Louis MALLE

Family tree of Louis MALLE

Director

FrenchBorn Louis MALLE

French film director, screenwriter, and producer

Born on October 30, 1932 in Thumeries, France , France

Died on November 23, 1995 in Beverly Hills, California, USA

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Malle was born into a wealthy industrialist family in Thumeries, Nord, France. He initially studied political science at the Sorbonne before turning to film studies at IDHEC instead.



He worked as the co-director and cameraman to Jacques Cousteau on the Oscar and Palme d'Or-winning (at the 1956 Academy Awards and Cannes Film Festival respectively) documentary The Silent World (1956) and assisted Robert Bresson on A Man Escaped (French title: Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut, 1956) before making his first feature, Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (released in the U.K. as Lift to the Scaffold and in the U.S. originally as Frantic, later as Elevator to the Gallows) in 1957. A taut thriller featuring an original score by Miles Davis, the film made an international film star of Jeanne Moreau, at the time a leading stage actress of the state Comédie-Française. Malle was 24 years old.

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Malle's The Lovers (Les Amants, 1958), which also starred Moreau, caused major controversy due to its sexual content leading to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case regarding the legal definition of obscenity. In Jacobellis v. Ohio, a theater owner was fined $2500 for obscenity. It was eventually reversed by the higher court that found that the film was not obscene and hence constitutionally protected. However, the court could not agree on the definition of "obscene," which caused Justice Potter Stewart to utter his "I know it when I see it" opinion, perhaps the most famous single line associated with the court.



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Geographical origins

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