This year, the Festival de Cannes will welcome a sacred monster of the cinema hexagonal. The 72nd edition, which put the late filmmaker Agnès Varda honored in the official poster, an homage to Alain Delon. The organisers will award an Honorary Palme d’or at the actor of the Cheetah (winner of the Palme d’or in 1963), “to honor his wonderful presence in the story of the seventh”, they say in a press release. With this award, Alain Delon inscribed his name to the prestigious list of the thirteen personalities decorated since 1997 (Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Fonda, or even Agnès Varda).

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“With Pierre Lescure, we are pleased that Alain Delon has agreed to be honored by the Festival,” says Thierry Frémaux, general Delegate. Yet it has long hesitated, who has long denied the Palme d’or, because he felt he did have to come to Cannes to celebrate the film directors with whom he has worked.”

” Diamond in the rough of the seventh art

The lovers of the seventh art will remember his appearances in the classic Rocco and his brothers (1960), The Samurai (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967), or Pool (Jacques Deray, 1969), as well as his collaborations with Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, George Lautner, or Louis Malle. The actor was shown in 1960 in Sunlight , a film in which René Clément “invents Delon, a diamond in the rough 25 years”, said the release. “Combining the artistic and popular successes, he is a champion at the box-office, which never moved away from the auteur cinema”, considers the Festival.

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Alain Delon has mounted for the first time the steps of cannes in 1961 for What a joy to live by René Clément, presented in the official selection. After returning to defend other films, the actor has shunned a few years the Festival that has never rewarded, vexed not to have been invited, as Jean-Paul Belmondo, at the 50th anniversary celebrations.

The reunion had been held in 2007, for the 60th anniversary of the festival. Alain Delon is back on the Croisette in 2010 with Claudia Cardinale for the screening of the film The Leopard . In 2013, he participated in a tribute “to his absolute master”, René Clément.