MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 513 this week

Is Paris Burning? (1966)
"Paris brûle-t-il?" (original title)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,517 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 8 critic

The true story of the departure of the German occupiers from Paris in 1944.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (book), 8 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 15 Jun 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 26 Aug 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 15 Oct 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 Feb 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Is Paris Burning? (1966)

Is Paris Burning? (1966) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Is Paris Burning?.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Joy House (1964)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

French filmmaker Rene Clement presents Alan Delon as a petty criminal on the run from the underground. On the Rivera, he seeks refuge in a flophouse whose soup line is served by Jane Fonda ... See full summary »

Director: René Clément
Stars: Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Lola Albright
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Louisiana wedding of debutante Phoebe Ann Naylor to Don Andrea de Baldasar, El Duce de la Casala is stopped by the Cavalry over a matter of honor. Don Andrea flees across the river to ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Dean Martin, Alain Delon, Rosemary Forsyth
Once a Thief (1965)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Eddie Pedak, a convicted criminal, has a steady job, a wife and daughter and he puts a down payment on a boat. He also has a police detective and brother after him, the first believes Eddie... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Alain Delon, Ann-Margret, Van Heflin
Purple Noon (1960)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Tom Ripley is a talented mimic, moocher, forger and all-around criminal improviser; but there's more to Tom Ripley than even he can guess.

Director: René Clément
Stars: Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Charles (Jean Gabin), a sixtyish career criminal fresh out of jail, rejects his wife's plan for a quiet life of bourgeois respectability. He enlists a former cellmate, Francis (Alain Delon)... See full summary »

Director: Henri Verneuil
Stars: Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, Claude Cerval
Certificate: M Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two adventurers and best friends, Roland and Manu, are the victims of a practical joke that costs Manu his pilot's license. With seeming contrition, the jokesters tell Roland and Manu about... See full summary »

Director: Robert Enrico
Stars: Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, Joanna Shimkus
Love at Sea (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Guy Gilles
Stars: Daniel Moosmann, Geneviève Thénier, Josette Krieff
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Alain Delon, Senta Berger, Peter Mosbacher
Borsalino (1970)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the 1930s, in Marseilles, France, two small time crooks work for local crime bosses until they decide to go into business for themselves.

Director: Jacques Deray
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Catherine Rouvel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

1961. Thomas Vlassenroot deserted the French Foreign Legion while fighting in Algeria. His lieutenant, Fraser, initiated the desertion for the two of them, Fraser believing he could do more... See full summary »

Director: Alain Cavalier
Stars: Alain Delon, Lea Massari, Georges Géret
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A beautiful 18-year-old orphan escapes from a reformatory and hooks up wth a gang of jewel smugglers, and decides on a life of crime. However, she falls for and marries a policeman, putting... See full summary »

Director: Marc Allégret
Stars: Mylène Demongeot, Henri Vidal, Béatrice Altariba
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: René Clément
Stars: Alain Delon, Barbara Lass, Gino Cervi
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pierrelot - Yvon Morandat
...
Docteur Monod
...
Françoise Labé
...
Lieutenant Henri Karcher
...
GI in Tank (as Georges Chakiris)
Bruno Cremer ...
Colonel Rol-Tanguy
Claude Dauphin ...
Colonel Lebel
...
...
Pierre Dux ...
Cerat - Alexandre Parodi
...
...
...
Yves Bayet
Georges Géret ...
The Baker
Hannes Messemer ...
Edit

Storyline

In this sprawling, star-laden film, we see the struggles of various French resistance factions to regain control of Paris near the end of World War II. The Nazi general in charge of Paris, Dietrich von Cholitz (Fröbe), is under orders from Hitler himself to burn the city if he cannot control it or if the Allies get too close. Much of the drama centers around the moral deliberations of the general, the Swedish ambassador (Welles), and the eager but desperate leaders of the resistance. Written by Carl J. Youngdahl <zomno@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A motion picture to command the attention of the world ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 October 1966 (France)  »

Also Known As:

¿Arde París?  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(archive footage)| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was completed shot in the city of Paris, capital of France. Apparently, there were 180 filming locations used within the Paris city and its environs for the shooting of this film. See more »

Goofs

German sappers are shown setting conventional explosives on Paris bridges. The Germans actually set used surplus naval torpedoes under the bridges. See more »

Quotes

Consul Nordling: And if a bomb should miss?
Général Von Choltitz: A few bombs always miss, but others will hit the target. It's the law of averages.
Consul Nordling: [very softly] A bomb that misses... could hit... Notre Dame. Sainte Chapelle. That's a thousand years of history, turned to dust.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credit sequence is in color. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hogan's Heroes: Is General Hammerschlag Burning? (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pretty Epic French WWII Film with Shaky Narrative
5 April 2005 | by (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

Director Rene Clement brings together the finest French, American and German actors of the 1960s for a rather muddled historical epic. Released in 1966, "Is Paris Burning?" is a rather mixed bag of historical drama and confusion.

