plaisir/Pleasure (1951), based on three short stories by of Guy de Maupassant, and in Lola Montes (1955) starring Martine Carol. She played another supporting part in Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe/Picnic on the Grass (1959, Jean Renoir). This film was inspired by the impressionist paintings of the director's father, Auguste Renoir. Dubost adapted easily to the evolution of film and the demands of directors. She worked with many big names of the French cinema: Renoir, Claude Autant-Lara, Louis Malle, Philippe De Broca, Francois Truffaut, etc. In 1992, she published a memoir entitled C'est court la vie (It's a short life). Even in old age she continued to perform in films. Her last film appearance was in the short film Curriculum (2007, Alexander Moix). Paulette Dubost died in Lonjumeau, France in 2011, 100 years old. She was married to Andre Ostertag from 1936 till 1944. They had a daughter, born in 1942.
Paulette Dubost sings Si Maman le veut (1934) in the film Le Comte Obligado (1934). Source: Camille 885 (YouTube).
Paulette Dubost (99) appeared in January 2010 as a guest of host Michel Drucker on French TV. Source: Films 7 (YouTube).
Sources: Hal Erickson (Rovi), Hans Beerekamp (Het Schimmenrijk) (Dutch), Wikipedia and IMDb.