We’re crazy about C.R.A.Z.Y.

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8 years before he made his debut in Hollywood with Dallas Buyers Club and 12 years before he won an Emmy Award for Big Little Lies, Jean-Marc Vallée released what is, for me, one of the best French-Canadian films ever made: C.R.A.Z.Y. Dallas Buyers Club, The Young Victoria, and Wild were great but, in my opinion, never surpassed the quality of this film I’m going to talk to you about.

Honestly, there are so many great things to say about this film. I wouldn’t know where to start. C.R.A.Z.Y. is that type of film that makes me proud of our French-Canadian movie industry and that gives it a good reputation. You might have heard of it or even saw it as, on its released, it gained not only a national recognition but also an international one. The film represented Canada for the Best Foreign language Film Oscar, but unfortunately wasn’t selected as a finalist for the competition.

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On the right, Vallée witn actors Michel Côté (left) and Marc-André Grondin (centre)

When Vallée’s masterpiece was released in 2005, I was only 9 or 10 so didn’t immediately saw it as it deals with themes you don’t necessarily understand at that age. But I remember my parents seeing it at the movie theatre and saying it was great. So, I eventually see it with them and my sister a few years later and I was in awe. It eventually became my favourite French-language Canadian film and it surely is in my top five movies of the 21st centenary. You see, C.R.A.Z.Y. is a perfect national movie as it deals with our local culture but there’s also something about it that makes it internationally accessible. It’s the kind of story that could happen in many places.

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But what is it about? C.R.A.Z.Y is a coming of age drama telling the story of young Zachary “Zac” Beaulieu (Marc André Grondin), born on Christmas and who has to deal with a sexual identity crisis. The film takes place in Quebec during the 60s, 70s and the beginning of the 80s. Zachary is the 4th one of a family of five children. As a child, he and his father (Michel Côté) share a beautiful complicity. He is his hero. But when Zach starts revealing a non-masculine side and a possible homosexuality, war is declared. His father doesn’t accept it so things between them aren’t the same anymore. However, has Zach wants to get his father’s love back, or, should I say his complicity (because his father doesn’t stop loving him despite everything), he himself has difficulty to accept his sexual orientation. But everyone has a breaking point… Luckily, in times of crisis, Zac’s mother (Danielle Proulx), a wonderful woman, is always here to support him.

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Aside from being a truly “crazy” film (in the good sense of the term), C.R.A.Z.Y., stands for two things: Zac’s father, Gervais, is a fan of Patsy Cline and her song “Crazy”. Also, the letters that form the words are the first letters of Zac and his brother’s names: Christian (Maxime Tremblay), the nerd who reads anything, including ketchup bottles and cereal boxes; Raymond (Pierre-Luc Brillant), the rebel and junky, Zac’s “worst enemy”; Antoine (Alex Gravel), the athlete; Zachary; and Yvan (Gabriel Lalancette), the youngest one.

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C.R.A.Z.Y. was praised for his realistic representation of a middle-class family of 60s-70s Quebec. The quality of this film also resides in the fact that it is an highly creative movie. After all, Jean-Marc Vallée spent between 5 and 10 years writing it with co-writer François Boulay (who’s personal memories of growing-up inspired the story). So, the result couldn’t be mediocre.

We first have to take a look at the varied characters and their incredible performers.

C.R.A.Z.Y. is the film that put Marc-André Grondin on the map of Quebecois cinema. At the time the film was made, he was 20-21, which is Zac’s age at the end of the film. His portrayal of Zac is one that can allow many viewers to identify with him. The role is complex, so probably wasn’t an easy one to play. It’s a character that constantly changes and tries desperately to find himself in order to “fit” in a particular environment. Zac’s knows moments of joy, anger, sadness, hate, and happiness. A certain versatility for such a role was necessary and Marc-André Grondin did it with brio.

