Alice Guy-Blaché

Alice Guy-Blaché

Alice Guy-Blaché (July 1, 1873 – March 24, 1968) was a pioneer filmmaker who was the first female director in the motion picture industry and is considered to be one of the first directors of a fiction film.

Early years

Alice Guy was born to French parents who were working in Chile where her father owned a chain of bookstores. Her mother returned home to give birth to Alice in Paris. For the first few years of her life she was left in the care of her grandmother in Switzerland until her mother came to take her to Chile where she lived with her family for about two years. She was then sent to study at a boarding school in France and was a young girl entering her teens when her parents returned from Chile. However, shortly thereafter, her father and brother both died.

Gaumont, France

In 1894 Alice Guy was hired by Léon Gaumont to work for a still-photography company as a secretary. The company soon went out of business but Gaumont bought the defunct operations inventory and began his own company that soon became a major force in the fledgling motion picture industry in France. Alice Guy decided to join the new Gaumont Film Company, a decision that led to a pioneering career in filmmaking spanning more than twenty-five years and involving her directing, producing, writing and/or overseeing more than 700 films. [ The Lost Garden: The Life and Cinema of Alice Guy-Blaché - NFB - Collection ] ]

From 1897 to 1906, Alice Guy was Gaumont's head of production and is generally considered to be the first filmmaker to systematically develop narrative filmmaking. In 1906, she made her first full length feature film, titled "The Life of Christ", a big budget production for the time, which included 300 extras. That same year she also made the film "La Fée Printemps" ("The Spring Fairy"), one of the first movies ever to be shot in color. As well, she pioneered the use of recordings in conjunction with the images on screen in Gaumont's "Chronophone" system, which used a vertical-cut disc synchronized to the film. An innovator, she employed special effects, using double exposure masking techniques and even running a film backwards.

olax, USA

In 1907 Alice Guy married Herbert Blaché who was soon appointed the production manager for Gaumont's operations in the United States. After working with her husband for Gaumont in the USA, the two struck out on their own in 1910, partnering with George A. Magie in the formation of The Solax Company, the largest pre-Hollywood studio in America. With production facilities for their new company in Flushing, New York, her husband served as production manager as well as cinematographer and Alice Guy-Blaché worked as the artistic director, directing many of its releases. Within two years they had become so successful that they were able to invest more than $100,000 into new and technologically advanced production facilities in Fort Lee, New Jersey, a place that was quickly becoming the film capital of America and home to many major film studios. It was commented on in publications of the era that Guy-Blaché placed a large sign in her studio reading "ACT NATURALLY".


Alice Guy and her husband divorced several years later, and with the decline of the East Coast film industry in favour of the more hospitable and cost effective climate in Hollywood, their film partnership also ended.

Following her separation, and after Solax ceased production, Alice Guy-Blaché went to work for William Randolph Hearst's International Film Service. She returned to France in 1922 and although she never made another film, for the next 30 years she gave lectures on film and wrote novels from film scripts. All but forgotten for decades, in 1953 the government of France awarded her the Legion of Honor.

Alice Guy-Blaché never remarried and in 1964 she returned to the United States to stay with one of her daughters. She died in a nursing home in Mahwah, New Jersey.

elected filmography

*"La Fée aux Choux" (The Cabbage Fairy) (1896)
*"La Esméralda" (1905) (based on the Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
*"A Fool and His Money" (1912)
*"Algie the Miner" (1912)
*"Algie Making an American Citizen" (1912)
*"A House Divided" (1913)
*"The Pit and the Pendulum" (1913)
*"Shadows of the Moulin Rouge" (1913)
*"Matrimony's Speed Limit" (1913)
*"The Woman of Mystery" (1914)
*"My Madonna" (1915)
*"House of Cards" (1917)
*"The Great Adventure" (1918)
*"Vampire" (1920)

Posthumous tributes

The [ Fort Lee Film Commission] of Fort Lee, New Jersey, has worked with Alice Guy Blaché biographer Alison McMahan to create one of the only existing historic markers dedicated to the role Alice Guy Blaché played as the first woman film director and studio owner. The marker is located on Lemoine Avenue adjacent to the Fort Lee High School and on the site of Solax Studio. The Fort Lee Film Commission is currently at work with other organizations to gain Alice Guy Blaché entry in the Directors Guild of America and to also secure a star for her on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Finally, the Fort Lee Film Commission will work to get a proper marker on the Bergen County, New Jersey, grave of Alice Guy Blaché to signify her role as a pioneer in world cinema history. [ [ Early Cinema ] ] * Alice Guy, Autobiographie d'une pionnière du cinéma (1873-1968), présentée par Musidora, Denoêl/Gonthier, 1976

