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12 July 2013

Lisette Lanvin

Pretty Lisette Lanvin (1913-2004) had a nice career in the French cinema of the 1930s. She appeared in the debut of Marcel Carné and in two films by Sacha Guitry.

Lisette Lanvin
French postcard by Erpé, Paris, no. 61. Photo: Star.

Full of Surprises
Lisette Lanvin was born Elisabeth Etiennette Marie Caremil in Grasse, France in 1913. She was the daughter of Auguste Caremil, a cook, and Marie Ricorda. Less than two years later her father died in the war. With dreams of becoming an actress, Lanvin went to Paris. There she became a receptionist in a fashion house. In 1931, she landed a small role in the film operetta La Chauve-souris/Die Fledermaus/The Bat (Carl Lamac, 1931), based on the operetta by Johan Strauss jr. The film was co-produced with the German company Ondra-Lamac-Film created by director Lamas and his wife actress Anny Ondra. Ondra played the lead alongside Iván Petrovich. Her next film was Rouletabille aviateur/Rouletabille Aviator (1932). Caroline Hanotte at CinéArtistes: “Director was the Hungarian István Székely, better known under his Anglo-Saxon name Steve Sekely. He shot the film in his homeland where Roland Toutain, aka journalist Rouletabille spends his holidays. There he meets Lisette, daughter of Police Commissioner Bathory. The couple soon goes in search of gold bars stolen by gangsters. Far from being a masterpiece, the film is full of surprises. One can see the planes and Budapest in the thirties. The energy and bright smiles of the young heroes do the rest.” In 1932, Lanvin made five more films, including the thriller Le Chien jaune/The Yellow Dog (Jean Tarride, 1932) with Abel Tarride as Commissioner Maigret, Mon curé chez les riches/My pastor among the rich (Donatien, 1932) with Pauline Carton, and Je vous aimerai toujours/I Will Love You Always (Mario Camerini, Henri Decoin, 1932), again a leading role.

Lisette Lanvin
French postcard, no. 662. Photo: Raymond Voinquel.

Lisette Lanvin
French postcard by Editions P.O., Paris, no. 83. Photo: Teddy Piaz.

Lisette Lanvin
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 17. Photo: Studio Piaz.

The Love Of Her Life
In the following years, Lisette Lanvin pursued a successful career with many comedies. Notable was Nitchevo (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1935), the name of a smuggling ship on which two naval officers (Harry Baur and Georges Rigaud) fall in love with the same woman. Then she played the daughter of the unsavoury Françoise Rosay in Jenny (Marcel Carné, 1936), who competes with her mother for the love of gangster Albert Prejean. By now, Lanvin had made a name for herself and Sacha Guitry gave her parts in Perles de la couronne/Pearls of the Crown (1937) and Remontons les Champs-Élysées/Go back to the Champs Elysées (1938). Lanvin also appeared in unpretentious comedies like Les Rois du sport/Kings of Sport (Pierre Colombier, 1937) alongside Raimu, Fernandel and Jules Berry, and she played the wife of Charles Boyer in Orage/Storm (Marc Allégret, 1938). In 1939, she played only in one film, La Brigade sauvage/Savage Brigade (Jean Dréville, Marcel L’Herbier, 1939). She played the daughter of Charles Vanel and Véra Korène in the Parisian milieu of Russian emigrants. In real life she became that year Mrs Guy Mortier. Her husband, a lieutenant with no connection to the film business, then mobilized. Guy Mortier would be the love of her life. During the war, Lanvin completely disappeared from the film scene. After the war she returned to make two more films. Her thirtieth and last feature was La Route inconnue/The Unknown Road (Léon Poirier, 1948) about life among the Tuareg of Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), the future Catholic martyr and saint, played by Robert Darène. At 35, Lisette Lanvin decided to finish her career. In 2004, she died in Suresnes, France. She was 90.

Lisette Lanvin
French postcard, Paris, no. 85. Photo: Ufa.

Lisette Lanvin
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 1080. Photo: Raymond Voinquel.

Lisette Lanvin
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 175. Photo: Star.

Sources: Caroline Hanotte (CinéArtistes) (French), Philippe (CinéMémorial) (French), Films de France, AllMovie, Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.

1 comment:

Chara said...

This is cool!