Two time Academy Award-nominee film director and screenwriter Édouard Molinaro (1928-2013), the man behind the internationally acclaimed French-language film classic “La cage aux folles” (1978), remade in the U.S. by Mike Nichols as “The Birdcage” (1996) with Robin Williams and Gene Hackman, was one of France’s leading film directors, and is probably best remembered for his skilful comedies, although in his early years – late 1950s, early 1960s – he was considered an excellent filmmaker of highly intelligent crime dramas.
A member of the jury at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, along with his highly distinguished colleague Fred Zinnemann, he was by then already one of France’s most prominent storytellers with films as “Le mur au dos” (1958) starring Jeanne Moreau, and “Un témoin dans la ville” (1961), a crime drama with Lino Ventura. Ultimately, he became one of France’s most reliable and most successful film directors with other renowned film directors such as Claude Sautet and Jean-Paul Rappeneau starting their careers as his assistant directors. On top of that, Mr. Molinaro always worked with the finest French actors and actresses, from Alain Delon, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Michel Serrault to Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac, Annie Girardot and Micheline Presle.
With Mr. Molinaro beginning his own career in films almost simultaneously with the early films of the French New Wave directors, his totally different training ground paved his way and his career in another, equally interesting direction and different approach. Here, in this 2012 interview, Mr. Molinaro talks about the New Wave, about his films and some of his favorite actors such as screen legend Brigitte Bardot and Belgian singer-composer-actor Jacques Brel (1929-1978) who turned out to become his best friend in the film business.
Did the New Wave have an important influence on you as a filmmaker?
I had started a little bit earlier. By the time I made my first feature in 1957 [“Le dos au mur” starring Jeanne Moreau], I had already been making documentaries and shorts for several years, and there I learned all the technicalities of making a movie. So I had a totally different background, our paths were pretty opposite: the directors of the New Wave had been film critics, writers and journalists who made very personal films, what we call ‘le cinéma d’auteur,’ while I considered myself more a technician who eventually made more popular, more commercial films for a broad audience. But I knew all the New Wave directors very well, like François Truffaut, Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol or Jean-Luc Godard whom I had worked with.
Why didn’t you ever make any ‘cinéma d’auteur’ films?
Maybe out of modesty because I didn’t think I was capable of doing them.
But still, you are a very accomplished director; all your films are very stylish, they’re fascinating and interesting to watch, no matter what genre, and even more so when you also write the screenplay. Film is a popular art form, but in your work, quality is what matters the most. It seems to be a priority of yours. Would you agree with that?
Yes. You see, there is a huge gap between ‘le cinéma d’auteur’—which I adore very much, but which sometimes has trouble to reach its target audience—and the commercial films which at times lack the ambition to have the same artistic quality. I think if you try to combine the best of both genres, you get a very interesting film, and that’s always what I have tried to achieve.
You have also made several comedies in your career. From the point of view as a film director, what is the secret of making a good comedy that works very well?
Well, first of all, I didn’t intend to become a director of comedies, especially if you look at the first films I made, crime dramas like “Des femmes disparaissent” , “Un témoin dans la ville”  with Lino Ventura, or “La mort de Belle” , based on Georges Simenon’s novel. It wasn’t until I was approached to do “Arsène Lupin contre Arsène Lupin” , which was more a parody and my most successful film up until then, that I was offered to do more comedies. But I wasn’t meant to be a director of comedies, actually. As I found out, it is a very difficult genre. Other films allow you more personal input; when you’re doing comedies, you’re more like an architect and you work within a tight structure. Personally, I prefer the other films I made in my career, which gave me more personal and creative freedom to do what I wanted to do, especially when they were based on my own screenplays. People often ask me about a number of comedies I have made, such as “Oscar”  or “La cage aux folles”  because they were such huge box office hits, but honestly—and personally—these films are of less importance to me.
Nevertheless, “La cage aux folles” and the sequel two years later were such world-wide successes that people would think these are the only two films you have made, isn’t it?
I know, and that’s why I really didn’t intend to make them. I only made those films because my previous film, “L’Homme pressé” , a drama with Alain Delon, was a moderate success—I guess the audience preferred to see him in police thrillers. It resulted in unwillingly accepting to adapt the screenplay and direct the film version of Jean Poiret’s stage play of “La cage aux folles” , although it really was not a personal choice of mine. That’s how I got involved in it. After I had finished the film, I asked my friends not to see it (laughs). Although it was a world-wide success, even in the United States, where it was a box office hit film.
