Academy Brings Back the Laughter with Pierre Étaix

Étaix to Appear in Person

Beverly Hills, CA (November 2, 2011) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a rare look at the films of French comedian Pierre Étaix in its latest installment of the Jack Oakie Celebration of Comedy in Film, on Wednesday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin, “Pierre Étaix: The Laughter Returns” will feature Étaix in person followed by screenings of “Le Grand Amour” (“The Great Love,” 1969) and the Oscar®-winning short “Heureux Anniversaire” (Happy Anniversary, 1962) from new restorations.

Étaix is a clown, magician, illustrator and cabaret artist whose films recall the genius of Keaton, Chaplin and Lloyd. He worked with famed director Jacques Tati in various capacities on “Mon Oncle” (1958), then found an ideal collaborator for his own film projects in Jean-Claude Carrière.

Copyright entanglements have long kept Étaix’s work out of the public eye, and his films have been only recently restored and re-released in France. The restoration work was performed by Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema.

Following his stateside appearance at the 2011 Telluride Film Festival, the Academy will welcome Étaix to Los Angeles. Étaix’s appearance is made possible through the generous cooperation of Unifrance Films and L'Institut français.

The Jack Oakie Celebration of Comedy in Film provides an opportunity for established filmmakers and historians to share their experiences and to discuss the specific challenges and delights of the comedy genre. The celebration is named in memory of character actor Jack Oakie, whose career included vaudeville, Broadway musicals and 87 motion pictures, most of them comedies or musical comedies. He appeared in such notable films as “Once in a Lifetime,” “Million Dollar Legs” and “It Happened Tomorrow,” and received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in “The Great Dictator.”

Tickets for "Pierre Étaix: The Laughter Returns” are now on sale. Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They may be purchased online at, by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the program when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

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Tarrah Curtis

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