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Michel Côté who plays the boy’s father, Gervais, probably is one of the main reasons why I love this film. I think I can say that he is my favourite Quebecois actor. He is known as one of our best stage and on-screen actors. Playing the role of Gervais Beaulieu implies putting himself in the skin of someone with whom he didn’t necessarily share the ideologies. Côté has an incredible charism which he transmitted perfectly to his character. Because Gervais Beaulieu is the type of man that owns a place when he’s in it. His character knows also different moments of complex emotions and the clash between his and Zac’s ones creates amazing fireworks. What I love about Michel Côté also is his very natural acting game and that’s a quality we can find in many local actors here in Quebec. I work in a movie theatre and Michel Côté sometimes attends special events there such as Q & A for the promotion of his films or, as I’ve been told, sometimes just come to see a movie! I haven’t seen him yet (I started working there in late August) but if I ever do, I will probably faint.

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Danielle Proulx who plays Zach’s mother is an actress I first knew thanks to the children television show Cornemuse. Every kid from my generation know this program. Danielle also was part of the distribution of Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, which was nominated at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film. Laurianne Beaulieu is one of the most beautiful characters of the film. Quebec uses to be a very Catholic place but it began to change precisely in the 60s with the venue of new ideologies and the Quiet Revolution. Mrs. Beaulieu is a strong believer, but her acceptance of her son’s sexual orientation sort of incarnates that clash of culture and ideologies that Quebec knew in the 60s and 70s. The complicity she has with her son is strong and different from the one he has with his father. You see, Zac can never fear to lost his mother’s love. This would simply be impossible. To her, Zach is very special as he was born the same day has Jesus. Danielle Proulx touches our heart infinitely with her protrayal of Mrs. Beaulieu. She shows, yes, a sensibility, but also an incredible strength. She is a woman of the Revolution.

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Of course, all the other actors in this film are incredible as well, but I decided to focus on the three main ones, otherwise, this text would be way too long! Interesting fact: young Zachary Beaulieu was played by Jean-Marc Vallées son, Émile, who showed a great potential as a child actor.

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Jean-Marc and Émile Vallée on the set of the film

Music is one of the most important elements of C.R.A.Z.Y. As a matter of fact, $ 600 000 CAD were invested in the music only as many the music rights had to be obtained. Jean-Marc Vallée even had to cut his own salary for it. The music truly defines the atmosphere of the film and any great music lover would be amazed by the choice of the songs from legendary artists such as David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, and more.

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Jean-Marc Vallée knew perfectly how to include the songs to the story and really made them “part of” the film. Some of the best scenes are the ones where the music takes a lot of space.

From the first minutes of the film, you know it won’t be an ordinary one. It all starts with Elvis. Images of a baby (Zac) in his mother’s tummy are shown to us. It’s first almost silent and, slowly, we start hearing Elvis’s singing “Santa Claus Is Back in Town”. We then move to the next scene where the Beaulieu’s are celebrating Christmas’s Eve until Mrs. Beaulieu’s waters breaks and the family has to head to the hospital for Zac’s birth.

If Zach and his father share a common interest, it’s certainly is their passion for music. They both have different music tastes (being from different generations), different but all great. Gervais Beaulieu not only his a fan of Patsy Cline but also of French singer Charles Aznavour. Every Christmas, he traditionally to sing his beautiful song “Emmenez-Moi”, which is probably the song we hear the most often in the film.

If I can identify myself to Zac, it’s thanks to his obvious love for David Bowie who also is my idol. We LOVE Zach’s bedroom as it is decorated with posters of the singer and iconic vinyl records such as Space Oddity, Aladdin Sane, and Diamond Dogs are part of his music collection. The “Space Oddity” scene is one of the most iconic of the film and is a glorious moment. I’ll let you watch it:

Zach also loves Pink Floyd and, as you saw in the previous video, his bedroom is beautifully decorated with The Dark Side of the Moon colour prism. Zac’s transition from childhood to teenagehood is brilliantly made with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”.

So many great songs are part of this film, but I’ll finish this musical discussion with another of the film’s most glorious moment: the “Sympathy for the Devil”‘s moment. Zac puts The Rolling Stones’ album and we transit to the church where he attends the Midnight Mass with his family. The song continues to play in Zac’s head but, suddenly, everybody starts being part of it, including the priest. This is a very fantasist moment as it surely only happens in Zac’s mine, but we love it.

Here are both “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Sympathy for the Devil” scenes!

