Yves Allegret; French Film Noir Director

Yves Allegret, a French film director who became well known in the 1940s for a series of dark, somber pictures that typified the film noir genre, has died in Paris, Daily Variety reported this week.

Allegret, credited with launching the career of actress Simone Signoret, who became his wife, was 79 and died Jan. 21 of unreported causes.

Allegret started in pictures as an assistant to Jean Renoir and his late brother, Marc Allegret, and directed his first full-length picture in 1940. His first film to be seen outside France was the documentary “The Girls of France,” shown at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

With screenwriter Jacques Sigurd he made three grim dramas in the late 1940s, “Dedee d’Anvers” (“Dedee”), “Une Si Jolie Petite Plage” (“Riptide”), and “Maneges” (“The Cheat”).


Signoret became an international star after her appearance in “Dedee,” in which she portrayed a Belgian prostitute. In 1953 his “Les Orgueilleux” (“The Proud and the Beautiful”), based on a story by Jean-Paul Sartre, won a Bronze Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.

In more recent years, Allegret’s films had come under criticism for being too commercial--made solely for their value as star vehicles.