Jeanne Moreau

Jeanne Moreau

11 Episodes

With her smoldering magnetism and fierce intelligence (likened by Patti Smith to “a barbed-wire fence on fire”), French screen siren Jeanne Moreau breathed unforgettable life into some of the most complex women in all of twentieth-century cinema. Already a successful stage actor when she came to international attention for her turn in Louis Malle’s moody thriller ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS, Moreau soon went on to cement her status as an icon of the French New Wave with her role as the mercurial free spirit at the center of François Truffaut’s JULES AND JIM. Throughout her six-decade career, Moreau delivered fearless performances for some of the leading auteurs of her time, including Michelangelo Antonioni (LA NOTTE), Jacques Demy (BAY OF ANGELS), and Orson Welles (CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT), who proclaimed her “the greatest actress in the world.”

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Jeanne Moreau
  • Jeanne Moreau Interview

    Episode 1

    In this in-depth interview, first aired on January 30, 1972, Jeanne Moreau reflects on her long career in French cinema and her work with some of the country’s greatest directors, sharing her thoughts on aging, acting, and character development.

  • Elevator to the Gallows

    Episode 2

    Directed by Louis Malle • 1958 • France

    For his feature debut, twenty-four-year-old Louis Malle brought together a mesmerizing performance by Jeanne Moreau, evocative cinematography by Henri Decaë, and a now legendary jazz score by Miles Davis. Taking place over the course of one restless Pari...

  • The Lovers

    Episode 3

    Directed by Louis Malle • 1958 • France

    Louis Malle unveiled the natural beauty of Jeanne Moreau in his breakthrough, Elevator to the Gallows. With his follow-up, the scandalous smash The Lovers (Les amants), he made her a star once and for all. A deeply felt and luxuriously filmed fairy tale fo...

  • La notte

    Episode 4

    Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni • 1961 • Italy

    This psychologically acute, visually striking modernist work was director Michelangelo Antonioni's follow-up to the epochal L'avventura. Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau star as a novelist and his frustrated wife, who, over the course of on...

  • Jules and Jim

    Episode 5

    Directed by François Truffaut • 1962 • France

    Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules and Jim charts, over twenty-five years, the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession. The legendary François Truffaut directs, and Jeanne Moreau stars as the alluri...

  • Bay of Angels

    Episode 6

    Directed by Jacques Demy • 1963 • France

    This precisely wrought, emotionally penetrating romantic drama from Jacques Demy, set largely in the casinos of Nice, is a visually lovely but darkly realistic investigation into love and obsession. A bottle-blonde Jeanne Moreau is at her blithe best as a...

  • Diary of a Chambermaid

    Episode 7

    Directed by Luis Buñuel • 1964 • France
    Starring Jeanne Moreau, Michel Piccoli

    This wicked adaptation of the Octave Mirbeau novel is classic Luis Buñuel. Jeanne Moreau is Celestine, a beautiful Parisian domestic who, upon arrival at her new job at an estate in provincial 1930s France, entrenc...

  • Chimes at Midnight

    Episode 8

    Directed by Orson Welles • 1966 • Spain, Switzerland

    Sir John Falstaff is the hero in this compilation of extracts from Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' and other plays, made into a connected story of Falstaff's career as young Prince Hal's drinking companion. The massive knight roisters with and with...

  • The Immortal Story

    Episode 9

    Directed by Orson Welles • 1968 • France

    Orson Welles' first color film and final completed fictional feature, The Immortal Story is a moving and wistful adaptation of a tale by Isak Dinesen. Welles stars as a wealthy merchant in nineteenth-century Macao, who becomes obsessed with bringing to li...

  • Querelle
    Episode 10


    Episode 10

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1982 • Germany

    Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s final film, adapted from the novel by Jean Genet, stars Brad Davis as a handsome Belgian sailor dealing with sibling rivalry, murder, and explosive sexuality.

  • La truite
    Episode 11

    La truite

    Episode 11

    Directed by Joseph Losey • 1982 • France

    A young woman (Isabelle Huppert) leaves behind her family's trout farm to accompany a playboy to Japan.