So, as you realize, C.R.A.Z.Y. wouldn’t be the same without this impressive soundtrack. The film doesn’t contain any original music, but it honestly doesn’t need any. It’s interesting to know that Zac’s look in the 80s is inspired by Sex Pistols’ singer Sid Vicious, and his brother’s Raymond’s look is somehow inspired by Jim Morrison’s one and… his lifestyle too… for better, but especially for worst.

As I mentioned before, C.R.A.Z.Y. screenplay is the result of many years of work and the result is this breathtaking product that is given to us. The story is, of course, developed on 21 years (with times ellipse) and never a faux-pas is committed. The film, yes, contains a dramatic tone, but you’ll also find many comedic elements. It’s that variety of styles that makes it the type of movie everybody loves. Surely, Zac is at the center of the story, but Vallée and Boulay were brilliant enough to give a complete background and to the secondary characters. Of Zac’s brothers, Raymond probably is the one we know the most about and his presence has an important influence on the course of the story.

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The film also contains some lines that define perfectly its thematic and the relation between the characters, but also between the characters and the society they live in.  The best dialogue probably being:

Zachary Beaulieu: I want to be like everyone else.

Madame Chose: Thank God, you never will.

 

As Ingrid Bergman once said, “Be yourself, the world worship the original.”

C.R.A.Z.Y. was mostly filmed in Montreal and its area, but it’s a film that also makes us travel as Zac’s goes to Jerusalem, which has always been one of his mother’s most cherished dreams. However, for security reasons, the scenes had to be shot in Morroco. This part of the film is quite short but is an important transition in Zac’s life. It allows us to see some beautiful desertic spaces and cities.

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But the film also makes us travel in the Quebec of the 20th century with yes, the music, the way of life, but also the costumes that can make people of this generation say: “Oh, I remember when  I used dressed like that!”

Finally, The film also has to be praised for its effective editing. I always thought the transition between some of the scenes was brilliantly made, as well as the choice of camera shots. There is an appreciated continuity and a visual dynamism that keeps us at the edge of our seats. And the whole thing is beautifully shaped with a top-notch cinematography.

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C.R.A.Z.Y. was THE film of the year here in Quebec in 2005. It won no less than 14 Jutra Awards, plus two special awards for the same ceremony. I sort of feel bad for the other films that were nominated that year haha. But what can I say? Sometimes, you just can’t surpass supreme quality!

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There aren’t enough words to express the excellency of C.R.A.Z.Y., but I hope this review convinced you to see it as soon as possible if you haven’t. Meanwhile, take a look at the entertaining trailer. Not the best visual quality, but there are English subtitles!

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I wrote this article for the always fun O Canada Blogathon hosted by the ever-enthusiastic Ruth from Silver Screenings and Kristina from Speakeasy. I want to thank both ladies for honouring my native country via this great event!

Don’t miss the other entries:

O Canada Day 1

O Canada Day 2

O Canada Day 3

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Discovering Paul Dupuis

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Paul Dupuis is not a name that rings a bell to many people of my generation. However, if I talk about him with my grandparents or older people, they’ll remember him as this handsome man with a very deep voice who was “great in Les Belles Histories des Pays d’en Haut“. He was one of those French-Canadian actors that had his notoriety, but who is, unfortunately, a bit forgotten nowadays. On my side, if I hadn’t seen Madness of the Heart, I would probably have not come across him. When I watched this British film for the first time, this handsome young man, who was cast as Margaret Lockwood’s love interest, picked my curiosity. So, I checked what was his name: Paul Dupuis. Hum, that’s sounded French! It was even better, he was Quebecois (or French-Canadian if you prefer). Last year, in my class on Quebecois cinema, I decided to do my final essay on films of the 40’s and the 50’s, but, to tell you the truth, that was mainly an excuse to see more Paul Dupuis’ films. 😉 I don’t regret it, because I saw some interesting stuff, movies that, just like Paul, are not remembered very well today.
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I’m really not an expert on Paul Dupuis and I’ve seen only three of his films, but I’ve chosen to write about him because I think he deserves more recognition. And if, like me, you like to discover new actors, well, there you go. I, however, have a sort of obsession with him and sometimes I can spend hours looking for articles and videos about him on the web. Quite a stimulating activity. It’s mostly through this research that I discovered myself a real fascination for the man. Paul Dupuis was one of a kind, and he was much more than a “simple” movie star.
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With the help of all my readings, I created this mini-biography that I hope you’ll find complete and informative.
Who Was Paul Dupuis?
 Birthday and college years
Paul Dupuis was born in Montreal on August 11, 1916. He was the son of Carmel Girouard and Pierre-Louis Dupuis, a juvenile court judge. From 1933 to 1934 he did classical studies at Collège de l’Assomption. Paul Dupuis’ love for acting started when he attended Collège St. Laurent and was part of the amateur theatre group “Les Compagnons de St. Laurent” (or simply “Les Compagnons”) create by Father Legault, to whom he owned his love for the theatre. In an article from La Voix de Shawinigan, Gabriel Langlais describes Paul Dupuis as “father Legault’s spiritual son”. Later, after Paul became an established movie and stage actor, he eventually became the assistant director, actor, professor, and director at Les Compagnons, at the request of Father Legault. His passage at Les Compagnons is well remembered for his successful performance in Shakespeare’s Henry IV as the leading role, in 1951.
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Father Émile Legault
The journalist
It’s important to know that, despite his talent for acting, it was a bit by accident that he became an actor. Yes, he spent glorious times performing with Les Compagnons, but Paul first worked (briefly) as a newspaper cartoonist. He also worked as an announcer and director at Radio-Canada and joined CBC in 1937 and was sent, not long after, in London, as a War Correspondent. Meanwhile, he married Jacqueline-Thérèse Godin (daughter of Joseph-Eugène Godin et Hortense Mongenais) at St. Léon de Westmount church in 1939. They had two children, Pierre-Louis and Marie. In 1945, Paul, who then was a journalist, not an actor yet, made an important war reportage entitled Mort du Soldat Bourdage au Front in which he talked about the death of Private Bourdage and made a glorious portrait of him. However, the soldier was not really dead! His trace was lost after an explosion and he was declared dead, but a bit too early. Fortunately, this allowed Bourdages to see Dupuis’s wonderful tribute to him.
The raise of an actor
 Paul Dupuis’s first on-screen role (or should I say “appearance) was in Yellow Canary, a 1943’s British spy movie. He, however, was uncredited. Paul Dupuis first important role was in 1945’s Johnny Frenchman, a film about a Breton Fisherman directed by Charles Frend and also starring Patricia Roc, Paul Walls and Françoise Rosay. It’s a screen-test arranged by his friend Gerry Wilmott (who also worked at Radio-Canada) who led him to obtain an important role in the film. Paul then became a revelation, both in Europe and in his native country, Canada, where the film was first screened at Imperial Theatre in Montreal during Spring 1946. Johnny Frenchman was praised for its quality. An article from Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin said about it that it had “a realism impossible to duplicate in Hollywood-made product.” The same journalist wrote that he and his co-star Patricia Roc were “natural and appealing as the British-French romantic pair.” Journalist Marc Thibeault also described him as a future big star of British Cinema in his article “Johnny Frenchman”, avec Paul Dupuis, une agréable surprise. Due to his success in the film, Paul Dupuis signed a long time contract with J. Arthur Rank in the 40’s.
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Whit Patricia Roc in Johnny Frenchman
From 1945 to 1951, he starred in about 15 films in England, including The White Unicorn, Passport to Pimlico, Madness of the Heart, The Reluctant Widow and Sleeping Car to Trieste.  For many of these roles, only goods were said about Paul Dupuis:

For their performance in the comedy-thriller Sleeping Car to Trieste, Paul Dupuis and his co-stars Derrick de Marney and Jean Kent were said to be “prominent in the action” in a Showmen’s Trade Review article of April 1949. Another article from the same magazine qualified his performance in Passport to Pimlico (June 1949) of “convincing”. Moreover, a July 1949’s article praised Paul Dupuis’ performance in Madness of the Heart (his second film alongside Margaret Lockwood, the first one being The White Unicorn) and said about it:”Paul Dupuis proves his ability with a sincere, clear-cut characterization as the French husband.” The film has its faults, but, like many Margaret Lockwood’s films from the 40’s, it was a commercial success. There is no doubt on the convincing performances of the actors: Paul the French gentleman, Margaret Lockwood, his blind wife, and Kathleen Byron as the mean and jealous woman. The film was directed by Charles Bennett, most well-remembered for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock as a screenwriter (BlackmailThe Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 StepsSabotageSecret AgentYoung & InnocentForeign Correspondent and Saboteur). 