Your two Academy Award nominations, for the screenplay and directing the film, did they help you in any way in your career?
Yes and no. They enabled me to make a film in the US which wasn’t even released in France, “Just the Way You Are” , a dramatic comedy, which wasn’t too successful, although I liked it. I have never been lucky with films of mine that I really liked [laughs]. I did have other offers from the US, but I was way too attached to my home country to work abroad for a long time.
How do you chose your actors?
Mostly in terms of the characters they have to play. For example, when I was casting “Beaumarchais l’insolent” [1994, nominated for three César Awards], Fabrice Luchini was the most logical and ideal choice to play this nervous and easily agitated character of Beaumarchais. To me, he was the only and the best actor to play the role. Most directors work the same way; after the screenplay is written, they start searching for the right actor, the right face which corresponds with the character. They never do it on their own, the producer is also involved in this process to make sure the actor who gets cast, is bankable enough to get the project going.
[The trailer of “Beaumarchais l’insolent,” 1994, starring Fabrice Luchini]
Do you rehearse a lot with your actors once the casting is done?
I do rehearse, also because I don’t like to do too many takes. I like the spontaneity of the actors, so when they appear on the set and know what is expected from them, they know their lines, they know where to stand and what to do, and the camera is all set, then I’d like to begin without doing too many takes. The first takes are always fresh and more spontaneous.
How do you work with your actors on the set? Are you like a father to them?
Yes, I think you have to protect them like children. I like to listen to what they have to say very patiently, I make time to help them in any way I can, and I like to earn their trust and friendship. To me, that’s the only way to make sure actors have the opportunity to find a way to create their character, without giving them the impression that they are treated like puppets.
There have been times when it took you a couple of years before you made another film. Was that hiatus in your career by choice?
That depends. I’ve had periods in my career when I made two films in one year, which is really too much, you know. But it all depends. In between, I have also worked quite a bit for television.
Yes, since the 1970s. Are there any restrictions working for television compared to making feature films?
My salary is lower [laughs], so you have to make a few sacrifices. But on the other hand, you get to do certain projects that are right for television which cinema won’t consider doing.
You directed Brigitte Bardot in “Une ravissante idiote” . She was at the peak of her popularity then, and so was her leading man, American actor Anthony Perkins. That’s quite an impressive team you were able to assemble for this comedy, isn’t it?
Brigitte Bardot was an incredible icon. I first met her in 1958 when I made my first feature “Le dos au mur”; she was in the same studio on another set shooting “En cas de malheur” with Jean Gabin. There were plans to make a film together at that time, called “Les demi-vierges,” based on the Marcel Prévost novel from 1894, but it didn’t work out. Eventually we made “Une ravissante idiote” a few years later. Jean-Pierre Cassel, who had suggested the project to me, was supposed to be her co-star, but ‘Bardot-Perkins’ looked better on the international poster than ‘Bardot-Cassel,’ so he was replaced by Anthony Perkins—not without a guarantee that Cassel would get another film instead. Thanks to Bardot’s glorious sense of humor, it was a joy to make the film. And since Anthony Perkins was also very fluent in French, that made it very easy for all of us to communicate. Shooting outdoors on location in London was a huge problem though: Bardot was recognized instantly wherever we went and a huge crowd always gathered to see her at work, which made our job—shooting scenes in the streets of London—terribly difficult. But I have very fond memories when I think back about that film and working with both of them.
With all the films that you made so far, do you still have to compromise from time to time?
Always [laughs]. Film is not only an art, it’s also an industry, so you have to make compromises. You got a shooting schedule to respect, work with an actor that you maybe don’t like particularly or don’t get along with… Making a film is like daily life, it’s full of compromises. But at this point, that’s no concern of mine any longer. I am eighty-four years old now, I am retired and it’s all up to younger filmmakers now.
What have you been doing since you retired?
I finished my autobiography a few years ago [“Intérieur Soir”], but I’m still writing, and I also read a lot. I have directed a lot in the past, and also wrote screenplays – always in collaboration with others—but now I am writing a play entirely on my own.
