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Jacqueline Audry
Born September 25, 1908
Orange, Vaucluse, France
Died June 22, 1977 (aged 68)
Poissy, Yvelines, France
Occupation Film director
Years active 1946–1973

Jacqueline Audry (September 25, 1908 – June 22, 1977) was a French film director who started making films in post-World War II France and specialised in literary adaptations.[1] She was the first commercially successful woman director of post-war France.[2]



Audry was born in Orange, Vaucluse, France.[3] There were few opportunities for female directors under Nazi occupation.[4] Audry worked as an assistant to directors Jean Delannoy, G. W. Pabst and Max Ophuls and in 1943, directed a short film of her own, Le Feu de paille, with the help of the Centre Artistique et Technique des Jeunes du Cinéma (now La Femis).[4][5] The end of World War II and the liberation of France provided increased opportunities for women, but they still faced prejudice in the film industry.[4]

Audry's first feature film was Les Malheurs de Sophie in 1946. This was based on the popular novel of the same name by the Comtesse de Ségur.[4] No copies of this film, which was censored for its "politically inappropriate" riot scenes, exist.[4] Unable to raise funds for her next film, she had to wait three years before making Sombre dimanche.[4] In the 1940s and 1950s, she directed three films based on Colette novels; Gigi, Minne and Mitsou, all three with actress Danièle Delorme. Mitsou, which featured sex outside of marriage, was heavily censored.[5] In 1951, Audry directed Olivia, based on Dorothy Bussy's 1950 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name.[4] Set in an all-girls boarding school, Olivia depicts a lesbian love story between a schoolgirl and her headmistress.[6] At the time, the film was very controversial and was censored in the United States and the United Kingdom.[6] Edwige Feuillère was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Foreign Actress for her part as Mlle. Julie, the headmistress.[7] The film has been called a "landmark of lesbian representation".[8] She frequently collaborated with her sister, the novelist and screenwriter Colette Audry.[9]

Audry's film style was traditional and at odds with the French New Wave.[5] Her films had a feminist slant however.[5] Many of them had central female characters and they often gave a radical view of gender roles and female sexuality.[2][5][10] Audry died at Poissy, Yvelines, France, in a road accident.[9]


  • 1946: Les Malheurs de Sophie
  • 1948: Sombre dimanche (also known as Gloomy Sunday)
  • 1949: Gigi
  • 1950: Minne
  • 1951: Olivia (also known as The Pit of Loneliness)
  • 1954: No Exit
  • 1956: Mitsou
  • 1967: Bitter Fruit


  1. ^ Austin, Guy (1996). Contemporary French Cinema: An Introduction. Manchester University Press. pp. 81. ISBN 0719046114.  
  2. ^ a b Tarr, Carrie (2001). Cinema and the Second Sex: Women's Filmmaking in France in the 1980s and. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 251. ISBN 0826447422.  
  3. ^ "Jacqueline Audry" (in French). Retrieved 2008-03-31.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Kedward, Harry Roderick; Nancy Wood (1995). The Liberation of France: Image and Event. Berg Publishers. pp. 105. ISBN 1859730876.  
  5. ^ a b c d e Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey (1995). Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 27. ISBN 0313289727.  
  6. ^ a b Darren, Alison (2000). Lesbian Film Guide. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 156. ISBN 030433376X.  
  7. ^ "Film Nominations 1952". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 2008-04-06.  
  8. ^ Mayne, Judith (2000). Framed: Lesbians, Feminists, and Media Culture. University of Minnesota Press. pp. xix. ISBN 0816634564.  
  9. ^ a b Pallister, Janis L.; Ruth A. Hottell (2005). Francophone Women Film Directors: A Guide. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. pp. 76. ISBN 083864046X.  
  10. ^ Leahy, Sarah (2007). Casque d'or. I.B.Tauris. pp. 30. ISBN 1845113683.  

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