TCM Summer Under the Stars: Day Thirty-One — Alain Delon

The most seductive man in cinema.

Never heard of Alain Delon?

Never seen one of his movies?

TCM has a remedy for that. And believe me, you won’t need a spoonful of sugar to help this medicine go down.


Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon was born on November 8, 1935, in a suburb of Paris, France. His parents divorced when Alain was four years old, and he was sent to live with foster parents. The death of his foster parents prompted the boy’s birth parents to share custody of him, but this arrangement didn’t work out. Alain was expelled from several schools, including a Catholic boarding school, because of his behavior, and at the age of 14, he left school for good. Three years later, he enlisted in the French Navy, but during his military service, he reportedly spent nearly a year in a military jail and was dishonorably discharged.

After his military experience, Alain made ends meet by working a variety of jobs, including waiter and sales assistant. After befriending actress Brigitte Auber, he accompanied her to the Cannes Film Festival, where he was seen by a talent scout for David O. Selznick. He was offered a contract and returned to Paris to study English, but he was later convinced by French director Yves Allégret to remain in France and the Selznick contract was cancelled. Instead, Alain made his big screen debut in Allégret’s film Send a Woman When the Devil Fails (1957).


Alain and Romy remained friends until her 1982 death.

  • Alain became an international star after starring in two films released in 1960: Purple Noon and Rocco and His Brothers.
  • Alain’s first leading role was in the period romance Christine (1958), opposite actress Romy Schneider. Alain and Romy announced their engagement in 1959 and were romantically involved for five years; in a 2018 interview in GQ magazine, he called Romy “the love of my life.”


See Purple Noon.

I’ve only seen one Alain Delon from start to finish – Purple Noon – so, naturally, that will be my pick. It’s about a murderous sociopath who . . . well, I don’t want to spoil it. It was remade in 1999 as The Talented Mr. Ripley, and it’s good stuff.

I’m going out on a limb, though, to endorse two others – Rocco and His Brothers, which I saw recommended on Twitter, and Le Samourai (1967), which I started watching a couple of years ago but, unfortunately, never finished.

This is the last day of the 2020 TCM Summer Under the Stars event! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have!

~ by shadowsandsatin on August 31, 2020.

7 Responses to “TCM Summer Under the Stars: Day Thirty-One — Alain Delon”

  1. Your opening is practically a description of me. I caught a bit of Rocco and His Brothers once and look forward to jumping into it thanks to SUTS.

    I have seen The Yellow Rolls Royce and wasn’t impressed so if that had been my only Delon experience August 31st would have been a bust in this house.

    • I’d love to know what you think of the others that you watch. I’m looking very much forward to seeing Rocco and His Brothers (and finishing Le Samourai).!

      Thank you so much, Paddy, for reading and commenting on my SUTS posts every day. It truly meant so much to me! You are the cat’s meow AND the berries!

  2. […] Day 31: Alain Delon […]

  3. I enjoyed your blog very much this month. I would have enjoyed watching some of those great movies on TCM, which use to be my favorite TV channel; but Comcast switched it to a costly, for a retired person, format that is mingled with a bunch of sports programs, mostly people yelling at each other. I can imagine that TMC lost a lot of faithful viewers in that move.

  4. Hi! Thanks for all these extremely enjoyable newsletters this summer. They have taught me a lot. Hope you can take a break and relax. I have been making my own Noir City festival since Chicago had to cancel at the Music Box, using my own dvds, especially those that are from the Criterion Collection. Yesterday I rewatched Le Samourai and indulged in Delon’s mesmerizing attractiveness. It is a quietly spare film, with more happening inside the characters than shows on the outside. It is definitely influenced by Japanese aesthetics, with less being told than with customary Western film which are heavy on creating adrenaline rushes for the audience. I love it as I do other Jean-Pierre Melville films. If you rewatch, the famous scene near the beginning, when he dons his perfect 40’s style hat, lasts about 14 seconds on screen and according to remarks on the dvd, took one hour to create with Melville telling Delon every exact motion. Again, many thanks and I wish you a very rewarding autumn! Deidra Egan

  5. Gorgeous eyes!

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