Exhibition: “Jean Gabin, la guerre c’est pas du cinéma
From April 1 to November 5, 2023
Don’t miss this exceptional exhibition that tells the incredible story of the commitment of the icon of French cinema, Jean Gabin, during the Second World War. Dozens of personal items will be presented as well as unpublished photos and archives but also a tank like the one he led. Many events will punctuate this exhibition which will welcome on many occasions, the son of Jean Gabin, Mathias Moncorgé.
80 years later: a tribute to Jean Gabin, the fighter
From April 1 to November 5, 2023 at the Normandy Victory Museum, discover Jean Gabin’s involvement in World War II, eighty years after he enlisted in the United States in April 1943.
Inside this exhibition on more than 200m2, you will be presented dozens of personal pieces of the actor (including the jacket worn during “La traversée de Paris”), photos and unpublished archives, audiovisual resources … A Tank Destroyer M10, identical to the famous “Souffleur II” led by Jean Gabin at the end of the war, will also be on display.
Don’t miss this exceptional exhibition designed in partnership with the Société des Amis du Musée Jean Gabin de Mériel (Val d’Oise) and the musée des blindés de Saumur.
On the sidelines of this event, many events will be organized.
Exhibition program (in the process of being finalized)
- Thursday, March 30, 2023: official opening by invitation
- From April 1 to November 5, 2023: exhibition open to the public every day
- Monday, May 8, 2023 : Launch of Patrick Glâtre’s new book with a preface by Mathias Moncorgé ; conference and reunion of the descendants of Jean Gabin’s tank crew.
- Sunday, July 30, 2023: Commemorations of the Landing of the 2nd AD at Utah Beach; passage of a column of old military vehicles reconstituting elements of the 2nd AD. .
- Saturday, September 23, 2023: screening of La Traversée de Paris at the D-Day Experience (St-Côme-du-Mont) in the presence of Mathias Moncorgé (son of Jean Gabin)
- Saturday, October 21, 2023: screening of the film Un Singe en Hiver at the D-Day Experience, in the presence of Mathias Moncorgé (son of Jean Gabin)
Do you know Jean Gabin, the fighter?
Jean Gabin, a man who constantly refuses the easy way
After the 1940 debacle and the beginning of the occupation, many show business personalities stayed in Paris and adapted to the new established order. However, in February 1941, the idea of continuing his profession and his life under these conditions being unbearable to him, Gabin decided to leave for the United States, leaving everything behind. While a career in Hollywood was in his sights, the same desire not to remain “hidden” and to do something for his country animated him when in 1943, he made his request to join the French fighting forces and thus return to the old continent.
Jean Gabin becomes Jean Moncorgé again
After shooting The Imposter at the request of General De Gaulle, a propaganda film for the Leclerc army in Africa, his wish was finally granted. He then became a second master in the marine fusiliers under his real name: Jean Moncorgé. An instructor in Algeria during 1944, he finally managed to integrate the Armored Regiment of the Marine Fusiliers, under the direction of General Leclerc, with whom he landed in Brest in January 1945. For the few months of the war that remained, Jean Moncorgé, claustrophobic and pyrophobic, commanded the Souffleur II tank and took part in the fighting in Alsace-Moselle, in the Royan pocket, and then in the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, in Berchtesgaden.
After the war, discretion is key
This episode of the actor’s life is very little known to the general public, even to his fans. And the first responsible for this oversight is none other than Jean Gabin himself. Indeed, only a few weeks after the war, when he was invited to parade on the Champs-Elysees alongside his comrades in arms, Gabin declined and preferred to stand back. He did not want what he considered to be simply a duty done to be elevated to heroism. He will cultivate until the end of his life this modesty about the events that, by his own admission, gave him his first white hair.
80 years later, it is important to highlight the role of those who, like Jean Gabin, refused to take the easy way out, and were ready to put their lives on the line to liberate their country. Because definitely, “War ain’t no cinema”.
Buy your ticket online and on the day of your visit, avoid the queue at the cash desk
This exceptional exhibition on Jean Gabin will be held at the Normandy Victory Museum near Carentan (Normandy) from April 1st to November 5th 2023. Reserve your tickets now (entrance fee included in the price of the ticket).
Do you have an ambassador card?
If you have a 2023 Normandy Victory Museum Ambassador Card, here is the list of advantages reserved for you in the context of the GABIN exhibition. (This list will be updated regularly and you will be informed by email)
Ambassador’s Benefit #1: A personal invitation to the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at the museum. (Watch your mailbox).
Ambassador’s Benefit n°2: a reserved seat (+ 1 accompanying person) in the first rows for the screenings of the films “La traversée de Paris” and “Un singe en hiver”.
Ambassador’s Benefit n°2: priority access to the presentation of Patrick Glâtre’s book and to the signing session with Mathias Moncorgé.