Henri -Georges Clouzot was born in 1907 as son of a bookseller and publisher in Niort. After his parents wish he was supposed to go into the Navy. They sent him to Brest at the École Navale. This career plans but were thwarted because of its strong myopia, which were found in the entrance examination. With the career goal to become a diplomat, he studied law until the Great Depression destroyed the wealth of his family and made a continuation of his studies impossible. Clouzot was a journalist at the tabloid " Paris -Midi ". When in 1931 he accepted the offer of Adolphe Osso to work in his production company as an editor and writer arranger, he gained his first experience. Later he assisted Anatole Litvak and Ewald André Dupont in Berlin and subsequently created in Neubabelsberg French versions of German films. As the step of first film seemed quite near, threw him in 1933 a severe lung disease, forcing him back five years in a sanatorium. In 1938, he returned as an author back into the movie business.
His start he gave in 1942 with The murderer lives in number 21, the following year he directed The Raven. Both films reveal his talent and are today considered masterpieces of film art.
After the liberation from German occupation initially Clouzot was banned because of supposedly close collaboration with the enemy. However, thanks to prominent figures such as Pierre Bost, Jacques Becker and Henri Jeanson he returned relatively quickly in his profession and became considered later on the Venice Film Festival and Cannes awards. 1947 he directed under false suspicion.
A lasting monument to the art of film created in 1953 with Clouzot The Wages of Fear. With the French film stars Yves Montand and Charles Vanel in the lead roles, the film was not only in France but also internationally most attention. 1953 the film won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale, and also at the Film Festival of Cannes the grand prize. Among other famous films was Clouzot's thriller Diabolique (1955 ) particularly well received by the audience.
The Hollywood remakes of his most famous films The Wages of Fear and Diabolique could never come close to the originals. As part of a concert film Clouzot worked with Herbert von Karajan. He was the favorite director of Romy Schneider.
From 1950 until her death Clouzot was married to Véra Clouzot ( 1913-1960 ), which occurred in some of his films. His second wife was also widowed Inès de Gonzalès (born Bise ). Clouzot died on January 12, 1977 at the age of 69 years in Paris. He was buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre, where his first wife already had her final resting place.