From convict to policeman, the disconcerting story of Vidocq has fascinated for generations. Among the many works dedicated to him, focus on Les Nouvelles Aventures de Vidocq, the cult crime series of the 1970s with Claude Brasseur.
The two seasons of the series The New Adventures of Vidocq are available on madelen. For all the information on the platform, follow this link.
VIDOCQ, A FASCINATING HISTORICAL CHARACTER
A multi-repeat convict who became head of the security brigade of the Paris police headquarters, then private detective, here’s a story that seems straight out of a work of fiction, and yet! Legendary and complex historical personality, Eugène-François Vidocq did indeed exist. For a long time, it has fascinated historians, as well as authors and filmmakers.
In the 1960s, the incredible fate of this incredible man inspired Marcel Bluwal, a pioneer of French television, and his sidekick Georges Neveux. Together, the two men develop a first soap opera soberly titled Vidocq devoted to this colorful character, with Bernard Noël in the title role.
A few years later, in 1971, the screenwriter and the director teamed up again at the helm of the series Les Nouvelles Aventures de Vidocq. In this rhythmic soap opera, the hero connects police investigations, sometimes even political, while trying himself not to find himself behind bars. Inspired by the memories of Vidocq, the series attempts to bring to this originally very dark story a touch of humor and welcome fantasy, which delights viewers then and today.
THE CLAUDE BRASSEUR REVELATION
In Les Nouvelles Aventures de Vidocq, Claude Brasseur, then aged 34, took up the torch from Bernard Noël. After several years on the stage and a few small roles in the cinema, it is on television that the French actor has made a name for himself with spectators.
Already noticed in the guise of reporter Rouletabille in the TV movie The Mystery of the Yellow Room, Claude Brasseur here embodies a charming Vidocq. Thanks to this role, he obtains an impressive notoriety with the general public, which will be reinforced in the following years by cult roles in the cinema. In December 2020, the actor so much appreciated by the French died at the age of 84.
THE COMPANIONS OF VIDOCQ
In the popular series, Claude Brasseur gives the answer to a stunning Danièle Lebrun in the role of the Machiavellian and perfidious Baroness of Saint Gély, who has a passionate relationship with Vidocq, while being her main enemy. The two actors are surrounded by Marc Dudicourt, in the guise of Inspector Flambart, Alain MacMoy, alias the Marquis de Modène, Jacques Seiler in the role of Louis Desfossés or Pierre Pernet in the costume of the acrobat.
Les Nouvelles Aventures de Vidocq also welcomes a host of personalities over its thirteen episodes, including Jacques François, Pierre Tornade, Marie-Pierre Casey, Hubert Deschamps, André Falcon or Patrick Préjean, not to mention an appearance by Marcel Bluwal on the screen. .
TWO SEASONS, NOT ONE MORE
While the series was a great success on French television, it ended at the end of its second season in 1973, only two years after its launch. A decision which may surprise, but nevertheless voluntary on the part of the director Marcel Bluwal, as of the rest of the team.
While the filmmaker did not want “Live in Vidocq until the end of [sa] life”, Claude Brasseur also wanted to move away from the character for the rest of his career. Danièle Lebrun already had a lot of theater projects, as Marcel Bluwal tells us in the show Rembob’INA devoted to the series.
THEY EMBODIED VIDOCQ …
If the interpretation of Claude Brasseur of the character of Vidocq marked the spirits of the spectators, the famous ex-convict turned police officer has known many faces on television as in the cinema: Harry Baur in the first appearance of the hero on the screen in 1909, Bernard Noël in the first series by Marcel Bluwal and Georges Neveux in 1967, Gérard Depardieu in the Pitof film in 2001, or more recently Vincent Cassel in L’Empereur de Paris, released in 2018.
Find now Claude Brasseur’s Vidocq in the thirteen episodes of Les Nouvelles Aventures de Vidocq, available on the Madelen platform.
To go further on madelen:
- Rembob’INA – The New Adventures of Vidocq series
- Brewer, father and son – the documentary from the Empreintes collection
- Marcel bluwal – the documentary Télé notre histoire in two parts