Pierre Boulle

Not to be confused with Pierre Boileau.
Pierre Boulle
Pierre Boulle
BornPierre François Marie Louis Boulle
20 February 1912
Avignon, France
Died30 January 1994 (aged 81)
Paris, France
Notable worksThe Bridge over the River Kwai
Planet of the Apes

Pierre Boulle (20 February 1912 – 30 January 1994) was a French novelist best known for two works, The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (1963), that were both made into award-winning films.[1]

Boulle was an engineer serving as a secret agent with the Free French in Singapore, when he was captured and subjected to two years' forced labour. He used these experiences in The Bridge over the River Kwai, about the notorious Death Railway, which became an international bestseller. The film, named The Bridge on the River Kwai, by David Lean won seven Oscars, and Boulle was credited with writing the screenplay, because its two actual screenwriters had been blacklisted.[2][3]

His science-fiction novel Planet of the Apes, in which intelligent apes gain mastery over humans, was adapted into a series of nine award-winning films that spawned magazine and TV versions and popular themed toys.

Life and career

Born Pierre François Marie Louis Boulle in Avignon, France, Boulle was baptised and raised as a Catholic, although later in life he became an agnostic. He studied at the prestigious École supérieure d'électricité (Supélec) where he received an engineer's degree in 1933.[4] From 1936 to 1939, he worked as a technician on British rubber plantations in Malaya. While there he met a Frenchwoman who was separated from her husband. She was to become the love of his life, to whom he would write tender love letters. She later chose to return to her husband, an official in French Indochina. During World War II she and her husband escaped into Malaya, but one of her children died in the process. Boulle would later meet her after the war, and they enjoyed a platonic friendship.

At the outbreak of World War II, Boulle enlisted with the French army in Indochina. After German troops occupied France, he joined the Free French Mission in Singapore. During the war he was a supporter of Charles de Gaulle.

Boulle served as a secret agent under the name Peter John Rule and helped the resistance movement in China, Burma, and French Indochina. In 1943, he was captured by Vichy France loyalists on the Mekong River and was subjected to severe hardship and forced labour. He was later made a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and decorated with the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la Résistance. He described his war experiences in the non-fiction My Own River Kwai. After the war he would keep in touch with his war comrades for the rest of his life.

After the war, Boulle returned to work for a while in the rubber industry, but in 1949[5] he moved back to Paris and began to write. While in Paris, too poor to afford his own flat, he lived in a hotel until his recently widowed sister, Madeleine Perrusset, allowed him to move into her large apartment. She had a daughter, Françoise, whom Pierre helped raise, but plans for him to officially adopt the girl never materialized.

The Bridge over the River Kwai

While in Paris, Boulle used his war experiences in writing Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï (1952; The Bridge over the River Kwai), which became a multi-million-copy worldwide bestseller, winning the French "Prix Sainte-Beuve". The book was a semi-fictional story based on the real plight of Allied POWs forced to build a 415 km (258 mi) railway that passed over the bridge, and which became known as the "Death Railway". 16,000 prisoners and 100,000 Asian conscripts died during construction of the line. His character of Lt-Col. Nicholson was not based on the real Allied senior officer at the Kwai bridges, Philip Toosey, but was reportedly an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers. Both the book and film outraged former prisoners because Toosey did not collaborate with the enemy, unlike the fictional Colonel Nicholson. Boulle outlined the reasoning which led him to conceive the character of Nicholson in an interview which forms part of the 1969 BBC2 documentary "Return to the River Kwai" made by former POW John Coast. A transcript of the interview and the documentary as a whole can be found in the new edition of John Coast's book "Railroad of Death".[6]

David Lean made the book into a motion picture that won seven 1957 Oscars, including the Best Picture, and Best Actor for Alec Guinness. Boulle himself won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay despite not having written the screenplay and, by his own admission, not even speaking English. Boulle had been credited with the screenplay because the film's actual screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, had been blacklisted as communist sympathizers. Boulle was neither a socialist nor a communist. The Motion Picture Academy added Foreman's and Wilson's names to the award in 1984.

