From Boireau to Cretinetti

Le due innamorate di Cretinetti
D: André Deed. P: Itala Film, Torino. It 1911
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema / EYE Filmmuseum
Dutch titles

André Deed was born André de Chapais, the son of a customs inspector. He seemed, early on, to follow the appointed bourgeois path that had been set out for him, studying at lycée, then at various postsecondary institutions, finally becoming a clerk in a bank. Deed, however, was restless, and gave up the quiet life, at first for the sea, then for the theater, or more particularly the café-concerts. He performed as both a singer and an acrobat before being hired on at the Folies-Bergères, and then the Châtelet. He appeared in several early Georges Méliès films, including Dislocation mystérieuse (1901), Les Aventures de Robinson Crusoe (1902), Le Royaume des fées (1903), and Le Barbier de Seville (1904). Around 1905, Deed was hired on at Pathé by Charles Pathé, who was scouring the caféconcerts at the time looking for potential talent for his films. (…) Deeds most important contribution to cinema at Pathé came in his development of theBoireaucharacter. Appearing for the first time in the film La Course à la perruque, Boireau was a fool or idiot character at the center of burlesque silentfilm comedies and was one of the first regular and reappearing characters in cinema. The character and the comedies in which he appeared were also some of the first film comedies and are seen as central to the development of the genre in film. (…) In 1909, Deed left Pathé for Italy, hired away by Itala Film due to the success of Boireau (in Italy calledBeoncelli“). His departure was a blow to Pathé, since Boireau was, at the time, a bigger draw even than Max Linder. In Italy, Deed created the character ofCretinetti” (calledGribouillein French), and made some seventy films with that character for Itala Film.”
Guide to Cinema-Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopdedias

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