How do you remember your friendship and professional collaboration with Jacques Brel?
That is absolutely and undoubtedly the most beautiful and rewarding souvenir of my entire career. Not only because he was such a creative genius, but also because he was such a wonderful human being. Very warm, very caring, generous, open-minded, always eager to learn. Thanks to him, our first film together was “Mon oncle Benjamin” . The producer didn’t like the idea of the film, but Jacques was very persistent to get the film done and thanks to him we got it made. Four years later, we got together again and made “L’Emmerdeur”. Both pictures are some of our best films and biggest hits. It is always hard work on the set—making films is a serious business—but we also had so much fun.
That’s quite the opposite if you compare your work with Louis de Funès, isn’t it? You made two films with him, “Oscar”  and “Hibernatus” . What was that like?
As you put it, totally the opposite! We weren’t on the same wavelength at all. One day, when we were shooting “Oscar,” he said to me on the set, “You’re not a film director.” He swore he would never work with me again, and neither did I ever want to make another film with him, but because of the success of “Oscar,” we were reunited two years later to make “Hibernatus,” an experience which was just as awful as “Oscar.” To put it in a friendly way, de Funès and I weren’t compatible.
+ Mr. Molinaro passed away in Paris on December 7, 2013, at age eighty-five, about two weeks after another French filmmaker had died, Georges Lautner, at age eighty-seven.
Brussels Film Festival, Brussels (Belgium)
June 12, 2012
[The trailer of “La cage aux folles”]
LE MUR AU DOS, US title BACK TO THE WALL (1958) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD François Chavane, Alain Poiré SCR Frédéric Dard, Jean Redon, Jean-Louis Roncoroni (novel by Frédéric Dard) CAM Robert Lefebvre MUS Richard Cornu ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Jeanne Moreau, Gérard Oury, Philippe Nicau, Claire Maurier, Gérard Buhr, Jean Lefebvre
DES FEMMES DISPARAISSENT, US title THE ROAD TO SHAME (1959) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Georges Roitfeld, Jacques Roitfeld, Jean Mottet, Lucien Masson SCR Gilles Morris-Dumoulin, Albert Simonin (novel by Gilles Morris-Dumoulin) CAM Robert Juillard MUS Art Blakey ED Laurence Méry CAST Robert Hossein, Magali Noël, Estella Blain, Philippe Clay, Jane Marken, Robert Lombard, François Darbon
UN TÉMOIN DANS LA VILLE, US title WITNESS IN THE CITY (1959) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Moris Ergas, Henry Deutschmeister SCR Édouard Molinaro, Gérard Oury, Alain Poiré (novel by Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac) CAM Henri Decaë MUS Barney Wilen ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Lino Ventura, Sandra Milo, Franco Fabrizi, Jacques Berthier, Daniel Ceccaldi, Robert Dalban
UNE FILLE POUR L’ÉTÉ, US title A MISTRESS FOR THE SUMMER (1960) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Jean Bernard-Levy, Louis Bernard-Levy, Yvon Guézel, Georges Lourau SCR Édouard Molinaro, Maurice Clavel (novel by Maurice Clavel) CAM Jean Bourgoin MUS Georges Delerue ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Pascale Petit, Micheline Presle, Michel Auclair, Aimé Clariond, Marina Malfatti, Bernard Lajarrige, Antoine Balpêtré
LA MORT DE BELLE, US title THE PASSION OF SLOW FIRE (1961) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD François Chavane SCR Jean Anouilh (novel by Georges Simenon) CAM Jean-Louis Picavet MUS Georges Delerue ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Jean Desailly, Alexandra Stewart, Monique Mélinand, Yvette Etiévant, Jacques Monod, Marc Cassot, Jacques Pierre
