A pioneer of French television, Marcel Bluwal had signed some anthology dramas and created one of the legendary series of the small screen. He passed away this Saturday, October 23, at the age of 96.
He belonged to the pioneer race. Marcel Bluwal was 96 years old, and one of the most flourishing careers of French television.
Born in a popular but cultivated environment, Marcel Bluwal developed a passion for literature very early on and especially for cinema, where he spent entire days. Barely escaping the Vel ‘d’Hiv roundup, the young Bluwal spends two years reclusive in a tiny room with his mother. An episode that will mark his life forever.
After World War II, he joined the very young ORTF (Office de Radio-Télévision Française) as a director in the Youth Department, where he stayed for 4 years. Then he embarked on live drama, an exercise in which he excelled. His masterpiece, Dom Juan or Le Festin de Pierres after Molière with Michel Piccoli in the title role, earned him the praises of the profession and public recognition. He will return all his career to the drama and the adaptation of monuments of literature (Dostoyevsky, Hugo, Marivaux …), faithful in this to the pioneers of television, who saw in this medium a means of awakening the greatest number to culture and beauty.
The Vidocq shock
In 1962, Bluwal signed a new masterstroke with Vidocq, a television series carried by Claude Brasseur putting into images the memories of the famous bandit (and convict) who became a police officer. The success is such that he will give two sequels to his hero, in 1970 and 1972.
His (mis) adventures in the cinema
The cinema remains however his first passion. In 1961, producers gave him the chance to direct his first feature film, Le Monte-Charge with Robert Hossein and Léa Massari. Adapted from a noir novel by Frédéric Dard, the film is a model of a particularly well-conducted perverse story. Two later, Bluwal knows the honors of a Cannes selection for Carambolages, a huge acerbic farce on the upstart with de Funès and Jean-Claude Brialy. Stricken by the critics, shunned by the public, the film will remain a deep wound for its director, who will return to the big screen one last time in 1999 for The Most Beautiful Country in the World, which looks back on a little-known episode of the Occupation.