The Films of Jean Seberg


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About the Book

Here is the first comprehensive examination of the international film career of Iowa-born actress Jean Seberg (1938–1979). Bursting onto the scene as star of Otto Preminger’s controversial Saint Joan (1957), the 19-year-old Seberg encountered great difficulty recovering from the devastating criticism of her performance. The turnaround came in 1959 with her brilliant work in Jean-Luc Godard’s “new wave” classic À bout de souffle (Breathless). Though her Hollywood prospects were harmed by subsequent political involvements, Seberg continued to work with some of Europe’s finest directors. Her later films offer a fascinating view of the movie industry in the 1960s and 1970s—and of a courageous actress always ready for a new challenge. A biographical sketch provides a framework for detailed scrutiny of her 37 films. Background information and a critical evaluation is provided for each title.

About the Author(s)

Michael Coates-Smith is a London-based writer involved in freelance editing and research projects.
Author Garry McGee lives in Iowa.

Bibliographic Details

Michael Coates-Smith and Garry McGee
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 44 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6652-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9022-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Part I: From Saint to Sinner, 1958–1963      11

Saint Joan      12

Bonjour Tristesse      20

The Mouse That Roared      28

Breathless (À bout de souffle)      33

Let No Man Write My Epitaph      43

Playtime (La Récréation)      47

Time Out for Love (Les Grandes Personnes)      52

The Five-Day Lover (L’Amant de cinq jours)      56

Congo Vivo      61

In the French Style      65

The Big Swindler (Le Grand Escroc)      72

Part II: The International Years, 1963–1969      77

Lilith      78

Backfire (Échappement libre)      85

Moment to Moment      90

Diamonds Are Brittle (Un Milliard dans un billard)      96

A Fine Madness      100

The Line of Demarcation (La Ligne de démarcation)      105

Revolt in the Caribbean (Estouffade à la Caraïbe)      109

The Road to Corinth (La Route de Corinthe)      112

The Girls      117

Birds in Peru (Les Oiseaux vont mourir au Pérou)      120

Pendulum      127

Paint Your Wagon      132

Part III: From Commercial to the Avant-garde, 1970–1979      141

Airport      142

Dead of Summer (Ondata di calore)      148

Macho Callahan      153

Kill!      157

This Kind of Love (Questa specie d’amore)      163

The French Conspiracy (L’Attentat)      169

Camorra      175

The Corruption of Chris Miller (La Corrupción de Chris Miller)      179

Mousey (Cat and Mouse)      184

Les Hautes Solitudes      188

Ballad for the Kid      194

White Horses of Summer (Bianchi cavalli d’agosto)      197

The Great Frenzy (Le Grand Délire)      201

The Wild Duck (Die Wildente)      205



INDEX      219

Book Reviews & Awards

“the first comprehensive examination of the international film career of Iowa-born actress Jean Seberg”—; “examines the 37 films of actress Jean Seberg”—Reference & Research Book News.