Une histoire du cinéma français

by limguela | created - 13 May 2015 | updated - 10 Feb 2016 | Public

An exhaustive history of French cinema coordinated by Claude Beylie, published in 2000.

Claude Beylie's intentions (and his collaborators) were not to propose a history of the French cinema through the critics view -- as Mitry had already tried in his time -- but, aware of such an issue, and the previous fails, Beylie preferred a more objective and historical approach: the films prized by the critics in their times, but also after, and the films which were popular to the audience. The book, therefore, is not a compilation of "the best French films" but a collective work and the ambition to propose a history of the French cinema through its films and its personality (the text refers mostly to the directors and the context, and the insets concern the actors, and sometimes a specific subject).

The films in the list appear as they appear in the book (there's no index of films mentioned). The book is built chronologically but other eras films are often mentioned (so the list is not strictly chronological) and a lot of thematic and filmographic insets complets the pages.

There's several films mentioned many times; I kept the first occurrence in the list.

About all serials, very popular during the first half of the century, most of time, only one entry appears : the first episode, sometimes the episode with more views on IMDb (mostly concerning the slapstick serials). When several episodes are mentioned, these episodes are reproduced in the list.

The rare films mentioned with a negative appreciation are most of time deleted.

Films from Belgium, Switzerland, Africa or Quebec are deleted.

The authors don't review, or comment in details the films (there's some exceptions). To understand the context in which they are used, please read the book.

The authors : Claude Beylie, Raymond Borde, Freddy Bouache, Gérard Camy, Raymond Chirat, Francis Courtade, Philippe d'Hugues, Jacques Kermabon, Gilles Laprévotte, Michel Marmin, Vincent Pinel, René Prédal et Michel Roudévitch.

Chapters: I - The Lumières years 80-94 > 1 à 28 (la Fée aux choux) II - Une histoire du cinéma français I - The pioneers years 1880-1918 > 29 à 209 III - Une histoire du cinéma français II - Les "années folles" and the magnificent years 19-39 > 210 à 663 (L'Espoir) IV - Une histoire du cinéma français III - The noir years and grey years 40-59 > 664 à 1027 (Le Petit Prof) V - Une histoire du cinéma français IV - The breakdown years 60-79 > 1028 à 1524 (Les Seins de glace) VI - Une histoire du cinéma français V - Today years 80-2000 > 1525 à 1984 (...Comme elle respire) VII - Une histoire du cinéma français VI - Short films > 1985 à 2037 (Essai d'ouverture) VIII - Une histoire du cinéma français VI - Animated films

> 2038 à 2092 (Le Baiser)

(the book has other chapters not incorporated here -- francophone cinema, statistiques...)

Missing entries on IMDb:

