A onetime architecture student in Paris, Christian Maudet's first taste of the cinematic arts was his job as a poster designer for French silent films. During this period he worked in collaboration with another artist whose first name was Jacques; the men signed their work "Christian-Jacque", which Maudet eventually adopted as his professional moniker. Christian-Jacque wrote movie criticism from 1926 onward, then gleaned practical moviemaking experience as art director and assistant director to such Gallic auteurs as Duvivier and Roussel. His first solo directorial effort was 1931's Bidon d'Or. Quickly mastering such diverse genres as slapstick comedy, drawing-room farce, adventure and romantic mystery, Christian-Jacque rapidly became one of France's most bankable filmmakers, so much so that he was permitted virtual autonomy during the otherwise Nazi-dominated Occupation Years. His most widely celebrated film was the rollicking tongue-in-cheek swashbuckler Fanfan le Tulip, which won him a "Best Director" award at Cannes. During his long (1931-1978) career, Christian-Jacque married several of his leading ladies, the most famous of which was Martine Carol.