LES ENNEMIS, US title A TOUCH OF TREASON (1962) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Michel Ardan SCR Édouard Molinaro, André Tabet, Georges Tabet, François Nourissier (novel by Fred Noro) CAM Louis Miaille MUS Martial Solal ED Gilbert Natot CAST Roger Hanin, Pascale Audret, Dany Carrel, Claude Brasseur, Jeanne Aubert, Daniel Cauchy, Jean Lefebvre, Claude Chabrol
LES SEPT PÉCHÉS CAPITEAUX, US titles SEVEN CAPITAL SINS and THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS (1962) DIR Philippe de Broca, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Demy, Sylvain Dhomme, Max Douy, Jean-Luc Godard, Édouard Molinaro [segment L’ENVIE], Roger Vadim SCR Daniel Boulanger, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Demy, Jean-Luc Godard, Eugène Ionesco, Félicien Marceau, Claude Mauriac, Roger Vadim CAM Henri Decaë, Louis Miaille, Jean Penzer, Jean Rabier MUS Sacha Distel, Pierre Jansen, Michel Legrand ED Jean Feyte, Jacques Gaillard CAST Jean-Pierre Cassel, Claude Rich, Jean-Claude Brialy, Dany Saval, Claude Brasseur, Jean Murat, Micheline Presle, Laurent Terzieff, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Eddie Constantine, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Claudine Auger, Claude Berri, Claude Chabrol, Paulette Dubost
ARSÈNE LUPIN CONTRE ARSÈNE LUPIN, a.k.a. ARSENE LUPIN VS. ARSENE LUPIN (1962) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD François Chavane SCR Édouard Molinaro, Georges Neveux, François Chavane CAM Pierre Petit MUS Georges Van Parys ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Françoise Dorléac, Geneviève Grad, Jean Le Poulain, Michel Vitold
UNE RAVISSANTE IDIOTE, US title AGENT 38-24-36 (1964) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Brigitte Bardot [uncredited], Michel Ardan SCR François Billetdoux, André Tabet, Georges Tabet (novel by Charles Exbrayat) CAM Andreas Winding MUS Michel Legrand ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Brigitte Bardot, Anthony Perkins, Grégoire Aslan, Denise Provence, André Luguet, Hans Verner, Charles Millot
LA CHASSE À L’HOMME, US title MALE HUNT (1964) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Robert Amon, Claude Jaeger, Georges Lourau SCR France Roche, Albert Simenon, Michel Duran, Michel Audiard CAM Andréas Winding MUS Michel Magne, Georges Zambetas ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy, Françoise Dorléac, Marie Laforêt, Claude Rich, Catherine Deneuve, Marie Dubois, Bernadette Lafont, Bernard Blier, Mireille Darc, Micheline Presle, Michel Serrault
QUAND PASSENT LES FAISANS, a.k.a. WHEN THE PEASANTS PASS (1965) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré SCR Jacques Emmanuel, Albert Simonin, Michael Audiard CAM Raymond Pierre Lemoigne MUS Michel Legrand ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Paul Meurisse, Bernard Blier, Michel Serrault, Jean Lefebvre, Yvonne Clech, Claire Maurier, Daniel Ceccaldi
PEAU D’ESPION, US title TO COMMIT A MURDER (1967) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jacques Robert (novel by Jacques Robert) CAM Raymond Pierre Lemoigne MUS José Berghmans ED Robert Isnardon CAST Louis Jourdan, Senta Berger, Edmond O’Brien, Bernard Blier, Maurice Garrel, Fabrizio Capucci
OSCAR, US title OSCAR (1967) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré, Jean Le Duc SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jean Halain, Louis de Funès (play by Claude Magnier) CAM Raymond Pierre Lemoigne MUS Georges Delerue, Jean Marion ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Louis de Funès, Claude Rich, Mario David, Germaine Delbat, Claude Gensac, Agathe Natanson, Roger Van Hool
HIBERNATUS (1969) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré SCR Jean Bernard-Luc, Jean Halain, Jacques Vilfrid, Louis de Funès (play by Jean Bernard-Luc) CAM Marcel Grignon, Raymond Pierre Lemoigne MUS Georges Delerue ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Louis de Funès, Michael Lonsdale, Claude Gensac, Bernard Alane, Annick Alane, Olivier de Funès, Eliette Demay
