To-Watch French

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1. Forbidden Games (1952)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, War

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.

Director: René Clément | Stars: Georges Poujouly, Brigitte Fossey, Amédée, Laurence Badie

Votes: 10,155 | Gross: $0.01M

2. A Man Escaped (1956)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from a Nazi prison in France.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock, Roland Monod

Votes: 16,439

3. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz

Votes: 41,941 | Gross: $0.02M

4. Rififi (1955)

Not Rated | 118 min | Crime, Thriller

97 Metascore

Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...

Director: Jules Dassein | Stars: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey

Votes: 23,416 | Gross: $0.06M

5. Army of Shadows (1969)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama, War

99 Metascore

An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret

Votes: 18,404 | Gross: $0.74M

6. Le Samouraï (1967)

GP | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

After professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further into a corner.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon, Cathy Rosier

Votes: 40,350 | Gross: $0.04M

7. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 24,682

8. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)

PG | 104 min | Drama, War

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.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette, Stanislas Carré de Malberg

Votes: 28,634 | Gross: $4.54M

9. Day for Night (1973)

PG | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, François Truffaut, Valentina Cortese

Votes: 18,260 | Gross: $0.02M

10. Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama

Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, André S. Labarthe, Guylaine Schlumberger

Votes: 24,102

11. Diary of a Country Priest (1951)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: Claude Laydu, Nicole Ladmiral, Jean Riveyre, Adrien Borel

Votes: 8,640

12. Orpheus (1950)

Not Rated | 95 min | Fantasy, Drama, Romance

A poet in love with Death follows his unhappy wife into the underworld.

Director: Jean Cocteau | Stars: Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares, Marie Déa

Votes: 9,373

13. The Earrings of Madame De... (1953)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance

The diamond earrings of a French aristocrat, a wedding gift from her husband, cause a series of conflicts as they change hands repeatedly.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux, Vittorio De Sica, Jean Debucourt

Votes: 8,057

14. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

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.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet

Votes: 66,030 | Gross: $0.34M

15. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

R | 98 min | Drama, Music, Mystery

85 Metascore

A woman struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Benoît Régent

Votes: 79,937 | Gross: $1.32M

16. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

93 Metascore

A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier

Votes: 34,364 | Gross: $0.20M

17. Playtime (1967)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Rita Maiden, France Rumilly

Votes: 17,162

18. Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

100 Metascore

The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge, Jean-Claude Guilbert

Votes: 15,705 | Gross: $0.04M

19. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Mystery

In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff, Françoise Bertin

Votes: 18,400 | Gross: $0.06M

20. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 22,667 | Gross: $0.30M

21. Mon Oncle (1958)

Not Rated | 116 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot visits the technology-driven world of his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, but he can't quite fit into the surroundings.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie, Lucien Frégis

Votes: 17,085

22. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 17 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí

Votes: 42,788

23. L'Atalante (1934)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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.

Director: Jean Vigo | Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Gilles Margaritis, Louis Lefebvre

Votes: 13,258

24. Belle de Jour (1967)

R | 100 min | Drama

A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Geneviève Page

Votes: 36,596 | Gross: $0.03M

25. The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

R | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

86 Metascore

Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik

Votes: 37,355 | Gross: $2.00M

26. Jules and Jim (1962)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance

Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre, Vanna Urbino

Votes: 34,040

27. Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

85 Metascore

An aging, world-weary gangster is double-crossed and forced out of retirement when his best friend is kidnapped and their stash of eight stolen gold bars demanded as ransom.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: Jean Gabin, René Dary, Dora Doll, Vittorio Sanipoli

Votes: 5,983 | Gross: $0.13M

28. My American Uncle (1980)

PG | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia, Roger Pierre, Nelly Borgeaud

Votes: 4,193

29. La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

Unrated | 238 min | Drama

The former famous painter Frenhofer revisits an abandoned project using the girlfriend of a young visiting artist. Questions about truth, life, and artistic limits are explored.

