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Jean Renoir (1894-1979) was marked in his childhood by the reading of d'Artagnan and his friends' adventures. The famous film director, who made La Grande illusion, relates how he felt as if he were a musketeer.

I was about ten when I discovered Alexandre Dumas. I still discover him. The Musketeers brought back long hair into favour : one cannot imagine d'Artagnan having a crewcut. The Musketeers weren't just a matter of hair ; they were first and foremost a matter of honour. Without daring saying it, I would stroll around telling myself : « I am a man of honour ». I would walk the neighbourhood's pavement trying to find orphans to rescue, travellers in peril, attacked by bandits that I would scatter with my sword. I would repeat to myself Gautier d'Aulnay's words, in La Tour de Nesle, Dumas's melodrama. Braving a bunch of brigands, he would cry out : « Ten churls against one gentleman, there are five too many! ». That was outside : heroism and noble gestures. Inside, not so far from the surface, I would remain a perfect chicken.

Jean Renoir
Ma vie et mes films
© Société des Amis d'Alexandre Dumas
1998-2010
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