19 May 2016

Simone Renant

Beautiful French film and stage actress Simone Renant (1911–2004) appeared in 43 films between 1932 and 1980. The elegant blonde actress is best known for her roles in Quai des Orfèvres (1947) and the original French version of Dangerous Liasions, Les liaisons dangereuses (1959).

Simone Renant
French postcard by Editions P.I., La Garenne-Colombes, no. 84. Photo: Studio Carlet Ainé.

Simone Renant
French postcard by Edit. P.I., no. 186, offered by Les Carbones Korès Photo: Lucienne Chevert.

Simone Renant
French postcard by Edit. Chantal, Rueil, no. 10. Photo: Roger Richebé.

Simone Renant
French postcard by E.C., Paris, no. 93. Photo: Roger Richebé.

Seductive and Elegant

Simone Renant was born Georgette Simone Alexine Buigny in Amiens, France, in 1911. She studied at the Conservatoire d'Amiens, then a part of the Conservatoire de Paris. There she won the First Prize.

She made her stage debut at the théâtre du Vieux Colombier. The seductive and elegant Renant first appeared in the cinema with Léon Poirier in La Folle nuit/The Crazy Night (Robert Bibal, 1932).

Director - and later husband - Christian-Jaque gave her her first bigger parts in L'Ecole des journalistes/School for Journalists (1936) with Armand Bernard, and Les Pirates du rail/The Railway Pirates (1937) with Charles Vanel and Erich von Stroheim.

During the Second World War, Renant maintained her vedette status in roles at coquettish and mannered women in Elles étaient douze femmes/They Were Twelve Women (Georges Lacombe, 1940) with Gaby Morlay, and Lettres d'amour/Love Letters (Claude Autant-Lara, 1942) with François Périer.

She also proved to be a charming and spirited comedienne in Romance à trois/Romance for Three (Roger Richebé, 1942), and Domino (Roger Richebé, 1943) both with Fernand Gravey, and in the romantic fantasy La Tentation de Barbizon/The Temptation of Barbizon (Jean Stelli, 1945) starring Daniel Gélin.

Simone Renant
French postcard by S.E.R.P., Paris, no. 70. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Simone Renant
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto-Verlag, no. FK 475. Photo: Sam Lévin, Paris.

Simone Renant
French postcard by Editions du Globe, no. 153. Photo: Lucienne Chevert.

Simone Renant
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 80. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Ambiguous and Melancholic Role

Against her image Simone Renant played an ambiguous and melancholic role in the classic thriller Quai des Orfèvres/Quay of the Goldsmiths (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1947) opposite Suzy Delair. She plays the photographer Dora, who takes pictures of female models. In a subtle way Clouzot reveals us she's a lesbian. The police chief (Louis Jouvet) tells her: "You and me,WE are not lucky with women."

Since that beautiful performance her film appearances became rarer. She was very active in the theatre, and also appeared, though less frequently, on television.

In the cinema she appeared in Les liaisons dangereuses/Dangerous Liaisons (Roger Vadim, 1959) with Gérard Philipe and Jeanne Moreau, and she did a surprising turn as the owner of a gaming den in the Brazilian jungle in L'Homme de Rio/That Man from Rio (1963), starring Jean Paul Belmondo.

Her last film role was that of Alain Delon's mother in the thriller Trois hommes à abattre/Three Men to Destroy (Jacques Deray, 1980). On TV she last appeared in Liberté-liberté/Freedom-Freedom (Alain Dhouailly, 1983) opposite Michael Lonsdale.

In 2004, Simone Renant died after a long illness in Garches, France, aged 93. She had been married four times. She married and divorced actor Marcel Dalio (1929-1932), Charles Gombault (1933-1937), and film director Christian-Jaque (1938-1940). In 1945 she married film producer and actor Alexandre Mnouchkine. The pair had two children and stayed together till his death in 1993.

Scene from La tentation de Barbizon (1946). Sorry, no subtitles. Source: FILMS CHRÉTIENS POUR TOUS (YouTube).

Scene from Quai des Orfèvres/Quay of the Goldsmiths (1947). Source: LionsgateVOD (YouTube).

French trailer of Les liaisons dangereuses/Dangerous Liaisons (1959). Source: Domi Gulminelli (YouTube).

Simone Renant as Lola, a woman controlling a riverside village in the heart of the Amazon, in L'Homme de Rio/That Man from Rio (1963), starring Jean Paul Belmondo. Source: shinhoshi (YouTube).

Sources: Ciné-Ressources (French), Wikipedia, and IMDb.


Sheila said...

A very beautiful woman with a long and interesting life.

AnitaNH said...

Love the hand-tinted photo. Happy PFF. Great blog!

a plethors of postcards said...

What an incredible site! I had no idea all these postcards existed. Too bad contemporary stars aren't sending out postcards (or maybe they are?)

Marie Reed said...

I had no idea that there was an oder version of that film! The things I learn here:) Happy PFF!

Beth Niquette said...

What a lovely elegant woman she was. I enjoy the history you include with each blog. Just fascinating. Happy PFF!

steviewren said...

Simone has the classic beauty that was popular in the 40s.

Paul van Yperen said...

Thanks for stopping by, dear PFF-ers. I really love those hand-tinted postcards too. I've found some more of such cards of French stars that I hope to post soon. Till next week.