Louis de Rochemont III -
"Windjammer" Director Passed Away
This article first appeared in
The 70mm Newsletter
Issue 66 - November 2001
Louis de Rochemont, Ivan Jacobsen and
wife in Bradford in 1999. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev
It is with great sadness I have to report that producer-director Mr. Louis de Rochemont III (Born 14.12.1930 in New York) has passed away on July 11, 2001 following complications from diabetes. He was 70.
Turi, his second wife, survives him. They lived in a little village just south of Oslo in Norway.
I had the pleasure of meeting Louis de Rochemont in 1995 during a visit to Oslo. It was my first meeting with a "wide screen celebrity" and I was very excited. I had prepared some questions about two
Todd-AO short films he made in the 1950s. His memory was initially quite rusty, however; while talking about the subject and seeing the frame blow-ups I had, his memory came back. He charmed all of us that evening with his enthusiasm and stories of the past.
Louis and I kept bumping into each other in 4 different countries in the following years. I met him in 1997 in
Dayton (OH) for the "Cinerama Holiday" reunion. In 1999 in Bradford (England) he was guest of honor during the
Weekend, and later that fall in Oslo I interviewed him for "The Cinerama
Adventure". Our final meeting was in March 2001 for the 40th anniversary
of the Royal cinema in
Malmų, Sweden. Both Louis and Turi came down from Oslo to introduce "Windjammer" which was shown that evening. He gave a short and moving speech before the film. He felt very privileged and told the audience how rare it is for a filmmaker to see his film again after 40 years.
In Bradford he sat in the first row and saw "Windjammer" in its original full
3-strip Cinemiracle and I'm sure I saw a tear in his eye when the film was over.
I like to think that Louis enjoyed giving autographs, reminiscing with his audience and the renewed popularity of his long-forgotten films. To many people in the wide screen community, he became a friend and was simply known as "Louis". He was a very sweet man and shall be missed.
Louis' large format credits include: "Cinerama Holiday", "Windjammer",
"The Miracle of Todd-AO" and
"The March of Todd-AO".
Further in 70mm reading:
"Windjammer" Director Passes Away
Autobiography - Chapter 3 "WINDJAMMER"
"Windjammer" in Cinemiracle
The Danes And The
The Return of "Windjammer"
Update by August 1996
"Windjammer" in Denmark
Is Windjammer the Queen of
- top - back issues