From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Robert Hossein (born as Hosseinhof December 30, 1927 in Paris) is a French film actor of Parsi origin, director and writer. He directed the 1982 adaption of Les Misérables, and appeared in Vice and Virtue, Le Casse, Les Uns et les Autres and Venus Beauty Institute. His most recent roles include starring as Michèle Merciers husband in the Angélique series and as a Catholic priest who falls in love with Claude Jade and becomes a communist in Prêtres interdits (Forbidden Priests) in 1973. Hossein started directing films in 1956 with Les salauds vont en enfer from a story by Frédéric Dard whose novels and plays went on to furnish Hossein with much of his later film material. Right from the start Hossein established his characteristic trademarks: using a seemingly straightforward suspense plot and subverting its conventions (sometimes to the extent of a complete disregard of the traditional demand for a final twist or revelation) in order to concentrate on ritualistic relationships. This is the directors running preoccupation which is always stressed in his films by an extraordinary command of film space and often striking frame compositions where the geometry of human figures and set design is used to accentuate the psychological set-up of the scene. The mechanisms of guilt and the way it destroys relationships is another recurring theme, presumably influenced by Hosseins lifelong interest in the works of Dostoyevski. Although Hossein had some modest international successes with films like Toi, le venin and Le vampire de Dusseldorf, he was much singled out for scorching criticism by the critics and followers of the New Wave for the unashamedly melodramatic frameworks of his films. The fact that he was essentially an auteur director with a consistent set of themes and an extraordinary mastery of original and unusual approaches to staging his stories, was never appreciated. He was not averse to trying his hand at widely different genres and was never defeated, making the strikingly different spaghetti western Une corde, un Colt and the low-budgeted but daringly subversive period drama Jai tué Raspoutine. However, because of the lack of wider success and continuing adverse criticism, Hossein virtually ended his film directing career in 1970, having concentrated on theatre where his achievements were never questioned, and subsequently returning to film directing only twice.