Kim Novak accepted the Oscar on behalf of Pierre Boulle.[7]

Planet of the Apes

In 1963, following several other reasonably successful novels, Boulle published his other famous novel, La planète des singes, translated in 1964 as Monkey Planet by Xan Fielding, and later re-issued as Planet of the Apes.[8] The book was highly praised and given such reviews as this example from England's Guardian newspaper: "Classic science fiction ... full of suspense and satirical intelligence." In the year 2500, a group of astronauts, including journalist Ulysse Merou, voyage to a planet in the star system of Betelgeuse. They land to discover a bizarre world where intelligent apes are the Master Race and humans are reduced to savages: caged in zoos, used in laboratory experiments and hunted for sport. The story of Ulysse's capture, his struggle to survive, and the shattering climax as he returns to Earth and a horrific final discovery is gripping and fantastic. Yet the novel is also a wry parable on science, evolution, and the relationship between man and animal.[9]

In 1968, the book was made into an Oscar-winning film, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston. The screenplay, originally written by Rod Serling, focused more on action and deviated in many ways from the novel, including the addition of its own classic twist ending that was different from the novel's. It inspired four sequels, a television series, an animated series, a 2001 remake of the original title by Tim Burton, and a 2011 reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt.

The original series of five films (1968–1973) have become cult classics. Boulle, who had thought his novel to be unfilmable, was taken by surprise at the worldwide success and impact of the film. He wrote a script for a sequel titled Planet of the Men, but the producers of the original film turned it down. The second film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, which came out in 1970, was also very successful. It was followed by Escape from the Planet of the Apes in 1971, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes in 1972, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes in 1973.

In September 1973, the original film was first aired on network television. The marketing of toys and other products relating to the film series skyrocketed at this time, creating an 'Apemania' craze. In June 1974, Marvel Comics also released a magazine based on the novel and film called Planet of the Apes. By September 1974, Planet of the Apes had become a television series. In 1975, an animated Return to the Planet of the Apes series was shown on television.

Other adaptations

The French film Le Point de mire, based on Boulle's novel Le Photographe, was released in 1977. There have also been TV films based on Boulle's novels William Conrad in 1958 (US) and 1973 (France), La Face in 1959 (US) and 1966 (West Germany), and Un Métier de Seigneur in 1986 (France), as well as the short story "Le Miracle" (from E=mc2) in 1985 (US).[10]

Another film adaptation is in production for Boulle's A Noble Profession (Un Métier de Seigneur), a spy thriller partly based on Boulle's real-life experience working as a secret agent during the Second World War. The movie is being produced by Tessa Bell and Andrea Chung.


Pierre Boulle died in Paris, France on 30 January 1994, at age 81, three weeks before his 82nd birthday.[11]


