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30 November 2011

Pierre de Guingand

Pierre de Guingand (1885 - 1964) was a French stage and film actor in the 1920's and 1930's, most noteworthy for performing elegant rich men in films like Au bonheur des dames (1929) and Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (1929).

Pierre de Guingand
French postcard by Cinémagazine, no. 151. Photo: Studio Landau.

Pierre de Guingand
French postcard by Cinémagazine Edition, no. 18. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinema.

Aramis
Octave-Pierre Deguingand aka Pierre de Guingand was born in Paris in 1885. In 1908, he probably debuted on stage in the play Ramuntcho by Pierre Loti, directed by André Antoine at the Théâtre de l'Odéon. A few years later he performed in the play La Pèlerine écossaise (1914) by Sacha Guitry, at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens. In 1921 Guingand played in Une danseuse est morte by Charles Le Bargy, at the Théâtre des Galeries Saint Hubert. Also in 1921 Guingand debuted in film and had a big role right away as Aramis in the 12 episode film Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (1922, Henri Diamant-Berger). He again played Aramis in the sequel Vingt ans après/Five Years Later (1922, Henri Diamant-Berger), this time a 10 episode serial. Guingand stayed on with Diamant-Berger for the subsequent films Le Mauvais Garçon/Bad Boy (1922, Henri Diamant-Berger) with Maurice Chevalier, L'Emprise/The influence (1923, Henri Diamant-Berger), and Le Roi de la vitesse/King of the speed (1923, Henri Diamant-Berger). In the following year Guingand played Lodovico Gonzaga in Le Vert Galant/The Courteous Green (1924, René Leprince), this time a film in 8 episodes, while in 1925 he performed as marquis d'Aurilly in the 8 episode serial Fanfan La Tulipe/Fan Fan the Tulip (1924, René Leprince), starring Aimé Simon-Girard. In 1926-1927 he was almost absent from the screen, but he performed on stage in plays such as Le Prince charmant (1925, Prince Charming) by Tristan Bernard, at the Théâtre Michel, and Un perdreau de l'année (1926, A young partridge of the year), again by Tristan Bernard, and again at the Théâtre Michel. In 1928, Guingand returned to the set for L'Équipage/Last Flight (1928, Maurice Tourneur), starring Charles Vanel and Jean Murat, and in La Possession/The Ownership (1928, Léonce Perret) with Italian film diva Francesca Bertini in the female lead.

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 19
French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: still from Les Trois Mousquetaires (1921, Henri Diamant Berger).

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 17
French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: still from Les Trois Mousquetaires (1921, Henri Diamant Berger).

Dietrich's Ex-Husband
In the late silent film Au bonheur des dames/In the happiness of the ladies (1929, Julien Duvivier), Pierre de Guingand played Octave Mouret, the rich owner of the department store Au Bonheur des dames, who falls for a young mannequin, Denise (Dita Parlo). Her uncle (Armand Bour), however, owns the little shop Mouret wants to tear down for the expansion of his own department store. Guingand also made another remarkable late silent performance in Germany in Ich küsse ihre hand, Madame/I Kiss Your Hand Madame (1929, Robert Land) starring Marlene Dietrich. Guingand plays the ex-husband of Laurette Gerard (Dietrich), who is still infatuated with her despite the divorce. Laurette starts an affair with a gentleman (Harry Liedtke) until she discovers he works as a waiter. In reality the waiter is a Russian count though. In 1931 Guingand played in the French version of the early sound film Der Ball, Le bal (1931, Wilhelm Thiele), starring Germaine Dermoz and Danielle Darrieux. Next came La Chance/Luck (1931, René Guissart) with Marie Bell, the comedy Une faible femme/A Weak Woman (1932, Max de Vaucorbeil) with Meg Lemonnier, and Chourinette (1934, André Hugon) with Mireille. He played a supporting part in the classic Le Grand jeu/The big game (1933, Jacques Feyder) with Marie Bell. Among his later films were L'Appel du silence/The Call (1936, Léon Poirier) with Jean Yonnel as North Africa explorer Charles de Foucauld and Guingand as General Laperrine, Sarati, le terrible/Sarati the Terrible (1937, André Hugon) with Harry Baur in the title role, and finally Remontons les Champs-Élysées/Champs Elysees (1938, Sacha Guitry) with Guitry himself in a multiple lead (a.o. Louis XV and Napoleon III) and Guingand as baron de Vitry. Occasionally Guingand continued stage acting as well, as in Le Cyclone (1931) by Somerset Maugham, directed by Jacques Baumer, at the Théâtre des Ambassadeurs, and Tout n'est pas noir (1941) by André Birabeau, directed by Robert Blome, at the Théâtre Daunou. Pierre Guingand died in 1964 in Versailles.

Dita Parlo
Dita Parlo. French postcard, no. 103. Photo: Star.

Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich. Vintage postcard.

Sources: Bifi.fr, Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.

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