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Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon: the reasons for a rivalry

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If the two actors were friends since the beginning of their career, a quarrel born with the film “Borsalino” involved them in a legal conflict.

I love you, neither do I. This is the little game played by Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon in the 1970s. If the two actors remained friends until the death of “Bébel” on Monday September 6 at the age of 88, a quarrel could have separated them. ‘from each other forever. The reason ? A legal conflict which will oppose them during the theatrical release of “Borsalino” in 1970. A legal battle for a detail present on the official poster: the name of Alain Delon is inscribed there twice, as an actor and producer. And for Jean-Paul Belmondo, it does not pass.

In an interview archived by the INA, he explained his annoyance. “I was shown the posters when everything was drawn. So I was faced with a fait accompli, which is obviously not very sporting. I signed a contract and I think that when we make a contract, both parties commit to important things ”. Neither one nor two, he takes the case to court, refuses to go to the premiere and wins the trial two years later. For his part, Alain Delon has always made it known that he has never asked to appear twice on the poster and that he wanted to see the name of his production company listed at the top left. Thereafter, the two actors will not turn together any more until March 1998 when they find themselves on the set of “Une chance sur deux”. Interviewed at the time by The New Obs, the two friends assured to have always remained close. “Often people ask us: how does it feel to be together again, but… we never left each other!”

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A quarrel still denied and which brought in 5 million admissions

This rivalry, which has always been denied by the two actors, allowed the film to experience real enthusiasm and to make a hit at the box office. In total, 5 million people went to dark rooms to see the two sacred monsters of French cinema. And that did not prevent them from remaining friends until the end, despite respective careers keeping them apart.

This Monday, September 6, at the announcement of the death of Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon said to himself “Smashed”. The voice full of emotion, the actor indicated at the microphone of Europe 1 to be “upset” by the loss of his friend: “He’s a colleague, we’ve known each other for 60 years, worked together and were so close to each other.” This Thursday, September 9, a national tribute will be paid to him at the Invalides.

Camille Sánchez

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