Marcel Camus

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Marcel Camus (born April 21, 1912 in Chappes in the Ardennes department , † January 13, 1982 in Paris ) was a French director.

Camus was initially a drawing teacher and was imprisoned for four years during the Second World War . In 1946 Camus began as an assistant director, in the next few years he worked with Jacques Becker and Henri Verneuil , among others . In 1952 he helped the actor Daniel Gélin with his directorial work Von Sensationen hetzt (Les dents longues) as a writer and technical advisor. In 1956 Camus was able to make his first feature film, which was set against the backdrop of the colonial war that France had just lost in Vietnam.

His second film Orfeu Negro , which Camus released in 1959, relocated the ancient story of Orpheus and Euridice to modern Rio de Janeiro, where Camus mainly worked with amateur actors . The leading roles were played by the American actress Marpessa Dawn and the Brazilian soccer player Breno Mello . The film received a Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959 and the Oscar for best foreign language film at the 1960 Academy Awards . The film marked the global breakthrough of bossa nova music. Later, Camus was never able to build on the success of this film.

Camus made other feature films that combined exotic locations and carefully constructed poetic stories, but he barely found an audience. The comedy Leo the War Hero , filmed in 1970 with Bourvil in the lead role , which meant a departure from his more poetic films for Camus, did not prove to be a commercial success either. In the 1970s, he shifted more and more to work for television. This included the first season of the successful Canadian-French-German series Die Grashüpfer (Les Faucheurs des marguerites) about the time of the aviation pioneers. It ran in 4 seasons from 1974 to 1982 on ARD .

His grave is in the Père Lachaise cemetery (division 87).


  • 1950: Renaissance de Havre (short film)
  • 1956: The half-blood of Saigon (Mort en fraude)
  • 1959: Orfeu Negro
  • 1960: Brazilian Rhapsody (Os Bandeirantes)
  • 1962: Bird of Paradise (L'oiseau de paradis)
  • 1965: And the woods will be silent (Le Chant du monde)
  • 1968: Vivre la nuit
  • 1970: Un été sauvage
  • 1970: Leo, the war hero (Le Mur de l'Atlantique)
  • 1975: Shepherds of the Night (Os Pastores da Noite), also Otalia de Bahia
  • 1980: My friend Winnetou (Winnetou le mescalero) (TV series)


  • Kay Less : The film's great personal dictionary . The actors, directors, cameramen, producers, composers, screenwriters, film architects, outfitters, costume designers, editors, sound engineers, make-up artists and special effects designers of the 20th century. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-340-3 .

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