Marcel Camus

Marcel Camus
Born (1912-04-21)21 April 1912
Died 13 January 1982(1982-01-13) (aged 69)
Paris, France
Occupation Film director
Years active 1957 - 1982

Marcel Camus (21 April 1912 – 13 January 1982) was a French film director. He is best known for Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus), which won the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival[1] and the 1960 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.[2]


Camus was born in Chappes, Ardennes, France and died in Paris. He studied art and intended to become an art teacher. However, World War II interrupted his plans. He spent part of the war in a German prisoner-of-war camp.[3]

Prior to directing films, Camus assisted filmmakers in France, including Jacques Feyder, Luis Buñuel, and Jacques Becker.[4][5] He directed nearly a dozen films, including Orfeu Negro (also known as Black Orpheus), which won the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival[1] and the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film[2]

In 1960, Camus made a second Brazlilian-themed film, Os bandeirantes.[5] Twenty years after Orfeu Negro, Camus returned to Brazilian themes for what would prove to be his last film, Bahia (also known as Otalia da Bahia and Os pastores da noite), based on a novel by Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado.[6][7] These films, however, failed to recapture the success of Orfeu Negro. In 1970, Camus had a moderate success with a World War II comedy, Le Mur de l'Atlantique (The Atlantic Wall), starring the well-known French comedian Bourvil.[5] Camus ended his career working primarily in television.[5]

Camus married one of the stars of Orfeu Negro, Marpessa Dawn.

Camus is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.


  • Champions Juniors (1951) – writer
  • Orfeu Negro (1959) - director
  • The Pioneers (1961) - writer and director
  • Bird of Paradise (1962) - co-writer and director
  • Le Chant du monde (1965) - director
  • Vivre la nuit (1968) - director
  • Atlantic Wall (1970) - director
  • The Bread Peddler [fr] (1973, TV miniseries) - director
  • Bahia (1978) - writer and director
  • Le Roi qui vient du sud [fr] (co-director: Heinz Schirk [de], 1979, TV miniseries) - director
  • Mein Freund Winnetou (1980, TV miniseries) - director


  1. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Black Orpheus". Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b "The 32nd Academy Awards (1960) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  3. ^ "Marcel Camus Fiche Personalite". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Biography - Movies - Marcel Camus". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d "Marcel Camus". Encyclopedia Universialis. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  6. ^ Canby, Vincent (21 March 1986). "THE SCREEN: 'BAHIA,' FROM MARCEL CAMUS". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Os pastores da noites". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.

External links