  • Ballet du feu (Jacques Ducom et Edmond Floury - 1896 - Gaumont)
  • La Biche au bois (Jacques Ducom et Edmond Floury - 1896 - Gaumont)
  • Les Cloches de Corneville (Alice Guy - Gaumont)
  • Le Triomphe de la République (Victor Jasset et Georges Hatot)
  • Un homme aimanté, Romeo Bosetti 1907
  • Dans la série des Zigomar : Le Maître invisible, Zigomar et la femme rousse
  • Balaoo et Protéa, 1913
  • Dranem amoureux de Cléopâtre, Roger Lion 1916
  • Série La Vie drôle avec Marcel Lévesque,dir. Louis Feuillade 1913
  • Paris Express, de Pierre Prévert et Marcel Duhamel 1928
  • L'Aventure de Luna-park, court-métrage réalisé par Albert Préjean en 1929
  • Les Cris bleus de Charles Estienne, Yves Klein, court (vraisemblablement perdu)
  • Le Cauchemar de Monsieur Bérignon, Raymond Robert 1936 (court)
  • Le taudis doit être vaincu, Marius O'Galop et Jean Comandon, 1912 court.
  • Potiron garçon de café ; Potiron sergent de ville ; Albert Mourlan, 1921, courts, animation.
  • Zut, Flutte et Trotte, André Daix, animation, court.
  • Meunier tu dors, Jean Varé et Jean Delaurier, 1931, animation, court.
  • Couchés dans le foin, de Jean Delaurier, Georges Bouisset et Raymond de Villepreux, 1935, animation, court.
  • Un concours de beauté, de Alain Saint-Ogan, 1932, animation, court.
  • Monsieur Pipe fait de la peinture, Paul Grimault, 1936, animation, court.
  • India Fantasy, Anthony Gross et Hector Hoppin, 1955 animation.
  • Le Loup et l'agneau, Jean Image 39-55 (première version détruite).
  • Callisto, la petite nymphe de Diane, André-Édouard Marty (André Marty) 1943, animation, court :
  • Cap'taine Sabord, André Rigal, animation court.
  • Les Enfants du ciel, Vilma de Quiche 1946.
  • Jacky, Jacotte et les sortilèges, Antoine Payen 1948
  • La Princesse Clé de sol, La Rapsodie de Saturne, Jean Image 1946
  • Choupinet 1946, Le Troubadour de la joie 49, de Omer Boucquey, animation.
  • Actualités romaines 1947, Fantom's Party, Jac Rémise 1948, animation.
  • Bonjour Paris, Jean Image 1953, animation.
  • Villa mon rêve, Albert Champeaux, Pierre Watrin 1960, animation.
  • L'Île au cactus, Manuel Otero, 1963, animation.
  • L'Enfant invisible, André Lindon 1984, animation.
  • Le Bonheur de la vie, Jacques-Remy Girard, animation.

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1. Poor Pierrot (1892)

TV-PG | 4 min | Animation, Comedy, Short

One night, Arlequin come to see his lover Colombine. But then Pierrot knocks at the door and Colombine and Arlequin hide. Pierrot starts singing but Arlequin scares him and the poor man goes away.

Director: Émile Reynaud

Votes: 1,700

2. Autour d'une cabine (1894)

2 min | Animation, Short

Pre-cinematograph colour animation of a woman and man at the beach.

Director: Émile Reynaud

Votes: 1,018

3. Cordeliers' Square in Lyon (1895)

1 min | Documentary, Short

A stationary camera looks across the boulevard at a diagonal toward one corner of Lyon's Cordeliers' Square. It's a long shot, with a great deal of depth of focus. We can see the sky and ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière

Votes: 1,111

4. Leaving the Factory (1895)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

Workers leaving the Lumière factory for lunch in Lyon, France in 1895; a place of great photographic innovation and one of the birth places of cinema.

Director: Louis Lumière

Votes: 6,886

5. Baby's Meal (1895)

1 min | Documentary, Short

As part of a maiden public film screening at the Salon Indien, on December 28, in Paris, Auguste Lumière pivots the centre of attention around his baby daughter, as he tries to feed her from a spoon.

Director: Louis Lumière | Stars: Auguste Lumière, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere, Andrée Lumière

Votes: 3,248

6. The Sea (1895)

1 min | Documentary, Short

Several little boys run along a pier, then jump into the ocean.

Director: Louis Lumière

Votes: 1,379

7. The Arrival of a Train (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

A train arrives at La Ciotat station.

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière | Stars: Madeleine Koehler, Marcel Koehler, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere, Jeanne-Joséphine Lumière

Votes: 11,797

8. The Messers. Lumière at Cards (1896)

1 min | Documentary, Short

Two men play cards, as a third watches and a waiter brings drinks. The third man pours drinks as the waiter laughs.

Director: Louis Lumière | Stars: Antoine Féraud, Antoine Lumière, Félicien Trewey, Alphonse Winckler

Votes: 1,487

9. Childish Quarrel (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

"Two babies are shown seated in high chairs and apparently enjoying themselves. Suddenly one snatches a toy from the other, and they indulge in hair-pulling."

Director: Louis Lumière | Stars: Andrée Lumière, Suzanne Lumière

Votes: 901

10. Concert (1896)

1 min | Short

On the terrace, a small concert which consists of a man playing the violin, two women at a piano, and another woman who sings, play a lovely tune.

