Multimedia Crime Fiction : an international trajectory, 1954-2015


Les salauds vont en enfer, Play by  Frédéric Dard, Edited,  introduced and annotated by : Hugues Galli, Thierry Gautier & Dominique Jeannerod, EUD, 2015, 238 pp.

Grand Guignol programme 1

Frédéric Dard was France’s most popular Crime Fiction author.  Besides his career as  a novelist, Dard was a prolific playwright, screenwriter and dialogue writer. The recent discovery  and subsequent publication (EUD, 2015) of an original manuscript of the  successful Play Les salauds vont en enfer  allows to retrace the circuits of cultural creation in 1950’s France and the interrelation between various  media and narrative forms.  Created in the Grand Guignol Theatre in Paris in 1954 and directed by Robert Hossein, the play went on to experience  a series of  transpositions. First, in 1955, on screen (also directed by Robert Hossein), then as a novel, when  in  early 1956,  it was novelised as a roman noir by Frédéric Dard, the author of the play.   In 1971, Abdal Iskar adapted it as television film.  A wealth of archives, generously shared by collectors  and the author’s  family  have helped reconstructing  the story of the play’s reincarnations and exportations.  But working  closely on the text of the play  for this first edition (six decades after it had been written) also highlighted the  importance of the international  and intermedia horizons in the creation, as they are both already  there in the author’s inspiration.  Most  of the following pictures, which document the variations  and interpretations from media to media and in different countries, are reproduced in this edition, where they are fully referenced. Continue reading

The Wicked go to Hell ! International Posters

Les salauds affiche allemande 2

(Collection Thierry Gautier)

The Film Les Salauds vont en enfer (1956) was damned by critics (Truffaut called it a pitiful caricature of  Jean Genet’s play Haute Surveillance).  This did not prevent the movie’s commercial success, nor hinder its  international career. The Posters reproduced here testify of this fortune. They reveal as well how  the movie was reinterpreted in the process. Its main elements are reordered. On the posters, the original Psychological Thriller about two men’s identity is removed in the background. The Jailbreak drama is not shown. The Men’s movie (Les Salauds)  has become a Marina Vlady Movie. The fact that her performance visibly inspired Brigitte Bardot’s in Vadim’s And God Created Woman, shot in Saint Tropez only a few month later certainly  did not hurt. Vadim’s movie would launch  Bardot’s myth, and reach worldwide audiences. Ironically thus, the legacy of Les Salauds vont en enfer appears not o have been in the noir genre, but in the representation of sexual desire in mainstream cinema.

Les_salauds_jap Continue reading