My 20 favourite French films...

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Diva (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed. All these characters twist their way through an intricate and stylish French language thriller. (117 mins.)
 
2.
Betty Blue (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A lackadaisical handyman and aspiring novelist tries to support his younger girlfriend as she slowly succumbs to madness. (120 mins.)
 
3.
The Man Who Loved Women (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Bertrand Morane's burial is attended by all the women the forty-year-old engineer loved. We then flash back to Bertrand's life and love affairs... (120 mins.)
 
4.
The Story of Adele H (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Adèle Hugo's unrequited love for a lieutenant. (96 mins.)
 
5.
Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette. (95 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
6.
A Man Escaped (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from prison. (101 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
7.
The Blood of a Poet (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking... (55 mins.)
Director: Jean Cocteau
 
8.
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her. (96 mins.)
Director: Jean Cocteau
 
9.
The Wild Child (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In a French forest in 1798, a child is found who cannot walk, speak, read or write. A doctor becomes interested in the child and patiently attempts to civilize him. (83 mins.)
 
10.
La Grande Illusion (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from. (113 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
11.
Forbidden Games (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young French girl orphaned in a Nazi air attack is befriended by the son of a poor farmer, and together they try to come to terms with the realities of death. (86 mins.)
Director: René Clément
 
12.
Les dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A society lady engineers a marriage between her lover and a cabaret dancer who is essentially a prostitute. (86 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
13.
The Lover (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other. (115 mins.)
 
14.
Breathless (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy. (90 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ the only Godard film i've enjoyed...(the rest are terrible) ” - DrFreudstein2011
 
15.
The 400 Blows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime. (99 mins.)
 
16.
Belle de Jour (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute. (100 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
 
17.
Le Samouraï (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After Professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further in a corner. (105 mins.)
 
18.
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A self-assured business man murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events. (91 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
 
19.
Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret. (104 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
 
20.
Lacombe, Lucien (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A small town in the south-west of France, summer of 1944. Having failed to join the resistance, the 18 year old Lucien Lacombe... (138 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle