Our review of the documentary Alain and Romy, the eternal fiancés, on Arte


Romy Schneider and Alain Delon on the set of The swimming pool, by Jacques Deray, in 1969. art

CRITICAL – Jacques Pessis saw the beautiful documentary by Olivier Monssens which recounts in detail the mad love which united the two legendary figures of cinema. Not to be missed this Thursday, September 22 at 11:45 p.m. on Arte and on arte.tv

The love story has become legendary, but it got off to a bad start. When, in 1958, Alain Delon met Romy Schneider for the first time, the current did not pass as the documentary by Olivier Monssens clearly shows Romy and Alain, the eternal fiancés.

A meeting was organized in Paris to prepare Christina, the film by Pierre Gaspard-Huit which should bring them together. He does not speak English, and even less German, and she speaks French with difficulty. During filming, she begins to realize how different this young actor is from the others. She falls in love, and it’s mutual. They decide to live together. They first settled on the Quai Malaquais, with Georges Beaume, Delon’s agent, before making a private mansion on the Avenue de Messine their secret garden.

Turbulent relationship

A few weeks after their engagement, on March 22, 1959, they flew to Rome, where Alain was to shoot Rocco and his brothers. Romy thus meets Luchino Visconti. The current passes and, one evening, he proposes to the couple to be the headliner of Too bad she’s a whore, which he is to stage at the Théâtre de Paris. Romy, supported by Alain, takes up the challenge. She takes phonetics lessons, spends days and sometimes nights working on her text. On the eve of the premiere, suffering from peritonitis, she was hospitalized and operated on urgently. Two weeks later, she manages to resume her role.

On March 27, 1961, Alain and Romy triumphed in front of Tout-Paris. The play is a success and they are now the heyday of a press that is not yet called “people”. There is matter! We talk about marriage, but they fail, schedules oblige, to fix a date. The shootings are linked and, in spite of tender daily telephone calls, the relationship becomes particularly tumultuous. A photo stolen during the filming of The Black Tulip, where we see a woman on the knees of Alain Delon, sets fire to the powder. He assures us that it is a game, but Romy Schneider does not see it that way. In 1963, after a long tete-a-tete in Rome, they announced a separation that had become inevitable.

An unfinished story

The story is not over, however. Five years later, he demands that she be his partner in The swimming pool, that Jacques Deray is about to make in Ramatuelle. The photo at Nice airport where he greets her by falling into her arms will go around the world. She then experiences a mini-crossing of the desert and, thanks to him, she becomes a star again. “I think about her every day”, says the actor today. Obviously, the public too.

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