 

Paul’s career in Europe was not only spent in England but also in France where he starred in  L’Inconnue de Montréal, Les Pépés font la loi, Passion de femmes, etc.

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Despite his success in Europe in the 40’s and 50’s, and his international reputation, Paul’s heart really belonged to Canada, and I believe the importance of his career, his unique persona was really created in his native country.  In a June 1951’s article for Photo Journal, Paul Dupuis was quoted saying ” Il faut quitter le Canada pour l’apprécier. Je n’ai jamais été un immigré. Les années passées loin de mon pays on été pour moi des années d’exil, malgré le succès qu’on s’est plu à me reconnaître en Europe.” ( You have to quit Canada to appreciate it. I never was an immigrant. The years spent far from my country were, for me years, an exile, despite the success I had in Europe.). This was his answer to the question ” Why are you coming back?” (to Canada). Interestingly enough, after the shooting of Madness of the Heart, Paul had a desire to go back to Canada with a Norwegian Cargo (as the road was more adventurous), but he had to cancel as the boat reservations were already all booked and he was requested to star in the film The Romantic Age (Edmond T. Gréville, 1949)

Paul’s first film made in Quebec was La Forteresse, a 1946’s film directed by Fédor Ozep in which he plays the role of an author-compositor suspected of murder. His co-stars were Nicole Germain, Jacques Auger et Henri Letondal. The exteriors of the film were shot in Quebec City and Montmorency Falls. That’s the second Paul Dupuis’ film I saw and he didn’t fail to impress me.

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On the set of La Forteresse with director Fédor Ozep

In Canada, Paul was also seen in Étienne Brûlé, Gibier de Potence, Ti-Coq, or Les Belles Histoires des Pays d’en Haut on television. Actually, if you mentioned Paul Dupuis to a Quebecois, it’s more likely Ti Coq and Les Belles Histoires that will ring a bell. These are the productions he is most well-remembered for here. He grabbed the attention of writer Claude-Henri Grignon, author of Un homme et son péché and that’s how he obtained the role of Arthur Buies in the radio version of the novel as well as the television adaptation (entitled Les Belles Histoires des Pays d’en Haut). I have to be honest, I never saw Paul in Les Belles histories, but I’ve heard only goods about it. Paul Dupuis himself liked the character and found him to be quite appealing. As for Ti-Coq, this cinematographic adaptation of Gratien Gélinas’ play (also director by Gélinas and also starring Gélinas in the leading role), his role is small, but appreciable and convincing. What I like about it is that he inspires wisdom.

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In Ti-Coq

 

The theatre man

” Actually, I would like to appear in the theatre, but I would have to be sure that the play and the part are just right for me, otherwise I think such an experiment would do me harm than good.” (Paul Dupuis, interviewed by Anthony Firth for Picturegoer, 1949)

 

We all remember that Paul’s interest in acting started while he was an actor for Les Compagnons de St-Laurent. His onstage career, however, didn’t stop there. While he was in England, he played in West-End London’s theatres, but, once again, his artistic heart truly belonged to Canada. There, we saw him on stage in Ten Little Indians in 1953 (presented by the Canadian Players), Henri IV (as I mentioned earlier), or again in Claudel-Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher  in the role of Brother Dominic. The play was staged by Jan Doat ( stage director at l’opéra de Paris) and bandmaster Wilfrid Pelletier. The premiere took place at the Palais du Commerce in July 1952 and opened the Festival 1953. Paul was chosen by la Société des Festivals de Montréal to star in the play, alongside Claude Nollier.

