Malle was born in Thumeries in northern France into a wealthy family. He initially studied political science at the Sorbonne before turning to film studies instead. He worked as an assistant to Jacques Cousteau on the documentary The Silent World (1956) and assisted Robert Bresson on A Man Escaped (1956) before making his first feature, Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Frantic), in 1957.
Malle's Les Amants (1958), which like Ascenseur pour l'échafaud starred Jeanne Moreau, caused some controversy due to its sexual content. These and other early films such as Zazie dans le métro (1960, an adaptation of the Raymond Queneau novel) associated him with the nouvelle vague. Other films also tackled taboo subjects: Le feu follet (The Fire Within, 1963) centres on a man about to commit suicide, Le Souffle au coeur (1971) deals with an incestuous relationship between mother and son and Lacombe, Lucien (1974) is about French collaboration and resistance in World War II.
Malle later moved to Hollywood and continued to direct there. His later films include Atlantic City (1981), My Dinner with André (1981), Au revoir les enfants (1987), Damage (1992), and Vanya on 42nd Street (1994, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play Uncle Vanya).
Malle married the actress Candice Bergen in 1980. He died in Los Angeles.
Louis Malle Facts
|Birthday||October 30, 1932|
|Date of death||November 24, 1995 (age 63)|
|My Dinner with Andre|
|My Dinner with André|
|Elevator to the Gallows|
|Vanya On 42nd Street|
|Au revoir les enfants|