‘Madame La France’
Deneuve as heritage icon
in From perversion to purity
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For all the risks that the young Catherine Deneuve took with her star image, her roles from the early 1980s constructed a new kind of maturity and coherence that chimed with both her age and her screen longevity. François Truffaut's Occupation drama, Le Dernier Metro launches this period in Deneuve's career. The principal heritage roles taken by Deneuve in a twelve-year period were as Marion Steiner with Depardieu in Truffaut's occupation drama Le Dernier Métro, and as the colonial landowner Eliane Devries, the lead part in Régis Wargnier's ambitious saga of Asian decolonisation Indochine. The chapter shows that the reading of Deneuve as national heroine that these films promote is inseparable from the actress's extra-cinematic public image in France. Deneuve was identified as the new face of Marianne in 1985, and was a popular choice for both politicians and the public.

From perversion to purity

The stardom of Catherine Deneuve

Editors: Lisa Downing and Sue Harris

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