In August, 1944, the Allies are closing in on Paris. Hitler (Billy Frick) orders General von Cholitz (Gert Frobe, "The Longest Day") to take command and burn the city to the ground to prevent its capture. French resistance forces within the city won't permit this to happen, and Swedish consul Nordling (Orson Welles, "The Battle of Austerlitz") convinces Choltitz to make multiple concessions, allowing the resistance to make significant gains and hold on until the armed forces arrive.

The all-star cast is uniformly good, although many of the American stars have little to do. Gert Frobe is the real star of the piece. As Cholitz, he makes a strong and sympathetic character. Cholitz has to make important, difficult decisions – on one hand, he's concerned about his men's safety; on the other, he is trying to follow orders. Welles is somewhat engaging, but he disappears partway through the film without leaving a lasting impression. The script, by Francis Ford Coppola and Gore Vidal, combines several stories, allowing the host of characters little time to do much of anything. Gallois (Pierre Vaneck) and Dr. Monod (Charles Boyer) try to break out of Paris and reach the Allies; Colonel Rol (Bruno Cremer) and Chaban (Alain Delon) organize the resistance forces; Nordling and tries to free Francoise Labe's (Leslie Caron, "Father Goose") husband from a POW camp. It's hard for any of these subplots to make much on an impact, but like "The Longest Day" and "Battle of Britain", the characters are kept distinct enough that they are easy to follow, despite major time lapses between appearances.

The German characters are portrayed by a host of familiar character-actors. Helmuth Schneider ("The Dirty Heroes") plays a Sergeant who throws a pessimistic Corporal (Otto Stern, "Commandos") into a detention cell; Gunter Meisner ("The Bridge at Remagen") is his usual, evil self as an SS Officer in charge of a prison train; Joachim Hansen ("The Eagle has Landed") is a moral officer who tries to help Nordling gain concessions; Wolfgang Preiss ("Von Ryan's Express") has little to do as the commander of a demolition squad; and Karl-Otto Alberty ("Battle of the Bulge") is an SS officer. The American actors tend to have clunky cameos: Kirk Douglas ("In Harm's Way"); Glenn Ford ("Casablanca Express"); Robert Stack and E.G. Marshall are all limited to one or two scenes. Anthony Perkins ("Catch-22") and Skip Ward make more of an impression as infantrymen waiting to liberate Paris.

Clement handles every shot brilliantly. There are several standout scenes. One sequence has partisans ambush a German armored car. One soldier escapes, still smoldering from burns from an exploded Molotov cocktail. He proceeds to hijack a passing French car and make the driver take him to HQ, where his gruesome burns alert the neat-and-clean officers that something is not right in the city. The scene in which Francoise Labe searches for her husband amongst a throng of prisoners in especially moving, and the conclusion is brilliant and unexpected. In another scene, a French squad occupied an old woman's apartment to fire on a German barricade, as the old woman watches while preparing herself a cup of tea. In another scene SS officers arrive to secure a painting for Hitler's birthday from the Louvre, before Frobe burns down the city. Frobe informs them that the Louvre is in French hands, and they reply "But it's right across the street!" Without missing a beat, Frobe tells them to take a white flag over and see if the French will let them in. This grim humor and wit add to the human story within the big picture.

A lot of attention to historical accuracy and detail went into the film's production. Costumes, from French civilian dress to military uniforms are all accurate. The exteriors are beautifully shot in and around Paris, often with excellently staged wide shots showing off the narrow streets and just how vast and battleground was. The scenes of the French resistance gathering in the streets to march on the Police Station, set to Maurice Jarre's thundering, jovial score, are most memorable. The spirit of revolution and joy of liberation is so well-portrayed that you can feel it with the characters on screen.

"Is Paris Burning?" suffers from annoyingly bad dubbing, overlength and a lack of focus, but these are nicks in any epic film, and cannot be avoided in order to tell such a vast story. As its heart, "Is Paris Burning?" is a fine movie about human freedom, told with brilliance and gusto.


28 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
you should be French to look at it the_French_DesertFox
Question: French Cars rwhelan123
George Patton slats37
I liked the armored vehicles jarnoldfan
Discuss Is Paris Burning? (1966) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?