Brilliant Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Posters and Stills from Jules Et Jim

"There is joy in Jules et Jim that feels fresh today and felt audacious at the time."

Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre and Oskar Werner by Raymond Cauchetier in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jules et Jim filmed in 1962 was François Truffaut’s third film (after The 400 Blows in 1959 and Shoot the Piano in 1960) and was based on Henri-Pierre Roché’s semi-autobiographical novel published when the author was already seventy-four. Truffaut had come across the book in the mid-1950s while he was browsing through second hand books in a shop by the Seine in Paris. The original Catherine, featured in Roché’s novel, was still alive when the movie was released and even attended the premiere incognito. Which is more than Truffaut managed, incognito or otherwise, he was so nervous on the big night he went and watched a Marx Brothers film instead. The esteemed director Jean Renoir, however, was a fan of the film and wrote a letter to Truffaut expressing his pleasure. Truffaut carried the letter around with him for years afterwards.

Truffaut’s movie was released amongst the classic films by Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Resnais and Malle that became to be known as the French New Wave. The late film critic Roger Ebert later wrote about the film saying that it was:

perhaps the most influential and arguably the best of those first astonishing films that broke with the past. There is joy in the filmmaking that feels fresh today and felt audacious at the time.

A lot of the glorious feel of the film can be attributed to the Director of Photography Raoul Coutard, who had also filmed ‘Breathless’ for Jean-Luc Godard two years previously, who used, for the time, extremely lightweight cameras even mounting them on bicycles occasionally.

Germaine Greer writing for the Guardian  in 2008 reflected how much Jules et Jim (described by Jeanne Moreau, one of the stars of the film as “the dreamed image of an amorous life”) was a reminder of how much had changed since it was released forty-six years before. How much of that change has been for the good she asked:

We no longer expect lovers of the same sex to live in denial, or to interact through the medium of a person of the other sex, nor do we expect women to achieve their own ends by manipulating the agency of men. I hope I am not wrong in thinking that most people seeing Jules et Jim for the first time will find the ending to be not an act of poetic justice, but the final atrocious extravagance of an indulged and destructive narcissist. The question is not, after all, whether a woman can love two men at once, because obviously she can. But for true love to flourish, as Jules and Jim could both tell you, the parties must be free and equal.

Jules et Jim François Truffaut

François Truffaut photographed by Raymond Cauchetier lighting a cigarette for a young extra on the set of Jules et Jim (1962)

Suzanne Schiffman, Henri Serve and Jeanne Moreau on the set of Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Raymond Cauchetier photo of Francois Truffaut, Jules et Jim, 1961

Poster of Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962 d

Jules et Jim Truffaut

Jules et Jim novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. Friend to Picasso and Gertrude Stein, and buyer for the American art collector John Quinn – Roché waited until his 70s to publish his teasingly semi-autobiographical debut novel, which became one of the 20th century’s most famous depictions of a ménage-a-trois.

Poster of Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962 c

Poster of Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962 b

Poster of Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Oskar Werner and Jeanne Moreau in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Oskar Werner and Henri Serre by Raymond Cauchetier in Jules et Jim, directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Oskar Werner , Henri Serre and Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

On the set of Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut by Raymond Cauchetier, 1962

Marie Dubois in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre and Oskar Werner by Raymond Cauchetier in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau, Serge Rezvani, Henri Serre and Oskar Werner in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner Jules et Jim 1961 – photo Raymond Cauchetier

Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre and Oskar Werner in Jules et Jim, directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of Jules et Jim, 1962

Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau and Henri Serre in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau and Henri Serre in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Jeanne Moreau – François Truffaut On the set of Jules et Jim Photo by Raymond Cauchetier

Henri Serre, Oskar Werner and Jeanne Moreau in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Henri Serre, Oskar Werner and Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Henri Serre, Jeanne Moreau and Oskar Werner in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Henri Serre, Jeanne Moreau and Oskar Werner in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Henri Serre, Jeanne Moreau and Oskar Werner by Raymond Cauchetier in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962

Henri Serre in Jules et Jim, directed by François Truffaut, 1962

François Truffaut by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of Jules et Jim, 1962

François Truffaut and Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of «Jules et Jim, 1962

François Truffaut and Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of «Jules et Jim, 1962

François Truffaut and Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of «Jules et Jim, 1962

François Truffaut and Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of «Jules et Jim, 1962

François Truffaut and Jeanne Moreau by Raymond Cauchetier on the set of Jules et Jim, 1962

Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre and Oskar Werner by Raymond Cauchetier in Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, 1962