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Born: Montrouge, France, 23 February 1924.

Claude Sautet (JPG, 13 KB)

One of France's leading chroniclers of middle-class, and especially middle-aged, life. Sautet began his career as an assistant (e.g. to Jacques Becker on the classic gangster yarn, Grisbi / Touchez pas au Grisbi (1953), served as a TV producer and earned a reputation as a superior scenarist before directing his first feature in 1955. His first significant achievement, the craftily handled underworld melodrama, The Big Risk (1960), was overshadowed by the activities of the younger, New Wave directors. Sautet came into his own, however, with The Things of Life (1970), a keenly observed study of a mid-life crisis triggered by an automobile accident. Like many of the director's subsequent films, it starred Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli. Sautet has subsequently turned out a number of finely observed social studies, often documenting the relations between large numbers of characters. He is best known in the US for Vincent, François, Paul and the Others (1974), A Simple Story (1978) and A Few Days With Me (1988), a relatively uncharacteristic departure into more youthful territory.


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