Two smiling soldiers of (probably) the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division of the 1st French Corps, fill the hands of American soldiers of the 12th U.S. Armoured Division with candy, in Rouffach, France, after the closing of the Colmar pocket. February 5, 1945
Jean Gabin indeed was a fame as an actor well before the war broke out. Playing in movies now considered classics and even abroad.
He was living in Los Angeles for a few years just past the invasion of France. He was offered to play for the propaganda of the Third Reich but instead gave them the finger, declined and exiled for a bit in and around Hollywood, where he played in a few movies that went mostly unnoticed.
In 1943 the tide was turning against the Reich and his decision to go fight firstly landing in North Africa until everything you accurately mention was courageous and bold.
I’ve read a lot about him, because he’s one of the best French actor, at least of his era.
But he was anything but easygoing. I remember about a paragraph in an old book about him ordering some simple « private » to clean the toilets otherwise he’d take seven days, to which the private replied he « wouldn’t do it because he wasn’t used to being talked to on a threatening tone. »
Result: seven days plus cleaning up the pan each morning for the guy. At least he got the punishment by a fame of French cinema then.
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