MON ONCLE BENJAMIN, US title MY UNCLE BENJAMIN (1969) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré SCR Édouard Molinaro, André Couteaux, Jean-François Hauduroy (novel by Claude Tillier) CAM Alain Levant MUS Jacques Brel, François Rauber ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Jacques Brel, Claude Jade, Bernard Alane, Bernard Blier, Rosy Varte, Paul Frankeur, Alfred Adam
LA LIBERTÉ EN CROUPE (1970) DIR Édouard Molinaro SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jacques Perry, Jean-François Hauduroy (novel by Jacques Perry) CAM Raoul Coutard MUS Philippe Sarde ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Juliette Villard, Bernard Le Coq, Maria Mauban, Jean Rochefort, Michel Serrault, Marion Game, Maurice Garrel
LES AVEUX LES PLUS DOUX, a.k.a. THE MOST GENTLE CONFESSIONS (1971) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christine Gouze-Rénal SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jean-François Hauduroy (novel by Georges Arnaud) CAM Raoul Coutard MUS Georges Delerue ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Philippe Noiret, Roger Hanin, Caroline Cellier, Marc Porel, Hassan Hassani, Gérard Landry
LA MANDARINE, a.k.a. SWEET DECEPTION (1972) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Robert Bradford, Léo L. Fuchs SCR Édouard Molinaro, Christine de Rivoyre (novel by Christine de Rivoyre) CAM Claude Lecomte MUS Claude Bolling ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Annie Girardot, Philippe Noiret, Madeleine Renaud, Murray Head, Marie-Hélène Breillart, Jean-Claude Dauphin, Robert Berri
LE GANG DES OTAGES, a.k.a. THE HOSTAGE GANG (1973) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré, Daniel Cauchy SCR Alphonse Boudard CAM Raoul Coutard MUS Michel Legrand ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Daniel Cauchy, Bulle Ogier, Gilles Ségal, Gérard Darrieu, Michel Favory
L’EMMERDEUR, a.k.a. A PAIN IN THE A** (1973) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Georges Dancigers, Alexandre Mnouchkine SCR Francis Veber (also play) CAM Raoul Coutard MUS Jacques Brel, François Rauber ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Lino Ventura, Jacques Brel, Caroline Cellier, Jean-Pierre Darras, Nino Castelnuovo, Angela Cardile, Xavier Depraz
L’IRONIE DU SORT, a.k.a. THE IRONY OF CHANCE (1974) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christine Gouze-Rénal SCR Édouard Molinaro, Paul Guimard, Pierre Kast CAM Alain Levant MUS José Berghmans ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Brigitte Fossey, Claude Rich, Jean Desailly, Paul Clémenti, Marie-Hélène Breillat, Jacques Spiesser
LE TÉLÉPHONE ROSE, a.k.a. THE PINK TELEPHONE (1975) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré SCR Francis Veber CAM Gérard Hameline MUS Vladimir Cosma ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Mireille Darc, Pierre Mondy, Michael Lonsdale, Françoise Prévost, Daniel Ceccaldi, Gérard Hérold, Édouard Molinaro
DRACULA PÈRE ET FILS, US title DRACULA AND SON (1976) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Poiré SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jean-Marie Poiré, Alain Godard (novel by Claude Klotz) CAM Alain Levent MUS Vladimir Cosma ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Christopher Lee, Bernard Menez, Marie-Hélène Breillat, Catherine Breillat, Mustapha Dali, Bernard Alane, Jean-Claude Dauphin
L’HOMME PRESSÉ, a.k.a. MAN IN A HURRY and THE HURRIED MAN (1977) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Alain Delon, Ralph Baum, Raymond Danon SCR Christopher Frank, Maurice Rheims (novel by Paul Morand) CAM Jean Charvein, Maurice Fellous MUS Carlo Rustichelli ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Alain Delon, Mireille Darc, Monica Guerritore, Marie Déa, Christian Barbier, André Falcon, Stefano Patrizi, Michel Duchaussoy