Radio and television
In the 60’s, Paul Dupuis forged an important radio and television career in Canada, putting his cinematic career a bit aside. On the television, he was the animator of Voix de Femmes, a feminine magazine where Mme Françoise Gaudet-Smet was revealing to women the secrets to be a good housekeeper and where Thérèse Casgrain was defending women’s legal rights. He was also seen on the cinematographic television show: Billet de faveur. He often made important reportages for Radio-Canada, both on radio and television. I remember my uncle mentioning a coffee commercial with Paul Dupuis. I tried to find more information about it, but without success.
Apart from being recognized for his acting talent, his charm and his beauty, it seems that Paul Dupuis also had a magical speaking voice, which could surely assure him a successful radio career. Journalist Fernand Côté, said of Paul Dupuis that he was excellent to read texts and to give them all their “flavour and texture” and that he had a “convincing voice tone”. His voice was also said to be “amused, malicious and tragic”. On the radio, Paul Dupuis played the role of Julien Bédard in Jeunesse Doré, was the narrator of Une demie heure aver… directed by Madeleine Gérôme, reader for the special program of l’Organisation des mesures d’urgence, narrator for the show about the arctic Au Pays du Long Sommeil by André Morin (although I’m not sure if this was a television or a radio show…), animator for Billet de Faveur, etc.
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Mysterious Death
Despite his success on the radio and television in the 60’s, Paul Dupuis mysteriously put an end to his career in 1970. In 1976, he was found dead at the Nymark hotel in St-Sauveur, where he lived. He was only 60. He was buried at the Côte-des-Neiges Cemetery. Now, I’m a bit confused by the subject since, an article from The Montreal Gazette says that he died of natural causes, while Claude Jasmin, writer and once Paul Dupuis’s neighbour, implicitly mentions a suicide in his blogging article ” Mort à St-Sauveur”. The writer mentions Paul’s difficult personality (which led him on the “blacklist”), alcohol problems,  and his career downfall (which could indeed eventually lead to a suicide). Is it all true? Just like the man, I think this will remain a mystery and for the moment the sources on the subject are a bit limited. However, Paul Dupuis was much more than that, and he will always be remembered for the goods he brought to journalism, cinema, radio and television.
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The village of Saint-Sauveur in Quebec where Paul Dupuis lived.
The personality 
Yes, because Paul Dupuis was much more than a simple actor, he was a real personality, one of a kind. Interestingly enough, when he was criticized about his look, his answer on the subject was a bit similar to Ingrid Bergman’s one: while being interviewed by Anthony Firth for Picturegoer in 1949, he said to the journalist “At the beginning of my career, I have been told that my nose is not right to which I only answer: so what? I do not consider myself a glamour boy of the screen, and if my nose can stop me from becoming a good actor then I might as well look for another profession.” Well, take me like I am or don’t take me at all! That’s the spirit. Paul loved his acting profession and it was much more about talent than physical look for him. However, don’t get me wrong, he was often known as “the handsome Paul Dupuis”.
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Paul had a unique personality. Known as a very private man, he inspired both fear and respect, was a man of fine tastes, an independent, he was very polite, etc. Paul didn’t like to talk about himself, but he loved talking about his passions and interests. He appreciated music and his tastes were various: while he enjoyed Gregorian chants or Mozart, he also found a real revelation in blues and rock and roll, especially with Elvis Presley’s music. Paul also loved to read, especially authors of the 18e century. He loved nature, car rides (for him, to drive from St-Sauveur to Montreal and vice versa every day was not a problem), animals (especially horses and dogs), etc. His other hobbies were squash, singing, but what he liked to most was painting, as it is written in  Anthony Firth’s articlePaul also was an eccentric of his own kind. For example, as it is revealed by Fernand Côté, if he has to go to the Place des Arts (an important concert hall in Montreal) after a day of horse riding, he would go wearing horse riding’s outfit! Fernando Côté also said of Paul Dupuis that, despite some of his life challenges, he chose meditation and reflection instead of wickedness and aggressively. Paul was a wise and thoughtful man.
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As you can see, it is quite surprising that Paul Dupuis is a bit forgotten today, despite his success while he was alive. If I’ve seen only three of his films: Madness of the Heart, La Forteresse, and Ti-Coq, it’s really by reading all these articles about him that I became a fan. I mean, he was such a brilliant man!
I recently bought this autograph on eBay!
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And also this old magazine with Paul on the front page.
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I hope I succeed to give you an accurate life portrait of this magnificent French-Canadian man. It required a lot of research, which I had, fortunately, mostly done before I even
consider writing this article. If you wish to watch his films, why don’t you do like me and start with Madness of the Heart? 😉
I also invite you to check some of these Radio-Canada’s appearances and reportages from Paul Dupuis. It’s in French, but I think it’s worthy just to hear his voice. 🙂
This article was written for the O Canada Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy. Big thanks to Ruth and Kristina for hosting it!
Click on the following links to read the entries:
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See you! 🙂