(préface de Nicole-Lise Bernheim)

traduit en Anglais : The Memoirs of Alice Guy Blaché, édité par Anthony Slide, Scarecrow Press, 1996

* Victor Bachy, Alice Guy-Blaché (1873-1968) la première femme cinéaste du monde, Institut Jean-Vigo, 1993

seul travail universitaire et téchnique sur Alice Guy Blache-Bolton(Victor Bachy professeur émérite de l'université de Louvain Belgique)

* Alison McMahan, Alice Guy Blaché: Lost Visionary of the Cinema, Continuum International, 2002

* Paule Lejeune, Le cinéma des femmes, Atlas/Lherminier, 1987

* John Wakeman, World Film Directors (1890-1945), The HW Wilson Company, 1987 * 1975, Qui est Alice Guy - Nicole Lise Berneim * 1983, Elle voulait faire du cinéma - Caroline Huppert * 1992, Women who make the movies - Gwendoln Foster * 1995, Le Jardin oublié : La vie et l'œuvre d'Alice Guy-Blaché - Marquise Lepage * 1996, Alice Guy pionnière du cinéma - Florida Sadki * 1996, Alice Guy Blaché - Katia Raganelli * 1998, Une Multitude de Perles - film Lumière du regard * 2000, Reel Models - Barbara Streisand * 2008, Looking for Alice - Claudia Collao 2008 Cinema premier Alice Guy - Alice Guy Jr 2008 Alice au pays du cinema- exposition UNESCO Paris-Thierry Peeters (Les Amis d'Alice Guy)2008 a tribute to Alice Guy Blache by Alice Guy Jr. 75 films 100 blogs 1000 (No oficial family site) films Alice Guy Blache on dailymotion wat tv google video truveo yahoo video wudeo youtube ... search Alice Guy Jr

ee also

*Women's Cinema


External links

* [ official family site] [] (No oficial family site)

* [ Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema]
* [ Alice Guy] at the Internet Movie Database

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  • Alice Guy-Blaché — (* 1. Juli 1873 in Saint Mandé; † 24. März 1968 in Mahwah, New Jersey) war eine Pionierin des Films und die erste Filmregisseurin. Ihren ersten Film, La Fée aux Choux, drehte sie 1896, wodurch sie als eine der ersten Regisseure überhaupt einen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alice Guy Blaché — …   Википедия

  • Alice Guy — Blaché Données clés Nom de naissance Alice Guy Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alice Guy — Blaché (* 1. Juli 1873 in Saint Mandé; † 24. März 1968 in Mahwah, New Jersey) war eine Pionierin des Films und die erste Filmregisseurin. Ihren ersten Film, La Fée aux Choux, drehte sie 1896, wodurch sie als eine der ersten Regisseure überhaupt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Guy-Blaché — Alice Guy Blaché (* 1. Juli 1873 in Saint Mandé; † 24. März 1968 in Mahwah, New Jersey) war eine Pionierin des Films und die erste Filmregisseurin. Ihren ersten Film, La Fée aux Choux, drehte sie 1896, wodurch sie als eine der ersten Regisseure… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alice Guy — Blaché Nacimiento 1 de julio de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Guy-Blaché, Alice — orig. Alice Guy born July 1, 1873, Paris, France died March 24, 1968, Mahwah, N.J., U.S. French born U.S. pioneer of French and American film industries. The first woman director, she is also generally acknowledged to be the first director to… …   Universalium

  • Guy-Blaché, Alice — orig. Alice Guy (1 jul. 1873, París, Francia–24 mar. 1968, Mahwah, N.J., EE.UU.). Precursora de la industria del cine en Francia y EE.UU., de nacionalidad estadounidense y nacida en Francia. Fue la primera mujer cineasta y, por lo general, es… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Guy-Blaché — /gi blaˈʃeɪ/ (say gee blah shay) noun Alice, 1873–1968, French film director and producer …   Australian English dictionary

  • Guy, Alice — (July 1, 1873, Saint Mandé, Val de Marne, France March 24, 1968, Mahwah, New Jersey, USA)    The daughter of a book publisher, she started her professional life as a stenographer and typist at age sixteen. Hired as a secretary by Léon Gaumont in… …   Encyclopedia of French film directors