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  • Jacques Becker was a French screenwriter and film director. Becker was born in Paris, in an upper-class background. His father Louis Becker, of Lorraine ascendance was corporate director for Fulmen, a battery manufacturer and his mother Margaret Burns of Irish descent, held a fashion house in rue Cambon near Chanel in Paris. During the 1930s he worked as an assistant to director Jean Renoir during his peak period, which produced such cinematic masterpieces as La Grande Illusion and The Rules of the Game. Part of the Comité de libération du cinéma français, during the German occupation of France in World War II, the Nazis held him in prison for a year. During the occupation he also became a director in his own right and went on to direct the brilliant period romance Casque d'or, the influential gangster film Touchez pas au grisbi, and the prison escape drama Le Trou. Long underrated, Becker is now regarded as one of the masters of French cinema. He married actress Françoise Fabian. Their son Jean Becker also became a film director. Becker died at the age of fifty-three in 1960 and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.

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