  • William Conrad (1950; tr. in 1955 as Not the Glory by Xan Fielding; also issued as Spy Converted)
  • Le sacrilège malais (1951; tr. in 1959 as Sacrilege in Malaya by Xan Fielding; also issued as S.O.P.H.I.A.)
  • Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï (1952; tr. in 1954 as The Bridge over the River Kwai by Xan Fielding)
  • Le Bourreau (1954; tr. in 1961 by Xan Fielding, US title: The Executioner, UK title: The Chinese Executioner)
  • L'épreuve des hommes blancs (1955; tr. in 1957 as The Test by Xan Fielding; also issued as White Man's Test)
  • La face (1956; tr. in 1956 as Saving Face by Xan Fielding; also issued as Face of a Hero)
  • Les voies du salut (1958; tr. in 1958 as The Other Side of the Coin by Richard Howard)
  • Un métier de seigneur (1960; tr. in 1960 as A Noble Profession by Xan Fielding; also issued as For a Noble Cause)
  • La planète des singes (1963; tr. in 1964 as Monkey Planet by Xan Fielding; later issued as Planet of the Apes)
  • Le jardin de Kanashima (1964; tr. in 1965 as Garden on the Moon by Xan Fielding)
  • Le Photographe (1967; tr. in 1967 by Xan Fielding, US title: The Photographer, UK title: An Impartial Eye)
  • Les Jeux de l'esprit (1971; tr. in 1973 as Desperate Games by Patricia Wolf)
  • Les Oreilles de jungle (1972; tr. in 1972 as Ears of the Jungle by Michael Dobry and Lynda Cole) - story of the Vietnam war told from the perspective of a North Vietnamese commander
  • Les Vertus de l'enfer (1974; tr. in 1974 as The Virtues of Hell by Patricia Wolf)
  • Le Bon Léviathan (1978; tr. in 1978 as The Good Leviathan by Margaret Giovanelli)
  • Les Coulisses du Ciel (1979; tr. in 1985 as Trouble in Paradise by Patricia Wolf)
  • L'Énergie du désespoir (1981)
  • Miroitements (1982; tr. in 1986 as Mirrors of the Sun by Patricia Wolf)
  • La Baleine des Malouines (1983; tr. in 1984 by Patricia Wolf, US title: The Whale of the Victoria Cross, UK title: The Falklands Whale)
  • Pour l'amour de l'art (1985)
  • Le Professeur Mortimer (1988)
  • Le Malheur des uns... (1990)
  • A nous deux, Satan! (1992)
  • L'Archéologue et le mystère de Néfertiti (2005; posthumous)

Short story collections

  • Contes de l'absurde (1953)
  • E=mc2 (1957)
  • Histoires charitables (1965)
  • Time Out of Mind: And Other Stories (1966; twelve stories from Boulle's first three collections tr. by Xan Fielding and Elisabeth Abbott)
  • Quia absurdum: sur la Terre comme au Ciel (1966; tr. in 1970 as Because It Is Absurd: On Earth as It Is in Heaven by Elisabeth Abbott)
  • Histoires perfides (1976; tr. in 1977 as The Marvelous Palace And Other Stories by Margaret Giovanelli)
  • L'enlèvement de l'obélisque (2007; posthumous)


  • Le Siam (Walt Disney) (1955; tr. in 1958 as Walt Disney's Siam by Herbert Knapp) — in Walt Disney's "Le Monde et ses habitants"/"The World and its Inhabitants" series
  • L'étrange croisade de l'empereur Frédéric II (1963)
  • Aux sources de la rivière Kwaï (1966; tr. in 1967 by Xan Fielding, US title: My Own River Kwai, UK title: The Source of the River Kwai) — memoir
  • L'univers ondoyant (1987)
  • L'îlon (1990) — memoir


  1. ^ "Boulle, Pierre-François-Marie-Louis." Britannica Book of the Year, 1995. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 25 May 2008
  2. ^ OLiver, Myrna (3 February 1994). "Pierre Boulle; Wrote 'River Kwai,' 'Planet of the Apes'" – via LA Times.
  3. ^ Goldstein, Patrick. "Hollywood blacklist made writers into nobodies".
  4. ^ "Obituary: Pierre Boulle". 2 February 1994.
  5. ^ Pieyre C, "Du Pont de la rivière KwaÏ à la Planète des singes : Don des manuscrits de Pierre Boulle", chroniques.fr, Bibliothèque nationale de France
  6. ^ Coast, John (2014). Railroad of Death. Myrmidon. ISBN 9781905802937.
  7. ^ "The Bridge on the River Kwai and Designing Woman Win Writing Awards: 1958 Oscars". Oscar. Retrieved 11 Feb 2018.
  8. ^ Schofield, Hugh (4 August 2014). "The French spy who wrote The Planet of the Apes". Retrieved 2 February 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  9. ^ Inquirer, Philippine Daily. "French sci-fi novel sparked 'Planet of the Apes' mythology". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Pierre Boulle". Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Pierre Boulle, Novelist, Is Dead; Author of 'River Kwai' Was 81", New York Times obituaries, 1 February 1994

External links

11th British Academy Film Awards

The 11th British Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, were held on 6 March 1958, to honor the best national and foreign films of 1957.

