30 of the Most Important Films of Le Cinéma Français

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1.
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
 
2.
Night and Fog (1956 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside. (32 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
 
3.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed. (112 mins.)
Director: Julian Schnabel
 
4.
Three Colors: Red (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A model discovers her neighbor is keen on invading people's privacy. (99 mins.)
 
5.
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.)
 
6.
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
 
7.
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
 
8.
Persepolis (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution. (96 mins.)
 
9.
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
 
10.
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.)
 
11.
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
 
12.
Three Colors: Blue (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child. (98 mins.)
 
13.
Diabolique (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster conspire to kill him; after the murder is committed, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women. (117 mins.)
Director: H.G. Clouzot
 
14.
Joyeux Noel (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life. (116 mins.)
 
15.
Amélie (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. (122 mins.)
 
16.
My Father's Glory (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young boy's life in turn-of-the-century France. Marcel, witnesses the success of his teacher father... (105 mins.)
Director: Yves Robert
 
17.
Welcome (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe... (110 mins.)
Director: Philippe Lioret
 
18.
I Accuse (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
After serving in the trenches of World War I, Jean Diaz recoils with such horror that he renounces love... (104 mins.)
Director: Abel Gance
 
19.
Love Me If You Dare (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children -- a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another's pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another. (93 mins.)
Director: Yann Samuell
 
20.
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.)
 
21.
35 Shots of Rum (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The relationship between a father and daughter is complicated by the arrival of a handsome young man. (100 mins.)
Director: Claire Denis
 
22.
The Secret of the Grain (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has... (151 mins.)
 
23.
Jour de Fete (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois... (70 mins.)
Director: Jacques Tati
 
24.
A Christmas Tale (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The troubled Vuillard family is no stranger to illness, grief, and banishment, but when their matriarch requires a bone-marrow transplant, the estranged clan reunites just in time for Christmas. (150 mins.)
 
25.
The Arrival of a Train (1896 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train... (1 mins.)
 
26.
Avenue Montaigne (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A young woman arrives in Paris where she finds a job as a waitress in bar next on Avenue Montaigne that caters to the surrounding theaters and the wealthy inhabitants of the area. She will meet a pianist, a famous actress and a great art collector, and become acquainted with the "luxurious" world her grandmother has told her about since her childhood. (106 mins.)
 
27.
The Illusionist (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever. (80 mins.)
Director: Sylvain Chomet
 
28.
A Secret (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A 15-year-old boy unearths a shocking family secret. (105 mins.)
Director: Claude Miller
 
29.
The Wages of Fear (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe. (131 mins.)
 
30.
Indochine (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
This story is set in 1930, at the time when French colonial rule in Indochina is ending. A widowed French woman who works in the rubber fields... (159 mins.)
Director: Régis Wargnier