Historically, the American dream ..." /> The French at Hollywood : Maurice Jarre – French Quarter Magazine

Film & Music

Published on July 11th, 2014 | by Quentin Chirol


The French at Hollywood : Maurice Jarre

Historically, the American dream has always been a part of the French spirit. And in the world of cinema, it is not any different. In every time period, cinema professionals have seen Hollywood as the means to a successful career. Many have also become lost as they desperately try to break into the field, at any cost, on the other side of the Atlantic.


Lawrence of Arabia. Photo by Music Web

Maurice Jarre, musical success
This composer who was born in Lyon in 1924 knew the American dream. After several years in his native land, including having been the musical director of the Popular National Theatre from 1951 to 1963 and having written compositions for the major French filmmakers, he was offered work on a big Hollywood project. This project was « Lawrence of Arabia » by David Lean.

While the director wanted to give each style of music presented in the film to a different composer, this musician from Lyon found himself in the end, the only one on the project and created the entire soundtrack in just six weeks! As a result of this work he received the Oscar for the best film of 1963 and became known to the entire profession. Producers at Columbia then offered him a contract for two films that allowed him to stay in Los Angeles and then settle there with his wife.


Maurice Jarre won three Oscars for his work with David Lean. Photo by The Independent

Moreover, he continued his collaboration with David Lean as a result of which he received two Academy Awards for « Doctor Zhivago » in 1966 and « La Route des Indes » in 1985. He is also one of the few Frenchmen to have his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After working until 2001, he lived in Los Angeles where he died in 2009, one month after receiving the Golden Bear in Berlin for his entire career.

About the Author

earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and is a student of journalism at the school HEJ Lyon. Quentin writes for Abus de Cine and Narrators. Passionate about culture in general and cinema in particular, he likes to share this passion with the greatest number.

One Response to The French at Hollywood : Maurice Jarre

  1. Laure says:

    J’aime Maurice Jarre, le musicien du cinéma. Je repense aussi à sa collaboration avec le réalisateur Peter Weir pour les films Witness (1985) avec The Barn, une des musiques, et Le Cercle des Poètes disparus (1989).

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