1912 in France

Events from the year 1912 in France.

1912 in science fiction

The year 1912 was marked, in science fiction, by the following events.

1994 in France

Events from the year 1994 in France.

30th Academy Awards

The 30th Academy Awards ceremony was held on March 26, 1958, to honor the best films of 1957.

The Oscar for Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium was awarded to Pierre Boulle for The Bridge on the River Kwai, despite the fact that he did not know English. The actual writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson were blacklisted at the time and did not receive screen credit for their work. Foreman and Wilson have since been acknowledged by the Academy for their contributions.

Peyton Place tied the record for the most nominations without a win (9) set by The Little Foxes (1941). This record would stand until 1977 when The Turning Point received 11 nominations without a win, which is the record to date (The Color Purple tied the record in 1985). Peyton Place also set the record for most unsuccessful acting nominations with five; this record has been tied once, by Tom Jones at the 36th Academy Awards.

This was the first time all five Best Picture nominations were nominated for Best Director as well.

BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay

The BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay was a British Academy Film Award from 1954 to 1967.


Boulle is a French surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Jean Boulle the father of André Charles Boulle a cabinetmaker to the King of France

André Charles Boulle (1642–1732), French cabinetmaker to the Sun King

Jean-Philippe Boulle (1678–1744), French cabinetmaker to the King of France and the oldest son of André-Charles Boulle

Pierre Boulle (1912–1994), French novelist

Jean-Raymond Boulle (born 1950), mining entrepreneur, founder and principal shareholder of Titanium Resources Group

Mark Boulle (born 1979), Australian musician

Khwae Noi River

The River Kwai (), more correctly Khwae Noi (Thai: แควน้อย, pronounced [kʰwɛ̄ː nɔ́ːj], 'small tributary') or Khwae Sai Yok (แควไทรโยค, pronounced [kʰwɛ̄ː sāj jôːk]), is a river in western Thailand. It rises to the east of the Salween in the north-south spine of the Bilauktaung range near, but not over the border with Burma. It begins at the confluence of Ranti, Songkalia and Bikhli Rivers. At Kanchanaburi it merges with the Khwae Yai River to form the Mae Klong River, which empties into the Gulf of Thailand at Samut Songkhram.

The river is chiefly known for its association with the Pierre Boulle novel, The Bridge over the River Kwai and David Lean's film adaptation of the novel, The Bridge on the River Kwai, in which Australian, Dutch, and British prisoners of war and indigenous peoples were forced by the Japanese to construct two parallel bridges spanning a river as part of the Burma Railway, also called the "Railway of Death", due to the many lives lost in its construction. One bridge was wooden and temporary. The other was made of concrete and steel and still exists. The bridges actually spanned the Mae Klong, but as the railway subsequently follows the Khwae Noi Valley, the bridges became famous under the wrong name. In the 1960s, the upper part of the Mae Klong was renamed the Khwae Yai ('big tributary').

The river was also used in Michael Cimino's Academy Award winning film, The Deer Hunter. The prison camp and initial Russian roulette scene was filmed on the Kwai.A military history of the building of the bridges during World War II can be found in Professor Peter Davies's biography of the British officer Philip Toosey, The Man Behind the Bridge: Colonel Toosey and the River Kwai. The book, and an associated BBC Timewatch documentary, challenge many of the inaccuracies portrayed in Boulle's novel and Lean's film.

The Vajiralongkorn Dam (formerly named Khao Laem Dam) and Srinagarind Dams are hydroelectric dams on the river.

List of French novelists

This is a list of novelists from France. Novelists in this list should be notable in some way, and ideally have Wikipedia articles on them.

See also French novelists Category Index.

