Jacques Becker (French: [bɛkɛʁ]; 15 September 1906 – 21 February 1960) was a French screenwriter and film director.

Jacques Becker
Born(1906-09-15)15 September 1906
Died21 February 1960(1960-02-21) (aged 53)
Paris, France
Film director
Years active1935–1960
Notable work
Casque d'Or
Le Trou
Touchez pas au grisbi
Spouse(s)Françoise Fabian

Becker first worked in the 1930s as an assistant to director Jean Renoir during what is considered the latter's peak period, including such works as Partie de campagne (1936) and La Grande Illusion (1937). In the early part of World War II, Becker was held in a German prisoner-of-war camp for a year. During the Nazi occupation of France, he became a film director in his own right and he also joined the Comité de libération du cinéma français. He would go on to direct the period romance Casque d'or (1952), the influential gangster film Touchez pas au grisbi (1954), and the prison escape drama Le Trou (1959). While he remains lesser-known internationally than peers such as Marcel Carné and Renoir, Becker is nonetheless regarded as a major French filmmaker, with Casque d'or held in high esteem among film critics.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Paris, Becker was of an upper-class background. His father Louis Becker, of Lorraine ascendance was corporate director for Fulmen, a battery manufacturer; his Irish mother, Margaret Burns, held a fashion house in rue Cambon near Chanel in Paris.[2]

Becker married actress Françoise Fabian in 1957, and his son Jean Becker also became a film director. Both his wife and his son were born on the same day (10 May).


Becker died at the age of 53 in 1960 and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.



Year Title English title Notes
1935 Tête de turc Medium-length film (42 mins)
1935 Le Commissaire est bon enfant, le gendarme est sans pitié Medium length film (40 mins)
1940 L'Or du Cristobal Cristobal's Gold Becker left the film, which was completed by Jean Stelli
1942 Dernier atout The Trump Card
1943 Goupi Mains Rouges It Happened at the Inn
1945 Falbalas Paris Frills Filmed in 1944
1947 Antoine et Antoinette Antoine and Antoinette
1949 Rendez-vous de juillet Rendezvous in July
1951 Édouard et Caroline Edward and Caroline
1952 Casque d'or Casque d'or / Golden Marie
1953 Rue de l'Estrapade Rue de l'Estrapade / Françoise Steps Out
1954 Touchez pas au grisbi Touchez pas au grisbi / Grisbi / Honour Among Thieves
1954 Ali Baba et les Quarante Voleurs Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
1957 Les Aventures d'Arsène Lupin The Adventures of Arsène Lupin
1958 Montparnasse 19 / Les Amants de Montparnasse Montparnasse 19 / The Lovers of Montparnasse Becker took over the film from Max Ophüls who died while filming
1960 Le Trou Le Trou / The Night Watch / The Hole

Assistant DirectorEdit

Year Title English title Directed by Notes
1931 Y'en a pas deux comme Angélique Roger Lion
1931 Allô... Allô... Roger Lion Short
1932 La Nuit du carrefour Night at the Crossroads Jean Renoir
1932 Boudu sauvé des eaux Boudu Saved from Drowning Jean Renoir
1933 Chotard et Cie Chotard and Company Jean Renoir
1933 Madame Bovary Madame Bovary Jean Renoir Uncredited
1936 Partie de campagne A Day in the Country Jean Renoir Released 1946
1936 La vie est à nous Life Belongs to Us Jean Renoir & collective Becker directed one short sequence of this anthology film and was an assistant director
1936 Les Bas-fonds The Lower Depths Jean Renoir
1937 La Grande Illusion Grand Illusion Jean Renoir
1938 La Marseillaise La Marseillaise Jean Renoir
1940 L'Héritier de Mondésir The Mondesir Heir Albert Valentin


  1. ^ "Jacques Becker's Acclaimed Films". They Shoot Pictures, Don't They. February 7, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  2. ^ Vignaux, Valérie (2000). Editions du CÉFAL (ed.). Jacques Becker, ou l'exercice de la liberté. p. 11. ISBN 2-87130-088-7.

External linksEdit