Sources:

1- “Actor Paul Dupuis Dead.” The Montreal Gazette Jan 26, 1976: 41. Google News Archives. Web. 5  Feb, 2017.
2-Côté, Ferdand. ” Notre reporter a passé une demie-heure avec Paul Dupuis.” La Semaine à Radio-Canada Aug 7, 1965: 8. BANQ Numérique. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
3- Côté, Fernand. ” Paul Dupuis aime avant tout, son métier, la nature et les bêtes.” La Semaine à Radio-Canada March 31, 1962: 5. BANQ Numérique. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
4- Didier René. ” Les anciens et les anciennes du collège de l’Assomption – Les membres du 98e cours.” 2007, http://classomption.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/LES_ANCIENS098_version1.pdf
5- Firth, Anthony. “Paul Dupuis.” Picturegoer (Archive: 1932-1960), vol. 18, no. 757, Nov 05 1949, pp. 14. Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive. Proquest. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
6- Jasmin, Claude. “Mort à Saint-Sauveur! [Paul Dupuis].” Claude Jasmin, Écrivain- Poing Comme Net Dec 7, 2005. http://www.claudejasmin.com/wordpress/?p=221. 5 Feb, 2017.
7- “La mort mystérieuse du soldat Bourdages.” Radio-Canada Archives – À Rebours. http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/a_rebours/2012-2013/archives.asp?date=2013-05-17. 5 Feb, 2017
8- Leyendecker. “Johnny Frenchman British Import Appeal Limited.” Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin, 1946. Internet Archive. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
9- Langlais, Gabriel. “Paul Dupuis.” La Voix de Shawinigan Jul 20, 1960. Google News Archives. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
10- “L’élégance de Paul Dupuis.” Photo Journal March 20, 1952: 20. Google News Archives. Web. 5 Feb, 2016.
11- “Madness of the Heart.” Showmen’s Trade Review Jul 30, 1949: 20. Internet Archive. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
12- Maillet, André. “Paul Dupuis révèle de précieux secrets.” Photo Journal Jun 21, 1951. Google News Archives. Web. 5 Feb, 2016.
13- “Passport to Pilmicot.” Showmen’s Trade Review Jun 11, 1949: 30. Internet Archive. Web. 5  Feb, 2017.
14- “Paul Dupuis Arrives.” The Montreal Gazette Sept 28, 1946: 11. Google News Archives. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
15- “Paul Dupuis à Voix de Femmes.” L’Action Populaire- L’Horizon Jun 7, 1967: 11. Google News Archives. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
16- “Paul Dupuis dans le rôle titre du Frère Dominique dans Jeanne d’Arc, le 30.” Le Canada July 27, 1953. Google News Archives. Web.
17- “Paul Dupuis jeune artiste de talent.” La Patrie May 27, 1947: 17. Google News Archives. Web. Feb 5, 2017.
18- “Quebec Actor Paul Dupuis is found Dead in Hotel.” Boxoffice (Archive: 1920-2000), vol. 108, no. 20, Feb 23 1976 Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive. Proquest. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
19- Thibault, Marc. ” Johnny Frenchman avec Paul Dupuis, une agréable surprise.” Le Canada May 13, 1946. Google News Archives. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
20- “Une demie heure avec…” La Semaine à Radio-Canada Aug 19, 1961: 7. BANQ Numérique. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.
21- “What the Critics Say about Johnny Frenchman.” Ottawa Citizen Feb 8, 1947: 10. Google News Archives. Web. 5 Feb, 2017.