Honoré d'Urfé (1568–1625)

Charles Sorel (c. 1602–1674)

Madeleine de Scudéry (1607–1701)

Madame de Lafayette (1634–1693), author of La Princesse de Clèves

Alain-René Le Sage (1668–1747)

Pierre de Marivaux (1688–1763)

Voltaire (1694–1778), philosophe, satirist, playwright, author of Candide

Françoise de Graffigny (1695–1758), author of Lettres d'une Péruvienne

Abbé Prévost (1697–1763), author of Manon Lescaut

Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (1707–1777)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), philosophe, author of Julie, or the New Heloise

Denis Diderot (1713–1784), philosophe, author of Rameau's Nephew

Marie Jeanne Riccoboni (1714–1792)

Restif de la Bretonne (1734–1806)

Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737–1814), author of Paul et Virginie

Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), author of "Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man", Justine, The 120 Days of Sodom, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Juliette

Choderlos de Laclos (1741–1803), author of Les liaisons dangereuses

Anne Louise Germaine de Staël (1766–1817)

Benjamin Constant (1767–1830), author of Adolphe

François-René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848), author of Atala and René

Étienne Pivert de Senancour (1770–1846)

Charles Nodier (1780–1844)

Stendhal (1783–1842), author of The Red and the Black, considered by some to be the first modern novel, and The Charterhouse of Parma

Charles Paul de Kock (1793–1871)

Antoinette Henriette Clémence Robert (1797–1872)

Charles Dezobry (1798–1871), historian and historical novelist

Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), author of La Comédie Humaine, a series of novels presenting a full picture of France in the early 19th century

Alexandre Dumas, père (1802–1870), author of The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers

Victor Hugo (1802–1885), author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables

Prosper Mérimée (1803–1870), author of Carmen

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804–1869)

George Sand (1804–1876), pseudonym of Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Baroness Dudevant

Eugène Sue (1804–1857)

Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808–1889)

Alfred de Musset (1810–1857)

Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)

Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880), author of Madame Bovary and Sentimental Education

Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896)

Henri Murger (1822–1861), author of Scènes de la vie de bohème

Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824–1895), author of La Dame aux camélias

Edmond About (1828–1885)

Jules Verne (1828–1905), writer of techno-thrillers like Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, and founding father of science fiction

Jules de Goncourt (1830–1870)

Hector Malot (1830–1907)

Émile Gaboriau (1832–1873), pioneer of modern detective fiction

Eugène Le Roy (1836–1907)

Alphonse Daudet (1840–1897)

Émile Zola (1840–1902), naturalist, author of Germinal and Nana

Anatole France (1844–1924)

Léon Bloy (1846–1917)

Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848–1907), author of À rebours and Là-bas

Guy de Maupassant (1850–1893)

Pierre Loti (1850–1923)

Élémir Bourges (1852–1925)

Paul Bourget (1852–1935)

René Bazin (1853–1932)

Adolphe Chenevière (1855–19??)

Maurice Barrès (1862–1923)

Henri de Régnier (1864–1936)

Jules Renard (1864–1910)

Romain Rolland (1866–1944), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1915

Gaston Leroux (1868–1927), author of The Phantom of the Opera and The Mystery of the Yellow Room which is recognized as the first locked room puzzle mystery novel

André Gide (1869–1951)

Henri Bordeaux (1870–1963)

Marcel Proust (1871–1922), author of In Search of Lost Time, sometimes seen as the greatest modernist novel

Colette (1873–1954), best known for Gigi and Chéri

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), satirist, inventor of Pataphysics

Roger Martin du Gard (1881–1958), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1937

Louis Pergaud (1882–1915)

Georges Duhamel (1884–1966)

François Mauriac (1885–1970), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1952

Jules Romains (1885–1972)

Alain-Fournier (1886–1914)

Georges Bernanos (1888–1948)

Adrien Bertrand (1888–1917)

Henri Bosco (1888–1976)

Louis Ferdinand Céline (1894–1961), author of Journey to the End of the Night and Death on the Installment Plan or Mort à Crédit

Henri de Montherlant (1895–1972)

Jean Giono (1895–1970)

Julien Green (1900–1998)

Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900–1944)

Nathalie Sarraute (1900–1999)

André Malraux (1901–1976)

Irène Némirovsky (1903–1942), author of Suite française

Raymond Queneau (1903–1976)

Raymond Radiguet (1903–1942)

Marguerite Yourcenar (1903–1987)

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1964

Louise Aslanian (1906–1945), pseudonym "Las", author of "The Way of doubt".

