Paul Misraki (January 28, 1908 - October 29, 1998) was a French composer of popular music and film scores. Over the course of over 60 years, Misraki wrote the music to 130 films, scoring works by directors like Jean Renoir, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Becker, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Luc Godard, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Orson Welles, Luis Buñuel and Roger Vadim.
For his work, he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.
Born Paul Misrachi in Constantinople, Turkey (now Istanbul) into a French Jewish family of Italian descent, Misraki showed an early aptitude for music. He went to Paris to study classical composition, and by the 1930s had become an established jazz pianist, arranger and writer of popular songs; around this time he began composing film scores, with his first known work being for Jean Renoir's first sound film, On purge bébé, for which he was uncredited.
Like Renoir, Misraki fled France during the World War II German occupation. After a brief stay in Argentina, Misraki ended up in Hollywood, where he composed the music to all of Renoir's American films. After the war, Misraki returned to France, working busily throughout the 1950s, a period when he was routinely scoring half a dozen or more films a year. These included numerous films by... Read More|
... Yves Allégret and Jean Boyer, as well as two films by Jacques Becker (Ali Baba et les quarante voleurs and Montparnasse 19) and Orson Welles' Mr. Arkadin.
The 1960s saw Misraki slow down slightly, writing only 2-3 scores a year. During this period, he worked with many of the leading French directors of the period, including Jean-Luc Godard (on Alphaville), Jean-Pierre Melville (on Le Doulos) and Claude Chabrol, for whom he scored several films.
Misraki composed intermittently throughout the last two decades of his life. He composed his last score at age 85; by this point he had been working almost exclusively in television for several years. He died on natural causes at age 90 in Paris.