Bob theil - playing it all for laughs - Trial: The Price of Passion (TV Movie 1992) - IMDb

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At the end of 1958 Cinémonde magazine voted Bardot and Gabin their number one stars. But she wasn’t just popular in France; she was beginning to top popularity lists in countries across the world. Such immense fame brought with it the constant attention of the press, who pursued her relentlessly. She often felt trapped and admitted to friends that she felt she was missing out on a normal life. Her relationship with Jean-Louis Trintignant had lasted only six months, after which she had even briefer flings with actor Gustavo Rojo and singer Gilbert Becaud.

Looking for a refuge, she bought a house in the small coastal town of St Tropez and began spending whatever time off she had there. It was here she met the singer Sacha Distel. Their whirlwind love affair became front-page news. Photographers followed them from St Tropez to Paris. Mob scenes greeted them in Italy when they attended the Venice Film Festival together in 1958. For a while there was serious talk of marriage but the burden of being engaged to Brigitte became too difficult for Distel to bear. “She needed the man she was in love with to be with her constantly, to do the things she wanted to do, and to take second place,” he later lamented, although his association with her did no harm to his budding career. By the end of the summer their romance was just a memory.


Brigitte’s next film was a comedy set in World War II, Babette s’en Va-t-en Guerre (Babette Goes to War, 1959). Her co-star was a good-looking young twenty-two-year-old actor named Jacques Charrier. During shooting in Paris and London, Brigitte quickly fell for Charrier. After filming they went on holiday together to Chamonix-les-Houches. Staying in a chalet, isolated by a snowstorm, Brigitte got pregnant. As soon as she found out she called Vadim and asked his advice. He knew that she didn’t like children, yet he advised her to have the child because if she didn’t she might regret it. When he found out, Charrier insisted that not only must she have the child but they must get married as soon as possible.

The ceremony took place in a quiet Paris suburb. Despite attempts to keep it secret, someone tipped off the press who besieged the church. During the ceremony there were flashbulbs going off constantly and an argument broke out between Brigitte’s father and the local mayor who was conducting the event. It was an ill omen for a marriage that seemed jinxed from the start. First Charrier suffered an attack of appendicitis and was forced into hospital. Before he had recovered, Brigitte had to start work on her next film, Voulez vous dancer avec moi (Come and Dance With Me). No sooner was Charrier out of hospital than he was called up by the army for military service. In the barracks, he was taunted mercilessly by the other men. He lost 20 pounds, had a breakdown and tried to slit his wrists.

Released for a year on compassionate grounds, he returned to live with Brigitte in her Paris apartment. Already the press were camped outside awaiting the birth of the child. It became virtually impossible for her to leave the apartment. ‘It was inhuman what the press put me through,” Bardot recalled in an interview many years later. “I couldn’t take a walk. I couldn’t go out. I couldn’t go to see my doctor. I couldn’t even go to have my baby in a hospital. I was encircled by the press from all over the world.” Finally on Monday 11 January 1960, Nicholas Charrier was born. However his birth failed to bring out the maternal instincts Vadim had predicted. “How could you expect me to raise a child when I still needed my mother?” She commented later. Bardot would only see Nicholas intermittently through his childhood, and not until she was in her sixties and he was married with two children, would they have a lasting reconciliation.

Cracking Up

Six weeks after the birth, Brigitte had a small part in L’Affair d’une nuit (It Happened at Night, 1960). This was followed by the leading role in Henri-Georges Cluzot’s La Verite (The Truth, 1960). In the film she played Dominique, a young girl from the provinces who comes to Paris and gets caught up in the bohemian life. When she discovers her lover is having an affair, she kills him and is put on trial for murder. Unable to explain to anybody her inner torment, she slashes her wrists.

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