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, a.k.a. BIRDS OF A FEATHER (1978) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Marcello Danon SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jean Poiret, Marcello Danon, Francis Veber (play by Jean Poiret) CAM Armando Nannuzzi MUS Ennio Morricone ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Michel Serrault, Ugo Tognazzi, Claire Maurier, Rémi Laurent, Carmen Scarpitta, Benny Luke, Luisa Maneri, Michel Galabru
CAUSE TOUJOURS… TU M’INTÉRESSES! (1979) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Albina du Boisrouvay SCR Francis Veber (novel by Peter Marks) CAM Gérard Hameline MUS Vladimir Cosma ED Monique Isnardon CAST Annie Girardot, Jean-Pierre Mareille, Christian Marquand, Brigitte Roüan, Umban U’kest, Pierre Vernier, Michel Blanc
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES II, a.k.a. BIRDS OF A FEATHER 2 (1980) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Marcello Danon SCR Jean Poiret, Francis Veber, Marcello Danon (story and characters created by Jean Poiret) CAM Armando Nannuzzi MUS Ennio Morricone ED Robert Isnardon, Monique Isnardon CAST Michel Serrault, Ugo Tognazzi, Marcel Bozzuffi, Michel Galabru, Paola Borboni, Benny Luke, Giovanni Vettorazzo, Stéphane Audran
POUR CENT BRIQUES T’AS PLUS RIEN, a.k.a. FOR 200 GRAND, YOU GET NOTHING NOW (1982) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Dany Cohen, Yvon Guézel SCR Édouard Molinaro, Didier Kaminka (play by Didier Kaminka) CAM Michael Epp MUS Murray Head ED Marie-Josée Audiard CAST Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Jugnot, Anémone, Jean-Pierre Castaldi, François Perrot, Paul Barge, Annick Blancheteau, Édouard Molinaro
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (1984) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Léo L. Fuchs SCR Allan Burns CAM Claude Lecomte MUS Vladimir Cosma ED Claudio Ventura, Georges Klotz CAST Kristy McNichol, Michael Ontkean, Kaki Hunter, André Dussollier, Catherine Salviat, Robert Carradine, Alexandra Paul, Lance Guest, Tim Daly, Patrick Cassidy, Gérard Jugnot
PALACE (1985) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Wolf C. Hartwig, Jean-Pierre Labrande, Frank Lipstik, Jean Jacques Vuillermin SCR Édouard Molinaro, Alain Godard CAM Michael Epp MUS Michel Legrand ED Marie-Josée Audiard CAST Claude Brasseur, Daniel Autheuil, Gudrun Landgrebe, Joachim Hansen, Reinhard Kolldehoff, Almut Eggert, Leslie Malton
L’AMOUR EN DOUCE, a.k.a. LOVE ON THE QUIET (1985) DIR Édouard Molinaro SCR Jean Sagols, Christian Watton CAM Jean-Paul Schwartz MUS Alain Lemeur CAST Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Emmanuelle Béart, Sophie Barjac, Daniel Ceccaldi, Mathieu Carrière, Roger Dumas, Claude Villers
À GAUCHE EN SORTANT DE L’ASCENSEUR, a.k.a. DOOR ON THE LEFT AS YOU LEAVE THE ELEVATOR (1988) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Claude Berri SCR Gérard Lauzier (also play) CAM Robert Fraisse MUS Murray Head ED Nicole Gauduchon CAST Pierre Richard, Richard Bohringer, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Cottençon, Pierre Vernier, Jean-Michel Dupuis, Martine Maximin
LE SOUPER, a.k.a. THE SUPPER (1992) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Yves Rousset-Rouard SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jean-Claude Brisville, Yves Rousset-Rouard (play by Jean-Claude Brisville) CAM Michael Epp MUS Vladimir Cosma ED Annick Rousset-Rouard CAST Michel Piccoli, Claude Brasseur, Claude Rich, Tocky Holgado, Yann Collette, Stéphane Jobert, Alexandra Vandernoot
BEAUMARCHAIS L’INSOLANT, US title BEAUMARCHAIS THE SCOUNDREL (1996) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Charles Gassot SCR Édouard Molinaro, Jean-Pierre Brisville CAM Michael Epp MUS Jean-Claude Petit ED Véronique Parnet CAST Fabrice Luchini, Manuel Blanc, Sandrine Kiberlain, Michel Aumont, Jean-François Balmer, Jean-Claude Brialy, Patrick Bouchitey, Murray Head, Michel Piccoli, Michel Serrault, Jean Yanne