Cinematic Experience: A Day in Glenn Ford’s Hometown

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Kristina from Speakeasy and Ruth from Silver Screening are actually hosting, from Feb 1st to Feb 5, 2016, the O Canada Blogathon. Of course, as being a Canadian myself (from Montreal, Quebec), I couldn’t say no to that! All participants are writing about Canadian movies, movies that take place in Canada, actors born in Canada, etc. On my side, I’ve decided to do something different from what I normally do on this blog (movie reviews, actor’s tribute…) and will tell you about my visit to Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne, a small village where Glenn Ford spend the eight first years of his life.

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Glenn Ford, technically, was born in an Jeffrey Hale Hospital in Quebec City, but his family lived in Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne. His father, Rowland Ford, was the director of a railway company and the first mayor of the city.  When I discovered Glenn had spent his early childhood in this village in the region of Portneuf, I had to go. Because it’s not very far from the village where my country house is (Saint-Stanislas de Champlain). So, I talked about it to my parent and, about one year ago, on December 31st, 2015, we decided to pay a visit to this place.

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Translation: Ste-Christine d’Auvergne believes in joy!
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Saint-Stanislas is between Shawinigan and Saint-Tite, just to give you an idea

I have to say, I’ve only seen one Glenn Ford’s film (Gilda), so I’m not too familiar with his acting, but I’ve read a very interesting article about him in the Photoplay Magazine. Anyway, visiting a classical actor’s hometown, whatever if you know him or not, is always thrilling.

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I remember, it was a very cold day. After 40 minutes or so, our car arrives in the village. We continue to ride, look at the houses, trying to guess which one could be Glenn Ford’s one. It doesn’t take us long to arrive at the end of the village. Pretty, but, I swear, Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne is the smallest village I’ve ever seen! Ok, maybe not as small as Soda City (Saboteur, Hitchcock), but still. Of course, Glenn Ford had lived there at the end of the 10s-beginning of the 20s, so the people who knew them are probably rare in this village. And his name is not written on a door.

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Me in the village

As there is no library or office where we can have information, we decide to go to the presbytery (or maybe was it a house next to it?). A very nice lady answers. My parents, very proud of themselves introduced us by saying “We’re doing an historical research!” and we ask her if she knows by coincidence where Glenn Ford’s house was. She knows the name, calling him “Mr. Ford”, but can’t say where was his house. We then have the idea to ask her where the oldest people in the village lives. Luckily, it’s the house just across the street. But no chance, there’s no one there! We’re almost ready to go back in the car an return to our place, but we see a man and decide to ask him some information. We then learn that there are other houses in the village, a little further, next to the Chute-Ford electric Central. That’s it! That’s the place where we have to go! We’re really lucky we met this man.

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The old woman’s house: the green one

So we go, park the car, go out (it’s freeeeeeezing outside!) and we first go to the central. Nothing very interesting to see, but since it was a Ford thing, it grabbed our curiosity!

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Me next to the central (I had sun in my eyes…)
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The central
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The river, next to the electric central

We then decide to ask someone which one of the houses couldn’t have been Glenn Ford’s one (there aren’t many. About four). In an area, there are some new modern cottages. A man is outside. Unfortunately, he can’t tell because he doesn’t know the village very well. He’s not from the place, you know.

 Finally, we actually decide to ask someone who was living in one of those big old houses next to the central. An old man and his wife answer us and invite us to come inside (people are so friendly in those small villages!) We explain them what we were looking for. They show us a pamphlet about the city with a picture of Glenn Ford in it. We talk a little, they are very nice. They can’t say which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but it certainly was one of them, that’s a 100 % sure.

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An hypothesis says that this could have been the house. Of course, it originally didn’t look like this!

Conclusion to this story: We never knew exactly which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but we certainly saw it, that’s for sure. And it was a magnificent journey! And what a great activity for New Year’s Eve! 😀

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Me in the village, again… A cold but sunny day: look at the blue sky!

Now I have to see more Glenn Ford’s movies…

A big thanks to Kristina and Ruth for hosting this blogathon! Here are the links to the other entries:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

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