07 February 2018

Paulette Dubost

French star Paulette Dubost (1910-2011) 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 1930s. 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
French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 293. Photo: Carlet.

Paulette Dubost
French autograph card. Photo: Forster / Film EPOC. Publicity still for Jeunesse/Youth (Georges Lacombe, 1933).

Paulette Dubost (1910 - 2011)
French postcard by Erpé, no. 8. Photo: Simson.

Paulette Dubost
French postcard, no. 39. Photo: Forster.

Paulette Dubost
French postcard by EPC, no. 36. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Great Classics

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 des Champs-Élysées/The King of the Champs Elysees (Max Nosseck, 1935), she appeared opposite the famous silent film star Buster Keaton in a dual role.

Dubost played a supporting part in Hotel du Nord/North Hotel (1936), starring Annabella and Jean-Pierre Aumont. It was the second of Marcel Carné's trio of 'fatalistic romantic melodramas'.

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.

Paulette Dubost
French postcard by EC, no. 57. Photo: Studio Arnal.

Paulette Dubost in La caserne en folie (1935)
French autograph card, no. 57. Photo: publicity still for La caserne en folie/The barracks in madness (Maurice Cammage, 1935).

Paulette Dubost (1910 - 2011)
French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 125. Photo: Simson.

Paulette Dubost (1910 - 2011)
French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 293. Photo: Carlet.

Paulette Dubost
French postcard by Edit. R. Tricot in the Les vedettes de l'ecran series, no. 83. Photo: Simson.

Happy Go Lucky

After the war, Paulette Dubost co-starred with Danielle Darrieux in Au Petit Bonheur/Happy Go Lucky (Marcel L'Herbier, 1946), 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 (Leopold Lindtberg, 1951) 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 (Jean Renoir, 1959). This film was inspired by the impressionist paintings by 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: Jean 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 (Alexander Moix), 2007.

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
French postcard, no. 801. Photo: Film Sedif. Probably a publicity still for Le mensonge de Nina Petrovna/The Lie of Nina Petrovna (Victor Tourjansky, 1937), which was distributed by Societé d'Exploitation et de Distribution de Films (SEDIF).

Paulette Dubost
French postcard by A.N., Paris. Photo: Paramount.

Paulette Dubost
French postcard by Editions Cinématographiques, no. 2105. Photo: Arnal, Paris. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Paulette Dubost sings Si Maman le veut (1934) in the film Le Comte Obligado (1934). Source: Camille 885 (YouTube).

Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Hans Beerekamp (Het Schimmenrijk - Dutch), Wikipedia and IMDb.


Clytie said...

You always amaze me with the information you come up with! I love this beautiful, talented and spirited lady!

Beth Niquette said...

I had never heard of this lady before--what an interesting individual!

I'm really interested in what you wrote about Queen's Day! I shall be looking into this holiday--I'd never heard of it, or the traditions associated with it. Lovely! And thank you!

Betty said...

I love your blog! What a beauty Paulette is, and I've got to say, her dancing at 99 years old is fantastic!! What a doll.

Joy said...

She looks perfectly capable of boosting her number of films up to 151. What an amazing career.

Snap said...

What a smile! At 99, I'm sure she has stories to tell with a twinkle in her eye! :D :D Happy PFF!

viridian said...

She has that ingenue look, doesn't she.

Postcardy said...

She really came alive when she started dancing in the video.

papel1 said...

I think this entry with the videos is your best yet. I was reading up on postcards and they said in 1930 they became saucy. She is definitely a saucy lady. Happy Queens Day.

Lyneen said...

OH MY GOSH... at 99 she can DANCE!!!!!!

CafebyJW said...

Love the one she is posting the leg up high, look sexy.

Impressive information you put there too.

You Got A Posty ~ PFF
Theme Day ~ Statue

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I live in hope that I'll live to 99 with the same spirit. :)

Debs @ Vintage Postcard Gallery said...

great postcards as always and a wonderful introduction to a new name for me...doesn't she look a little like betty boop in the first card?!

Bob of Holland said...

Thank you all for stopping by. Paulette was quite a beauty. She looked like a French version of the It girl, American silent film star Clara Bow. Bow inspired Dave Fleischer to draw Betty Boop. It would be great when she would make another film. Johan Heesters and Marta Eggerth are both 100+ and still working... See you next week at PFF.

maryt/theteach said...

She's a beauty, Bob! :)

Linda said...

Adorable, I can see the Clara Bow resemblance. I'm fascinated by the actors who manage long careers over the decades. A delightful story.