This adaptation of Georges Simenon signed Patrice Leconte in 1989 is in the spotlight this evening of Place au cinema, presented by Dominique Besnehard on France 5
The third adaptation of Engagement of Mr. Hire
Mr Hire depicts a lonely, disturbing man, apparently guilty of the assassination of a young woman in his neighborhood. And who, while the investigation progresses, spends his time observing his neighbor with whom he falls in love and whom he will try to conquer while she loves another and a policeman watches for his slightest misdeeds. This Monsieur Hire was born in 1933 under the pen of Georges Simenon in his novel The Engagement of Monsieur Hire. And before Patrice Leconte, he had already worn twice in the cinema. First in 1946 by Julien Duvivier with Panic in which Michel Simon and Viviane Romance held the main roles. Then the following year with the Hispano-Portuguese film barrio directed by the Hungarian Ladislao Vajda. And it’s seeing for the first time Panic – without knowing then that it was an adaptation of Simenon – in 1983 that Patrice Leconte promised himself in the back of his mind to make a remake. A dream that will come true on the set of Tandem, the first “serious” film of his career, in 1986 when he mentioned it to his producer Philippe Carcassonne. The latter pushes him to get started but advises him to first immerse himself in Simenon’s book. Bright idea because Leconte finds it more to his liking than Panic. And he decides, with his co-screenwriter Patrick Dewolf, to start from him, obviously taking liberties and focusing on the troubled and erotic relationship between Hire and his neighbor. This earned him his first selection in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, whose Palme was won that year by Sex, lies and video by Steven Soderbergh. And no less than eight César 90 nominations with a statuette conquered by Dominique Hennequin and Pierre Lenoir, in better sound.
Coluche, the first interpreter considered
If the shooting of his first feature, The veces were closed from the inside, had gone badly with Jean Rochefort, Patrice Leconte got along wonderfully with Coluche. And when he goes into Mr Hire in 1986 he immediately wanted to entrust the title role to the man who had so wonderfully shown his darker side in Tchao Pantin by Claude Berri, three years earlier. But the fatal accident of Coluche on June 19, 1986 will sound the death knell of this dream. For Hire, Leconte will then call on one of his great accomplices whom he has already directed five times in The Bronzed, Tanned people go skiing, Come to my house, I live with a friend, My wife’s name is come back and Move along, there’s nothing to see ! : Michael Blanc. The actor has also begun his transformation towards more dramatic roles with Evening dress by Bertrand Blier, which earned him an interpretation prize at Cannes in 1986. And if he refuses at the same time the few days with me by Claude Sautet, certain of not having the dimension of seducer essential to the proposed character, he accepts without hesitation the role of Hire which will earn him a nomination for the César for best actor in 1990, won that year by Philippe Noiret for Life and nothing else.
Cristiana Reali’s film debut
If Michel Blanc, Sandrine Bonnaire, Luc Thuillier and the late André Wilms form the star quartet of Mr Hirewe can also see during a scene in a bowling alley Cristiana Reali who made her film debut in this film, the same year as her first steps on a Parisian stage, the Théâtre Renaud-Barrault, in the Lorenzaccio de Musset directed by Francis Huster.