Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be airing three consecutive Jean Seberg films July 29 & 30, 2015. These early films are interesting because they were made in the immediate years after Seberg's debut
in "Saint Joan" and show her progression as an actress. Plus they are entertaining in their own way!
Jean Seberg and David Niven in "Bonjour Tristesse".
"Bonjour Tristesse" July 29 11:00 PM (CST) is the second film Seberg made with Otto Preminger. The drama was based on the French bestselling novel (in fact, Seberg and several of her contemporaries read the book while in high school). While the film was met with mixed reviews when first released, it is now considered a classic by many film critics. Co-starring David Niven, Deborah Kerr, and Seberg's friend Mylene Demongeot (who can be seen in our documentary "Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg").
Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, "Breathless".
"Breathless" July 30 1:00 AM (CST) is the groundbreaking film that was an instant classic when first released 55 years ago as it is today. It ushered in the French New Wave style of filmmaking and made stars of Jean-Paul Belmondo and director Jean-Luc Godard. Seberg, who was living in France with her then-husband Francois Moreuil (also featured in "Movie Star") was convinced by him to be in "Breathless". The financial backers also wanted a name to be in the film to help generate ticket sales and Seberg filled the ticket. It's also the first film in which audiences saw a natural Seberg: Godard allowed her much freedom in the interpretation of the character she played. And her instincts come through for
the first time on film.
Peter Sellers and Jean Seberg in "The Mouse That Roared".
"The Mouse That Roared" July 30 2:45 AM (CST) was really Seberg's third film and her first after Otto Preminger sold her contract to Columbia Pictures which had distributed "Bonjour Tristesse". Directed by Jack Arnold, this comedy was an instant box office hit fueled by favorable reviews and the discovery (to many non-UK audiences) of Peter Sellers who plays three roles in the film. According to Arnold, it made more than $80 million in all markets by the mid-1980s. Seberg comes across fine in the film but was trying to unlearn the Preminger method of filmmaking. Both Arnold and Sellers were kind
and felt a closeness to her in the years that followed.