Pauline Réage (1907–1998)

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986)

Paul Berna (1908–1994)

Jean Genet (1910–1986)

Henri Troyat (1911–2007)

Pierre Boulle (1912–1994), author of The Bridge on the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes

Albert Camus (1913–1960), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1957

Gilbert Cesbron (1913–1979)

Claude Simon (1913–2005), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1985

Romain Gary (1914–1980), winner of the Goncourt prize twice, 1956, and 1975 under the pseudonym of Emile Ajar

Marguerite Duras (1914–1996)

Maurice Druon (1918–2009)

Boris Vian (1920–1959)

Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922–2008)

Michel Tournier (born 1924)

Philippe Daudy (1925–1994)

Michel Butor (born 1926)

Sébastien Japrisot (1931–2003)

Emmanuelle Arsan (born 1932)

Régine Deforges (born 1935)

Françoise Sagan (1935–2004)

Georges Perec (1936–1982)

J.M.G. Le Clézio (born 1940), Nobel Prize in Literature, 2008

Nancy Huston (born 1953)

Michel Houellebecq (born 1958), Impact award winner

Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt (born 1960)

Charles Dantzig (born 1961)

Pavel Hak (born 1962)

Beatrice Hammer (born 1963)

List of Légion d'honneur recipients by name (B)

The following is a list of some notable Légion d'honneur recipients by name. The Légion d'honneur is the highest order of France. A complete, chronological list of the members of the Legion of Honour nominated from the very first ceremony in 1803 to now does not exist. The number is estimated at one million including about 3,000 Grand Cross.

Victor Babeș

John Tremayne Babington

Andre Bach

Amitabh Bachchan - India

Louis Bachelier

Michel Bacos

Absalom Baird

Josephine Baker (1906–1975), American-French dancer, singer

Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna – India

James Arthur Baldwin (1924–1987), African-American writer & defender of human rights

Albert Ball

Benjamin Ball (physician)

Basile Baltus de Pouilly, (1766–1845) General, French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars

Raffaello de Banfield

François Barbé-Marbois

Jean-François Barbier (1754–1828) General, French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars

John J. Barceló III - American Law Professor

Van T. Barfoot

Karno Barkah - Indonesian aviation pioneer

Michael Barker Co-President and Co-Founder of Sony Pictures Classics

Myron G. Barlow (1873–1937) American painter. Awarded Légion d'honneur 1932 in recognition of his achievement as a painter.

George Barnett

Denis Gabriel Barois (1922–) Délégué au Conseil supérieur des Français de l'étranger (Mexique)

Théophile Barrau

Charles Barrois

Jeanne Julia Bartet

Marcus "Stub" Bartusek - USA, World War II, 106th Infantry Division (United States), 424th Regiment

Dame Shirley Bassey (b. 1937) U.K. Singer

Maryse Bastié

Jean Ambroise Baston de Lariboisière, (1759–1812), General, French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars

Jean Baubérot (b. 1941), French historian and sociologist

Luc-Marie Bayle

Pierre-Dominique Bazaine (1786–1838) French Mathematician and Engineer

Pierre-Dominique (Adolphe) Bazaine (1809–1893) French Railway Engineer

François Achille Bazaine (1811–1888) Marshal of France

George Albert Bazaine-Hayter (1843–1914) French General

Paul Bazelaire

Cecil Beaton

Gérald Beaudoin

Roger Beaufrand

Thomas Beecham

Azouz Begag

Reginald R. Belknap (1871–1959), United States Navy rear admiral

Alexander Graham Bell

Sir Francis Dillon Bell New Zealand Statesman

Jean-Louis Bélard

Jean-Paul Belmondo

Guillermo B. Belt (1906–1989), Cuban diplomat

Arnaud Beltrame (2018), Gendarme Colonel, Gendarmerie National (Award and promotion both Posthumous).

