The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Top French Films

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1.
The Red Head (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A red-haired boy is his mother's punching bag ; only his father's presence is a great comfort to him,but this weak man is under the shrew's thumb.His pain is so great he feels suicidal. (91 mins.)
Director: Julien Duvivier
 
2.
À Nous la Liberté (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Seeking better life, two convicts escape from prison. (104 mins.)
Director: René Clair
 
3.
L'Atalante (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy. (89 mins.)
Director: Jean Vigo
 
4.
Pension Mimosas (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Mr. and Mrs. Noblet run a boarding house on the French Riviera. One day, they are led by circumstances to welcome a little boy Pierre... (109 mins.)
Director: Jacques Feyder
 
5.
Toni (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In the 1920s, the Provence is a magnet for immigrants seeking work in the quarries or in agriculture... (81 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
6.
A Day in the Country (1936 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love to a man at the inn, where they spend the day. (40 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
7.
The Story of a Cheat (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A charming scoundrel reflects on his exploits, from childhood through to manhood. (81 mins.)
Director: Sacha Guitry
 
8.
Harvest (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
(127 mins.)
Director: Marcel Pagnol
 
9.
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
 
10.
Le Jour se Leve (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After committing a murder, a man locks himself in his apartment and recollects the events that led him to the killing. (93 mins.)
Director: Marcel Carné
 
11.
Who Killed Santa Claus? (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The story concerns an old globe-maker who is mysteriously killed while going through the town portraying Pere Noel ("Father Christmas" aka Santa Claus). (105 mins.)
Director: Christian-Jaque
 
12.
Love Story (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In Paris in 1887, Irène works as a governess to Douce, the grand-daughter of the dowager Countess de Bonafé... (104 mins.)
 
13.
The Woman Who Dared (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The wife of a mechanic and former fighter pilot falls in love with the idea of flying herself. This soon becomes an obsession and she undertakes a lofty feat: the longest solo flight ever made by a woman. (105 mins.)
Director: Jean Grémillon
 
14.
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
 
15.
Children of Paradise (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her. (189 mins.)
Director: Marcel Carné
 
16.
The Battle of the Rails (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
This movie is a story about French railroad workers who were part of organized resistance during the German WW2 occupation. (85 mins.)
Director: René Clément
 
17.
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
 
18.
Quai des Orfèvres (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous man... (106 mins.)
Director: H. G. Clouzot
 
19.
Orpheus (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A poet in love with Death follows his unhappy wife into the underworld. (95 mins.)
Director: Jean Cocteau
 
20.
Casque d'Or (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In an open-air dance hall, the members of Leca's gang are relaxing with their ladies. One of them, Marie... (96 mins.)
Director: Jacques Becker
 
21.
Le Plaisir (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women... (97 mins.)
Director: Max Ophüls
 
22.
The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave... (105 mins.)
Director: Max Ophüls
 
23.
Rue de l'Estrapade (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
While Henri Laurent speeds along on the racing circuits, his pretty wife Françoise goes from luxury... (100 mins.)
Director: Jacques Becker
 
24.
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation, where he accidentally (but good-naturedly) causes havoc. (114 mins.)
Director: Jacques Tati
 
25.
French Cancan (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
This comedy drama from Jean Renoir chronicles the revival of Paris' most notorious dance as it tells the story of a theater producer who turns a humble washerwoman into a star at the Moulin Rouge. (102 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
26.
The Grand Maneuver (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn't like other girls he's known. (106 mins.)
Director: René Clair
 
27.
...And God Created Woman (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In sunny St. Tropez, a young sexpot loves one brother but marries the other. (95 mins.)
Director: R. Vadim
 
28.
Lovers of Paris (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Young, handsome, dashing but cynical, Octave Mouret arrives in Paris, determined to conquer the belles of the capital... (115 mins.)
Director: Julien Duvivier
 
29.
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
 
30.
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
 
31.
Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war. (90 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
 
32.
Jules and Jim (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman. (105 mins.)
 
33.
Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Cleo, a singer and hypochondriac, becomes increasingly worried that she might have cancer while awaiting test results from her doctor. (90 mins.)
Director: Agnès Varda
 
34.
Monsieur Gangster (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Ex-gangster Fernand (Lino Ventura) receives a call from a dying friend, a mob boss nicknamed "The Mexican"... (105 mins.)
Director: Georges Lautner
 
35.
The Fire Within (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Alain Leroy is having a course of treatment in a private hospital because of his problem with alcohol... (108 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
 
36.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A young woman separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision. (91 mins.)
Director: Jacques Demy
 
37.
Pierrot le Fou (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run. (110 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
 
38.
La Grande Vadrouille (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A RAF Bomber is shot down over Paris by the Germans. Its crew (Terry Thomas as a flight captain) land there by parachute... (132 mins.)
Director: Gérard Oury
 
39.
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
 
40.
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.)
 