Director: Jacques Rivette | Stars: Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin, Emmanuelle Béart, Marianne Denicourt

Votes: 6,092 | Gross: $0.41M

30. Three Colors: White (1994)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

88 Metascore

After his wife divorces him, a Polish immigrant plots to get even with her.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Janusz Gajos, Jerzy Stuhr

Votes: 57,011 | Gross: $1.46M

31. Three Colors: Red (1994)

R | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

100 Metascore

A model discovers a retired judge is keen on invading people's privacy.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frédérique Feder, Jean-Pierre Lorit

Votes: 81,915 | Gross: $4.04M

32. Bob le Flambeur (1956)

PG | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

After losing big, an aging gambler decides to assemble a team to rob a casino.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy, Guy Decomble

Votes: 9,620 | Gross: $0.02M

33. Léon Morin, Priest (1961)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Romance, War

Set during occupied France, a faithless woman finds herself falling in love with a young priest.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva, Irène Tunc, Nicole Mirel

Votes: 3,406 | Gross: $0.04M

34. A Sunday in the Country (1984)

G | 90 min | Drama

An elderly painter whose son visits with his family on the weekends, is also surprised by a visit from his still-single daughter.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier | Stars: Louis Ducreux, Michel Aumont, Sabine Azéma, Geneviève Mnich

Votes: 1,965 | Gross: $2.41M

35. La Collectionneuse (1967)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A womanizing art dealer and a painter find the serenity of their Riviera vacation disturbed by a third guest, a vivacious bohemian woman known for her long list of male conquests.

Director: Éric Rohmer | Stars: Patrick Bauchau, Haydée Politoff, Daniel Pommereulle, Alain Jouffroy

Votes: 5,408

36. La Cérémonie (1995)

Not Rated | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A newly hired maid for a rich countryside family befriends a post-office clerk who encourages her to rebel against her employers.

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel

Votes: 9,069 | Gross: $0.08M

37. Monsieur Hire (1989)

PG-13 | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A recluse is accused of murdering a young woman simply because his neighbors think he is strange.

Director: Patrice Leconte | Stars: Michel Blanc, Sandrine Bonnaire, Luc Thuillier, André Wilms

Votes: 5,545 | Gross: $1.42M

38. Moolaadé (2004)

Unrated | 124 min | Drama

91 Metascore

When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female genital mutilation, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart.

Director: Ousmane Sembene | Stars: Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Salimata Traoré, Dominique Zeïda

Votes: 3,306 | Gross: $0.21M

39. Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama

Set in cold rural Quebec at Christmas time, we follow the coming of age of a young boy and the life of his family which owns the town's general store and undertaking business.

Director: Claude Jutra | Stars: Jacques Gagnon, Lyne Champagne, Jean Duceppe, Olivette Thibault

Votes: 2,443

40. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation, where he accidentally (but good-naturedly) causes havoc.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Valentine Camax

Votes: 15,375

41. Le Boucher (1970)

GP | 93 min | Drama, Thriller

An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town.

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Stéphane Audran, Jean Yanne, Antonio Passalia, Pascal Ferone

Votes: 7,031

42. A Tale of Winter (1992)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama

Five years after losing touch with a summer fling, a woman has difficulty choosing between her two suitors.

Director: Éric Rohmer | Stars: Charlotte Véry, Frédéric van den Driessche, Michel Voletti, Hervé Furic

Votes: 3,516 | Gross: $0.21M

43. French Cancan (1955)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

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.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Françoise Arnoul, María Félix, Anna Amendola

Votes: 3,400

44. Caché (2005)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou, Annie Girardot

Votes: 67,465 | Gross: $3.63M

45. The Hairdresser's Husband (1990)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Antoine has always been fascinated with a hairdresser's delicate touch, the beguiling perfume and the figure of a woman with an opulent bosom, moreover, he knew that he would marry one, fulfilling his dream of a perfect and idealised love.

Director: Patrice Leconte | Stars: Jean Rochefort, Anna Galiena, Roland Bertin, Maurice Chevit

Votes: 8,468 | Gross: $1.16M

46. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)

Not Rated | 63 min | Horror

Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.

Director: Jean Epstein | Stars: Jean Debucourt, Marguerite Gance, Charles Lamy, Fournez-Goffard

Votes: 3,105

47. Diva (1981)

R | 117 min | Thriller

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.

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix | Stars: Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Frédéric Andréi, Richard Bohringer, Thuy An Luu

Votes: 11,037 | Gross: $0.11M

48. Last Tango in Paris (1972)

NC-17 | 129 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Giovanna Galletti

Votes: 45,959 | Gross: $36.14M

In French/English, but by an Italian director.



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