Monday, November 6, 2017

Born Today November 6: Adolphe Belot


French Playwright Adolphe Belot was born Louis Marc Adolphe Belot in La Harve, France on this date; the son of a prominent lawyer in the court of Pointe-á-Pitre (which is sometimes listed as his birthplace). He would eventually study the law and take up the board in 1854; before this he had undertaken several trips to the New World (the Americas) and found the experience enlightening to the point of inspiring writing.  By 1855, he was no longer content to remain just a man of letter and began to write plays. He wrote a couple of comedies and eventually got one of his plays produced in 1859.  The run was a success and wound up being performed over 500 times in one theater alone.  From this point until about 5 years before his death he turned out a number to plays, all with relative success.  He was also a semi-prolific writer of both short stories and novellas/novels.  For most of his career in the theatrical world of Paris, he was associated with the Odéon theater.  One of his two (known) daughters became an actress there.  In regards to film, only 3 movies have been made using his work as source material, two of which were silents.  The first were both, ironically, based on one of his rare full novels.  The first of these was the US produced The Stranglers Of Paris, which had been adapted into a play by the British Arthur Shirley.  The film was remade in 1920 as The Grip Of Iron in the UK, based on the same adaptation of Shirley's, only in this case, Shirley was brought in to write the screenplay for the film as well.  The only sound film to be produced from his work was released in 1934.  Sapho has been the only home grown French production to take on his writing for source material.  To date, no other films have been made using his work, and no productions are currently in the works.  One major reason likely being that his plays are very nineteenth century, and reading him as long since gone out of fashion.  Belot died at the relatively young age of 61 on the 18th of December in Paris.  There is no information on his burial.  

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