41.
The Things of Life (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A highway engineer is involved in a car crash, after which, near death, he remembers his life leading up to the accident. (89 mins.)
Director: Claude Sautet
 
42.
The Mother and the Whore (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In Paris, the pedantic Alexandre lives with his mate Marie in her apartment, an open relationship. Alexandre... (217 mins.)
Director: Jean Eustache
 
43.
India Song (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Poetical tale of Anne-Marie Stretter, the wife of a French diplomat in India in the 1930s. At 18 she... (120 mins.)
 
44.
Mr. Klein (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Paris, 1942. Robert Klein cannot find any fault with the state of affairs in German-occupied France... (123 mins.)
Director: Joseph Losey
 
45.
The Green Room (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A French little town, at the end of the twenties. Julien Davenne is a journalist whose wife Julie died a decade ago... (94 mins.)
 
46.
Buffet Froid (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Black comedy about solitude and the dehumanization of the modern world, through the adventures of three men... (89 mins.)
Director: Bertrand Blier
 
47.
Coup de tête (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
François Perrin plays football at the AS Trincamp. During a training session, he gets into a fight with Bertier... (89 mins.)
 
48.
Série noire (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Franck Poupart is a slightly neurotic door-to-door salesman in a sinister part of Paris' suburbs. He meets Mona... (111 mins.)
Director: Alain Corneau
 
49.
Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The intersecting stories of three people who face difficult choices in life-changing situations are used to illustrate the theories espoused by Henri Laborit about human behavior and the relationship between the self and society. (125 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
 
50.
The King and the Mockingbird (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A chimney sweep and a shepherdess seek to escape from the clutches of a tyrannical king. (83 mins.)
Director: Paul Grimault
 
51.
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.)
 
52.
À nos amours (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Suzanne is sixteen and is having sex with many boys, just for fun, but did not manage to really love one of them... (95 mins.)
Director: Maurice Pialat
 
53.
So Long, Stooge (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Lambert, a burned-out case, works the night shift at a gas station, rarely speaking, living alone, drinking... (100 mins.)
Director: Claude Berri
 
54.
L'argent (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into... (85 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
55.
Full Moon in Paris (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Louise, a young woman, who recently finished her studies in arts, is working as a interior decorator trainee... (100 mins.)
Director: Éric Rohmer
 
56.
Marche à l'ombre (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two friends, one a musician the other constantly depressed wander around Greece and France till they get to Paris without a penny to their name... (90 mins.)
Director: Michel Blanc
 
57.
Vagabond (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death. (105 mins.)
Director: Agnès Varda
 
58.
Thérèse (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The life of little St. Therese of Lisieux, depicted in minimalist vignettes. Therese and her sisters are all nuns in a Carmelite convent... (94 mins.)
Director: Alain Cavalier
 
59.
Mauvais Sang (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Marc (Michel Piccoli) recruits Alex (Denis Lavant), son of his former, now dead colleague. Alex is a... (116 mins.)
Director: Leos Carax
 
60.
La puritaine (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
(86 mins.)
Director: Jacques Doillon
 
61.
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
 
62.
Sound and Fury (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
This drama depicts the misery of neglected children in big cities. 13 years old Bruno is of a good family... (95 mins.)
 
63.
Love Without Pity (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
25 years old Hippo doesn't have a job, doesn't study either but lives from the money his younger brother... (84 mins.)
Director: Eric Rochant
 
64.
Life and Nothing But (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Intense character study of men and women driven by an overpowering obsession with the past. (135 mins.)
 
65.
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Embarrassed by his large nose, a romantic poet/soldier romances his cousin by proxy. (137 mins.)
 
66.
La discrète (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
There is an author who has been dumped by his girlfriend and has no inspiration for a next novel. In an attempt to find a solution to both crises... (94 mins.)
 
