Simone Signoret

Simone Signoret

8 Episodes

One of the greatest and gutsiest French actors of all time, Simone Signoret never shied away from risky roles, eschewing movie-star glamor to deliver fearless performances of finely shaded emotional depth. From the very beginning of her career, she displayed a penchant for meaty projects, playing complex “fallen women” and femmes fatales in some of the essential French films of the 1950s, including Max Ophuls’ LA RONDE, Jacques Becker’s CASQUE D’OR, and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s DIABOLIQUE. A captivating screen presence who continued to expand her range as she aged, Signoret won acclaim for her work in films such as the British New Wave touchstone ROOM AT THE TOP—in which she gives a heartbreaking performance that earned her an Oscar—and Jean-Pierre Melville’s wrenching French Resistance thriller ARMY OF SHADOWS.

Subscribe Share
Simone Signoret
  • Introducing Simone Signoret

    Episode 1

    The following archival programs from 1957, 1970, and 1982 present a multifaceted look at actor Simone Signoret’s life and work, featuring in-depth interviews with the French-cinema icon that touch on her approach to acting, her political engagements, and her career choices.

  • La ronde

    Episode 2

    Directed by Max Ophuls • 1950 • France

    Simone Signoret, Anton Walbrook, and Simone Simon lead a roundelay of French stars in Max Ophuls's delightful, acerbic adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's controversial turn-of-the-century play Reigen. Soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, aristocrats...

  • Casque d'or

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jacques Becker • 1952 • France

    Jacques Becker lovingly evokes the belle epoque Parisian demimonde in this classic tale of doomed romance. When gangster's moll Marie (Simone Signoret) falls for reformed criminal Manda (Serge Reggiani), their passion incites an underworld rivalry tha...

  • Diabolique

    Episode 4

    Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot • 1955 • France

    Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was DIABOLIQUE. This thriller from Henri-Georges Clouzot, which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women, the fragile wife and the willful mistress of the sadistic headma...

  • Room at the Top

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jack Clayton • 1959 • United Kingdom

    An ambitious young accountant schemes to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

    Limited engagement ends September 30

  • Adua and Her Friends

    Episode 6

    Directed by Antonio Pietrangeli • 1960 • Italy
    Starring Simone Signoret, Emmanuelle Riva, Marcello Mastroianni

    After reformers close the legal brothels in Italy in 1958, four prostitutes fend for themselves by opening a restaurant. Unable to get a license for the trattoria themselves, they en...

  • Army of Shadows

    Episode 7

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1969 • France
    Starring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Simone Signoret

    This masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Melville about the French Resistance went unreleased in the United States for thirty-seven years, until its triumphant theatrical debut in 2006. Atmospheric a...

  • The Widow Couderc

    Episode 8

    Directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre • 1971 • France
    Starring Simone Signoret, Alain Delon

    Based on a novel by master crime writer Georges Simenon, this quietly gripping drama centers on the unexpected relationship that develops between a hard-bitten country widow (Simone Signoret) and a myster...