The departure of the German Army from Paris in 1944.


René Clément


Larry Collins (book), Dominique Lapierre (book) | 4 more credits »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Pierrelot - Yvon Morandat
Charles Boyer ... Docteur Monod
Leslie Caron ... Françoise Labé
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Lieutenant Henri Karcher
George Chakiris ... GI in Tank (as Georges Chakiris)
Bruno Cremer ... Colonel Rol-Tanguy
Claude Dauphin ... Colonel Lebel
Alain Delon ... Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Kirk Douglas ... Gen. George S. Patton Jr.
Pierre Dux ... Cerat - Alexandre Parodi
Glenn Ford ... Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley
Gert Fröbe ... General Dietrich von Choltitz (as Gert Froebe)
Daniel Gélin ... Yves Bayet
Georges Géret ... The Baker
Hannes Messemer ... General Jodl


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Burn Paris! was the order that had come shrieking over the phone. See more »


Drama | History | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In at least one version of this film, all of E.G. Marshall's scenes as Intelligence Officer Powell were cut out. See more »


Judging by Choltitz's own memoirs ('Soldat enter Soldaten", 1951) there never was an order to deliberately destroy Paris or its monuments. The orders concerned laming industrial plants, blowing bridges, crushing uprisings, and defending the town as a fortress, accepting collateral damage. Choltitz later found out these orders were addressed to his superiors, not to him. He does mention Hitler asking "Is Paris burning?" but says he was informed of this by others, whose names he does not give. See more »


Consul Raoul 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 Raoul 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 »


Referenced in Project X Zone (2012) See more »


Paris en Colère
Music by Maurice Jarre
Lyrics by Maurice Vidalin
Performed by Mireille Mathieu
See more »

User Reviews

A fair war picture
10 February 2004 | by perfectbondSee all my reviews

Before I comment I should note that I haven't read the book nor am I that familiar with figures in the French Resistance. One thing that I did notice was that the portrayal of the Nazis in this film wasn't quite as stereotypical as in most World War II movies. Of course Hitler has to be a rug chewing psychotic but many of the other Germans were actually depicted quite humanly. Gert Frobe (Goldfinger) is very believeable even sympathetic as the General in charge of Paris. On another note the star casting works in the case of Welles (Nordling) and is pointless in the case of Kirk Douglas and Anthony Perkins. All in all a fair war picture, 6/10.

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France | USA


French | German | English

Release Date:

26 October 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Is Paris Burning? See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm prints)


Black and White | Color (final sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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