67.
Van Gogh (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The final sixty-seven days of Van Gogh's life is examined. (158 mins.)
Director: Maurice Pialat
 
68.
A Tale of Winter (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Felicie and Charles have a serious if whirlwind holiday romance. Due to a mix-up on addresses they lose contact... (114 mins.)
Director: Éric Rohmer
 
69.
Bar des rails (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Richard is a teenager living with her mother, a dressmaker. He falls in love with Marion, one of her customer... (103 mins.)
Director: Cédric Kahn
 
70.
La chasse aux papillons (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A noble family of France maintains dignity despite the onslaught of modernism and non-white immigrants. (115 mins.)
Director: Otar Iosseliani
 
71.
The Birth of Love (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Middle-aged artistes provide the focus of this drama filmed in black and white. The story is set in Paris around the time of the Gulf War... (94 mins.)
Director: Philippe Garrel
 
72.
My Favorite Season (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Old woman Berthe leaves her house to live in her daugter Emilie's one. Emilie and her brother Antoine... (127 mins.)
 
73.
Coming to Terms with the Dead (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
It's summer, on the beach of this little town in Brittany, a man around 40 is building a sand castle... (104 mins.)
Director: Pascale Ferran
 
74.
See How They Fall (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Simon is a sales representative about fifty. When Mickey, his cop friend, is being shot, he leaves everything to find the murderers... (90 mins.)
Director: Jacques Audiard
 
75.
Lovers (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
(88 mins.)
 
76.
Le fils préféré (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Nicole Garcia's film shows a family through an adult man's figure, and his weekdays. The main character... (100 mins.)
Director: Nicole Garcia
 
77.
La Cérémonie (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A new-hired maid for a rich countryside family befriends a post-office clerk, who encourages her to rebel against her employers. (112 mins.)
Director: Claude Chabrol
 
78.
Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
When Nelly, a woman being just divorced, meets by chance M. Arnaud, a mature salesman just retired,... (106 mins.)
Director: Claude Sautet
 
79.
Fresh Bait (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Three adolescents, a girl who serves as the priming and two boys, kill two men cold blooded who were... (115 mins.)
 
80.
JLG/JLG: Self-Portrait in December (1994 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director Jean-Luc Godard reflects in this movie about his place in film history, the interaction of film industry and film as art... (62 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
 
81.
My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Paul Dedalus is at a crossroads in his life. He has to make several decisions; should he complete his doctorate... (178 mins.)
 
82.
Y'aura t'il de la neige à Noël? (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A woman and her seven children live on a farm in Southern France. In spite of the hard work and the mediocre accommodation... (90 mins.)
 
83.
The Life of Jesus (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A social movie about current life in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed... (96 mins.)
Director: Bruno Dumont
 
84.
Fred (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
This is the story of a qualified but unemployed crane operator called Fred. Everything seems to be going fine with him until the day he gets caught into a sordid story.
Director: Pierre Jolivet
 
85.
Western (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Catalonian Paco is a traveling rep for a shoe manufacturer. When he stops to pick up Russian emigree hitchhiker Nino... (124 mins.)
Director: Manuel Poirier
 
86.
Marius and Jeannette (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Marius is the keeper of an abandoned cement works staying high above the quarter of l'Estaque in Marseilles... (105 mins.)
 
87.
Class Trip (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A schoolboy Nicholas always worries about something. When he goes on a school skiing trip, all his visions and nightmares take him over. (96 mins.)
Director: Claude Miller
 
88.
Dis-moi que je rêve (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A family of farmers has to deal with the retarded elder son. He gets everybody bored and tired of him, even his cow to whom he goes to talk to several times a day. (97 mins.)
 
89.
Jeanne and the Perfect Guy (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Jeanne has an appetite for love that can never be satisfied. Lovers at every corner of her life she is still in search of that "one"... (98 mins.)
 
90.
Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Friends of a recently deceased minor painter Jean-Baptiste take a train in Paris for Limoges, where he wished to be buried... (122 mins.)
 
91.
The Dreamlife of Angels (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In Lille, two penniless young women with few prospects become friends. Isa moves in with Marie, who's... (113 mins.)
Director: Erick Zonca
 
92.
For Sale (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A Private detective is hired to trace a woman who ran away and disappeared on her wedding day. The movie follows him and recounts the story of her life through her eyes and the eyes of those interviewed by the detective. (100 mins.)
Director: Laetitia Masson
 
93.
Venus Beauty Institute (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Employees of a beauty parlor in search of love and happiness. (105 mins.)
Director: Tonie Marshall