The Gendarme of Champignol [Le gendarme de Champignol]

Paris: Cinedis, 1959. Collection of 269 vintage black-and-white photographs for the 1959 French film.

The collection consists of two unique and complimentary pieces, one being a film still keybook with 68 contact prints of small format negatives, most with 12 images per print, amounting to over 800 images captured. Nearly all images with series number bordering the image, and credits at the top for photo laboratory (Tele-Photo), film studio (Cinedis), film title, and photographer Rosselle, housed in a 2-ring paper binder with original French titles. The other piece is nearly 170 smaller photographs elegantly presented, mounted with cello tape on thick stock in a "Lavis aquarelle" brand spiral bound notebook with maroon faux leather front wrapper. Series numbers and small "x" annotations in holograph ink on the pages, several with small white borders, and several with series number on the verso in holograph pencil. Photos without borders also have series number at the edges, etched in the original film negative before photo development, as on the keybook prints. Nearly all photographs have numerical annotations in holograph pencil on the versos, a few smaller photographs have rubber-stamps on the versos crediting Richard, Pierre, film titles, director Bastia, and costars Alfred Adam and Noel Roquevart. Also included are 27 loose photographs, a few with rubber-stamps on the verso crediting starring actors and French film titles, and a small press packet from Cinedis detailing film credits, synopsis, and star biographies.

Starring actors Richard and Pierre are amply represented in the collection and seen in nearly every image, mostly in their official uniforms. Actress Zuber is equally present, in striking high-contrast images, cuddling bunnies, fishing at a river, and wielding a rifle. The notebook depicts images seen in the film, while the keybook depicts on-the-set sequences, test shots, candid moments, and images of the crew; the loose photos show both candid and action shots.

An expansive perspective of a little seen comedy about a gendarme who travels to a small town looking for a disappeared woman, a town known for its distrust of police officers. Director Bastia was an assistant director in the 1940s and 1950s, when he worked almost exclusively with director Jean Boyer, until his debut with "Nous autres à Champignol" (1957), the first in this series involving gendarmes and Champignol, followed by this film, and finally "The Boss of Champignol" (1966).

Photographs in large quarto notebook 3.5 x 4.75 inches, keybook contact prints 8.25 x 10.5 inches, 2-hole punched, several trimmed, and loose photos range from 4.75 x 6.75 inches to 7 x 9.25 inches. Photographs about Near Fine, with light curling, a handful with short creases, press packet Near Fine, notebook Near Fine, and binder Very Good.

[Book #144110]