Charles Bequignon

Józef Bem

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant

François-Nicolas-Benoît Haxo

Jean Béraud

Henri Bergson

Jean Berlie

Louis Bernacchi

Claude Bernard, physiologist, founding father of modern physiology and endocrinology

Tom Bernard - Co-President and Co-Founder of Sony Pictures Classics

Étienne-Prosper Berne-Bellecour

Sarah Bernhardt

Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld

Pier Luigi Bersani

Louis-Alexandre Berthier

Pierre Berthier

Roberte Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough

Jean-Baptiste Bessières

Ramón Emeterio Betances (1827–1898), Puerto Rican medical doctor, political leader and diplomat

Íngrid Betancourt

André Bettencourt

Jacques Claude Beugnot

Marthe Bibesco

Marcel Bigeard

Kenneth W. Bilby, American businessman and author

Carl Bildt

Pierre Billotte

Émile Bin

Maria Ilva Biolcati Italian singer and actress

Wilfred Bion

Sir Robert Bird, 2nd Baronet

George Christopher Molesworth Birdwood

Billy Bishop

Harry Gore Bishop

Monique de Bissy

Henri Biva (1848–1929) French painter. Awarded Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, 1900

George G. Blackburn

Alice Guy-Blaché, cinema pioneer

Sergent Blandan

Tasker H. Bliss

Denise Bloch

Marc Boegner

Jean-Bédel Bokassa

Albina du Boisrouvray

Petar Bojović

Claude Bolling

Kathryne Bomberger

Marie-Claude Bomsel


Jorge Luis Borges

Frank Borland

Władysław Bortnowski

Alfred Bossom

Lucien Bouchard

Georges Ernest Boulanger

Pierre Boulle

Jean-Gustave Bourbouze

Antoine Bourseiller

Paul-Émile Boutigny, painter of military subjects

Frank Henry Bowater

Maurice Bowra

Charles Boyer

Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński

Ali Bozer

Olga Boznańska

Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee Vice President At-Large of The Washington Post

Jean Branger Captain, 8th infantry regiment; by Imperial order: Chevalier of légion d´honneur by decree on 26 December 1852.

Lloyd Samuel Breadner

Théophile Marie Brébant

Yves Bréchet

Francis Charles Bridgeman Bridgeman

Francis Charles Bridgeman Bridgeman

Louis Brière de l'Isle General, Troupes de marine

Donald F. Breitenberg USA World War II, 101st Airborne

Louis de Broglie

Louis Bromfield

Robert S. Brookings

Romaine Brooks

Albert Bros, Escaped pow and member of the Resistance

Daniel Brottier

John Nicholas Brown II, Philanthropist

Margaret Brown

Josip Broz Tito, Leader of Yugoslavia

John Bruce-Lockhart (Scotland, Great War)

Angélique Brûlon

Gabriel Brunet de Sairigné

Charles F. Bruns

Michael Bruxner

Frank Buckles

Jean-Eugène Buland, French painter

Eugene Bullard

Omar Bundy, American general

Richard Burrows, Chairman of British American Tobacco

Robert Busnel

Stephen Butcher

Richard E. Byrd - American admiral and explorer

Myles Byrne

Michael Wilson (writer)

Michael Wilson (July 1, 1914 – April 9, 1978) was an American screenwriter who was blacklisted by the Hollywood film studios during the era of McCarthyism for being a communist.

Philip Toosey

Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey (12 August 1904 – 22 December 1975) was, as a lieutenant colonel, the senior Allied officer in the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp at Tha Maa Kham (known as Tamarkan) in Thailand during World War II. The men at this camp built Bridge 277 of the Burma Railway as later fictionalized in the book The Bridge over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle, and since adapted into the Oscar-winning film The Bridge on the River Kwai in which Alec Guinness played the senior British officer, Lt. Colonel Nicholson. Both the book and film outraged former prisoners because Toosey did not collaborate with the enemy, unlike the fictional Lt. Colonel Nicholson.