Director: Louis Lumière | Stars: André Honnorat, Jeanne Koehler, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere, Rose Lumière

Votes: 122

Mais aussi les vues de NY, Boston, Chicago, etc.

12. The Waterer Watered (1895)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Comedy

An impudent child plays a prank on a gardener innocently watering his plants.

Director: Louis Lumière | Stars: François Clerc, Benoît Duval

Votes: 5,292

14. Execution of Joan of Arc (1898)

1 min | Short, Drama, History

Add a Plot

Director: Georges Hatot

Votes: 147

Sous le titre, la Mort de Jeanne d'Arc

15. L'assassinat du duc de Guise (1897)

1 min | Short, History

The Duke of Guise is worried about the king's evil intentions. A lady warns the duke, considering it appropriate that he should not go to the council. The king summons him and the guards stab him.

Director: Georges Hatot

Votes: 102

17. La vie et la passion de Jésus-Christ (1898)

11 min | Short, Drama

The Lumière catalog sold this title as 13 individual, one-scene films - allowing exhibitors to choose which films they wanted to purchase and how to arrange them in their programs. Lumière catalog no. 933 through 945.

Directors: Georges Hatot, Louis Lumière | Star: Bretteau

Votes: 188

18. Card Party (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Biography

In what is considered to be the first remake in the history of cinema, the grand French director, Georges Méliès, directs his very first short film, influenced by the Lumière Brothers' original story in "Partie d'écarté (1896)".

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Octavie Huvier, Gaston Méliès, Georges Méliès, Georgette Méliès

Votes: 1,026


19. The Conjuring of a Woman at the House of Robert Houdin (1896)

1 min | Short, Horror

As an elegant maestro of mirage and delusion drapes his beautiful female assistant with a gauzy textile, much to our amazement, the lady vanishes into thin air.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès

Votes: 1,849

20. The Famous Box Trick (1898)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Fantasy

From the depths of a plain wooden box, a skilful conjurer materializes a lively boy in a clown suit. Next, he takes a heavy battle-axe. What are his intentions?

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 593

21. The Astronomer's Dream; or, the Man in the Moon (1898)

Not Rated | 3 min | Short, Comedy, Fantasy

An astronomer falls asleep and has a strange dream involving a fairy queen and the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès

Votes: 4,148

Rêve de l'astronome

22. Divers at Work on the Wreck of the 'Maine' (1898)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Drama, News

The battleship Maine is blown up in Havana harbour during the Spanish-American War.

Director: Georges Méliès

Votes: 598

23. L'affaire Dreyfus (1899)

13 min | Short, Biography, Drama

Dramatized re-enactments of the events of the Dreyfus-affair from 1894 to 1899.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 626

24. The One-Man Band (1900)

Not Rated | 2 min | Short, Comedy

A band-leader assembles an orchestra by mystifying means.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 2,295


27. Sortie de fabrique (1896)

1 min | Documentary, Short

Add a Plot

Votes: 25

28. La fée aux choux (1896)

1 min | Short, Family, Fantasy

The first film directed by a female director, "The Cabbage Fairy" presents a brief fantasy tale involving a strange fairy who can produce and deliver babies coming out of cabbages. Gently ... See full summary »

Director: Alice Guy | Stars: Alice Guy, Germaine Serand, Yvonne Serand

Votes: 1,196

Alice Guy (autres films Gaumont cités : Ballet du feu, La Biche au bois (Jacques Ducom et Edmond Floury).

29. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Action, Adventure

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 49,259

30. The Music Lover (1903)

3 min | Short, Comedy, Music

The leader of a marching band demonstrates an unusual way of writing music.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 1,813

31. The Kingdom of the Fairies (1903)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

In this spectacular free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois", the valiant Prince Bel-Azor pursues a baleful old witch to her impregnable castle, to save the beautiful young Princess Azurine.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Marguerite Thévenard, Bleuette Bernon, André Deed

Votes: 1,553

32. The Voyage Across the Impossible (1904)

Not Rated | 24 min | Short, Action, Adventure

Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Fernande Albany, Jehanne d'Alcy, May de Lavergne

Votes: 3,565