LE MAL DE MÈRE (2001) DIR Édouard Molinaro SCR Édouard Molinaro, Pierre-Olivier Scotto CAST Michel Aumont, Frédéric Diefenthal, Axelle Laffont, Pierre-François Martin-Laval, Line Renaud
LA PITIÉ DANGEREUSE (1979) DIR Édouard Molinaro SCR Édouard Molinaro, Corinne Gorse (novel by Stefan Zweig) MUS Claude Bolling CAST Mathieu Carrière, Marie-Hélène Breillat, Jean Desailly, Silvia Reize
LA VEUVE ROUGE (1983) DIR Édouard Molinaro SCR Jean Curtelin (book by Armand Lanoux) MUS Vladimir Cosma CAST Françiose Fabian, Michel Beaune, Roger Dumas, Camille de Casabianca, Patrice Alexsandre
UN MÉTIER DU SEIGNEUR (1986) DIR Édouard Molinaro SCR (novel by Pierre Boulle) CAM Alain Levent CAST Pierre Arditi, Evelyne Bouix, Annie Girardot, Alessandro Vantini, Christopher Lee, Jay Benedict
LA RUELLE AU CLAIR DE LA LUNE (1988) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christine Gouze-Rénal SCR Édouard Molinaro, Christine Miller (novel by Stefan Zweig) CAM Michael Epp MUS Georges Garvarentz CAST Michel Piccoli, Niels Arestrup, Marthe Keller, Renée Faure, Paul Bisciglia, Jean-Pierre Castaldi
MANON ROLAND (1989) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christine Gouze-Rénal SCR Édouard Molinaro, Christine Miller CAM Michael Epp MUS Georges Garvarentz ED Nicole Gauduchon CAST Sabine Haudepin, Jacques Perrin, Christine Citti, Niels Arestrup, Francis Lax, Pierre Clémenti, François Marthouret
L’AMOUR MAUDIT DE LEISENBOHG (1991) DIR Édouard Molinaro SCR Édouard Molinaro, Pascale Bonitzer (novel by Arthur Schnitzler) CAM Michael Epp MUS Georges Garvarentz CAST Michel Piccoli, Anouk Aimée, Christine Citti, Cristina Marsillach, Friedrich von Thun
LA FEMME ABANDONÉE (1992) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christine Gouze-Rénal SCR Édouard Molinaro, Madeleine Chapsal (novel by Honoré de Balzac) CAM Michael Epp MUS Vladimir Cosma ED Annick Rousset-Rouard CAST Charlotte Rampling, Christopher Thompson, Vanessa Wagner, Yann Collette, Philippe Laudenbach, Niels Arestrup
CE QUI SAVAIT MAISIE (1995) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christine Gouze-Rénal SCR Édouard Molinaro (novel by Henry James) CAM Michael Epp MUS Claude Bolling ED Annick Rousset-Rouard CAST Evelyne Bouix, Stéphane Freiss, Catherine Samie, Matthias Habich, Sophie Duez
NORA (1999) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christine Gouze-Rénal SCR Édouard Molinaro, Nicolas Bréhal (novel by Henry James) CAM Michael Epp MUS David Marouani ED Babeth Si Ramdane CAST Jean-Michel Dupuis, Leslie Malton, Julia Maraval, Jacques Perrin, Andreas Elsholz, Béatrice Agenin
TOMBÉ DU NID (1999) DIR Édouard Molinaro CAM Michael Van Laer ED Benoît Delval CAST Aurélien Wiik, Virginie Lemoine, Bruno Solo, Julie Legein, Marie Legein, Laurence Piraux
NANA (2001) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Christian Charret, Jacques Salles SCR Édouard Molinaro, Catherine Rihoit, Olga Vincent (novel by Émile Zola) CAM Charles Van Damme MUS Julien Schultheis ED Benoît Delval CAST Lou Doillon, Bernard Le Coq, Assumpta Serna, Ticky Holgado, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jocelyn Quivrin, Linda Bouhenni, Cécile de France, Anne De Roover
UN HOMME PAR HASARD (2003) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Arnauld de Battice SCR Jacqueline Cauët, Mireille Lanteri CAM Charles Van Damme MUS Anne-Olga De Pass ED Marie-Blanche Colonna CAST Philippe Drecq, Frédéric Diefenthal, Claire Keim, Serge Larivière, Elisa Maillot, Pierre Dherte
UNE FAMILLE PAS COMME LES AUTRES (2005) DIR Édouard Molinaro PROD Michel Boucau SCR Catherine Ramberg (novel by Janine Boissard) CAM Virginie Saint-Martin MUS Benjamin Brion, Louis Gasté, Benjamin Molinaro, Patrice Peyrieras ED Linda Naud CAST Line Renaud, Guy Bedos, Jeffrey Barbeau, Jacqueline Bir, Jauris Casanova, Yannick Soulier