Planet of the Apes (1968 film)

Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. It stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, and Linda Harrison. The screenplay by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling was loosely based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. Jerry Goldsmith composed the groundbreaking avant-garde score. It was the first in a series of five films made between 1968 and 1973, all produced by Arthur P. Jacobs and released by 20th Century Fox.The film tells the story of an astronaut crew who crash-lands on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.

The script was originally written by Rod Serling, but underwent many rewrites before filming eventually began. Directors J. Lee Thompson and Blake Edwards were approached, but the film's producer Arthur P. Jacobs, upon the recommendation of Charlton Heston, chose Franklin J. Schaffner to direct the film. Schaffner's changes included an ape society less advanced—and therefore less expensive to depict—than that of the original novel. Filming took place between May 21 and August 10, 1967, in California, Utah and Arizona, with desert sequences shot in and around Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The film's final "closed" cost was $5.8 million.

The film was released on February 8, 1968, in the United States and was a commercial success, earning a lifetime domestic gross of $32.6 million. The film was groundbreaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers and was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short-lived television show, animated series, comic books, and various merchandising. In particular, Roddy McDowall had a long-running relationship with the Apes series, appearing in four of the original five films (absent, apart from a brief voiceover, from the second film of the series, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in which he was replaced by David Watson in the role of Cornelius), and also in the television series.

The original series was followed by Tim Burton's remake Planet of the Apes in 2001 and the reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011. Also in 2001, Planet of the Apes was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Planet of the Apes (TV series)

Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction television series that aired on CBS in 1974. The series stars Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper, James Naughton, Mark Lenard and Booth Colman. It is based on the 1968 Planet of the Apes film and its sequels, which were inspired by the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.

Planet of the Apes (novel)

La Planète des singes, known in English as Planet of the Apes in the US and Monkey Planet in the UK, is a 1963 science fiction novel by French author Pierre Boulle. It was adapted into the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, launching the Planet of the Apes media franchise.The novel tells the tale of three human explorers from Earth who visit a planet orbiting the star Betelgeuse, in which great apes are the dominant intelligent and civilized species, whereas humans are reduced to a savage animal-like state.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwaï (1952) by Pierre Boulle. The film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. The cast included William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa.

It was initially scripted by screenwriter Carl Foreman, who was later replaced by Michael Wilson. Both writers had to work in secret, as they were on the Hollywood blacklist and had fled to England in order to continue working. As a result, Boulle, who did not speak English, was credited and received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; many years later, Foreman and Wilson posthumously received the Academy Award.The film was widely praised, winning seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) at the 30th Academy Awards. It used lush colour to bring out the British stiff upper lip of the colonel, played by Alec Guinness in an Oscar-winning performance. In 1997, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. It has been included on the American Film Institute's list of best American films ever made. In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Bridge on the River Kwai the 11th greatest British film of the 20th Century.

The Bridge over the River Kwai

The Bridge over the River Kwai (French: Le Pont de la Rivière Kwaï) is a novel by the French novelist Pierre Boulle, published in French in 1952 and English translation by Xan Fielding in 1954. The story is fictional but uses the construction of the Burma Railway, in 1942–1943, as its historical setting, and is partly based on Pierre Boulle's own life experience working in Malaysia rubber plantations and later working for allied forces in Singapore and Indochina during World War II. The novel deals with the plight of World War II British prisoners of war forced by the Imperial Japanese Army to build a bridge for the "Death Railway", so named because of the large number of prisoners and conscripts who died during its construction. The novel won France's Prix Sainte-Beuve in 1952.

Uplift (science fiction)

In science fiction, uplift is a developmental process to transform a certain species of animals into more intelligent beings by other, already-intelligent beings. This is usually accomplished by cultural, technological, or evolutional interventions like genetic engineering but any fictional or real process can be used. The earliest appearance of the concept is in H. G. Wells' 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau, and more recently appears in David Brin's Uplift series and other science fiction works.

Awards for Pierre Boulle

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