One of my favorite cult movies from long ago college days was the 1946
classic Children of Paradise,
directed by poet Jacques Prévert. This new DVD edition includes
two discs, a photo gallery, several interviews, and more. A melodramatic but
touching treatment of life in the theater in France. I can't wait to see
this one again.
To Catch a Thief
has been missing from our film list, and is really such a classic that we'll
have to give it special mention, not just for Cary and Grace, but for Cannes,
the Cote d'Azur and the beautiful Mediterranean sea. This DVD edition is
supposed to be superb.
is a stylistic and comedic marvel of a film: subtle,
fashionable, très Paris à l'americain. With Cary Grant and Audrey
Hepburn, how could it be otherwise? There's a remake now out in theaters...hmmm,
could it even compare?
Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie,
a surprise hit in France,
was criticized for being a bit
too "eye-candy fluff" by the French press. Nonetheless, it's a joy
to watch, and is filled with great scenes of
Montmartre. Hey, it made the final cut for Best Foreign Film at last
year's Academy Awards...
some say one of the greatest backstage movies ever made, was directed by
Jean Renoir and stars that oh-so-French leading man, Jean Gabin.
Kiss (1995) Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan romp
through Paris and Provence in this silly but sweet film, with a great
soundtrack including KK singing La Mer in the style of Charles
Trenet. Seen it over and over and still am charmed!
Ronin (1998) Dark thriller with chase scenes that rival those in The
French Connection, spotlight on Paris, Nice, Arles and other cool
spots. DeNiro is DeNiro, and Jean Reno, an
character actor, matches him.
(1987) isn't a French film but it's a wonderful story about a Frenchwoman
who's been taken in by a Danish family. She concocts a feast that any good
eater won't want to miss. Beautifully photographed and acted.
Cyrano de Bergerac
(1990) is Gérard Dépardieu's version of the legendary character, and
some say it's the best filmed version ever made. Besides many of the
scenes were shot in Uzès, France, one of our favorite places!
Face (1957) Great scenes with wonderful Gershwin score
as photographer Fred Astaire finds
model-in-waiting Audrey Hepburn in a bookstore in Paris.
Frantic (1988) Harrison Ford in a dark Roman
Polanski thriller set in Paris for those who love those glimpses of the
City of Light.
Jefferson in Paris, not among my favorite of the Merchant-Ivory
movies, does provide a provocative portrayal of French society just
before both revolutions, worth a view for that, in spite of
the film's slow, flat pace.
Jim (1962) Francois Truffaut's third film à la
Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) with the incredible Jeanne Moreau. Also The 400
Blows (1959), his directorial debut about a Parisian gamin
who turns to a life of petty crime.
(1995) is one of those films that either hits you right or doesn't. It hit
us right when we saw it, lots of laugh, VERY French, and great
Diva (1981) A hip thriller with an incredible motorcycle
chase in the Paris subway.
Florette and Manon of the
films, Part I and II, featuring Yves Montand, Gerard Dépardieu, Daniel
smalltown life in Provence...beautiful scenery, lush visuals, great actors,
Glory and My Mother's
(1991) Two sweet
films about the old Provence from the point of view of a small child, the
memoirs of author/filmmaker Marcel Pagnol.
A Year In
Provence - Complete Set (1992) BBC's make of Mayle's bestseller starring John
Thaw of the Inspector Morse series. It's Provence!
Illusion (1937) An absolute classic of international cinema,
directed by Jean Renoir, winner of the 1937 Venice Film Festival, set in
World War I France.
(1955) is a
classic French thriller made à la Hitchcock with Simone Signoret.
(According to some, Hitchcock was outbid by this director, Henri-Georges
Clouzot, for rights to the story.) A recent remake with Sharon Stone
pales in comparison.
Browse a listing of Classic French Movies