The best of FRENCH CINEMA

by faornelas | created - 21 Jun 2017 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

A compilation of some of the best films made in France ever

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1. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

69 Metascore

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.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Votes: 673,519 | Gross: $33.23M

2. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 96,897

3. Stolen Kisses (1968)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

After being discharged from the army, Antoine Doinel centers a screwball comedy where he applies for different jobs and tries to make sense of his relationships with women.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Delphine Seyrig, Michael Lonsdale

Votes: 11,076

4. 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: 67,773 | Gross: $0.34M

5. 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: 24,930

6. Masculin Féminin (1966)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

A romance between young Parisians, shown through a series of vignettes.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert, Michel Debord

Votes: 11,614 | Gross: $0.20M

7. Delicatessen (1991)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.

Directors: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Pascal Benezech, Jean-Claude Dreyfus

Votes: 77,144 | Gross: $1.79M

8. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

86 Metascore

A young woman separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision.

Director: Jacques Demy | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Marc Michel

Votes: 21,624 | Gross: $0.03M

9. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Two sisters leave their small seaside town of Rochefort in search of romance. Hired as carnival singers, one falls for an American musician, while the other must search for her ideal partner.

Director: Jacques Demy | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, George Chakiris, Françoise Dorléac, Jacques Perrin

Votes: 7,485 | Gross: $0.09M

10. In the House (2012)

R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

A high school French teacher is drawn into a precocious student's increasingly transgressive story about his relationship with a friend's family.

Director: François Ozon | Stars: Fabrice Luchini, Vincent Schmitt, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 28,134 | Gross: $0.35M

11. Amour (2012)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Romance

94 Metascore

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud

Votes: 88,092 | Gross: $6.74M

12. The Piano Teacher (2001)

R | 131 min | Drama

79 Metascore

A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoît Magimel, Susanne Lothar

Votes: 51,959 | Gross: $1.90M

13. The White Ribbon (2009)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, Mystery

82 Metascore

Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible?

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 64,992 | Gross: $2.22M

14. Caché (I) (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: 69,001 | Gross: $3.63M

15. Under the Sand (2000)

Unrated | 92 min | Drama, Mystery

86 Metascore

When her husband goes missing at the beach, a female professor begins to mentally disintegrate as her denial of his disappearance becomes delusional.

Director: François Ozon | Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Jacques Nolot, Alexandra Stewart

Votes: 7,940 | Gross: $1.45M

16. Time to Leave (2005)

Unrated | 81 min | Drama

67 Metascore

A fashion photographer with terminal cancer elects to die alone, preparing others to live past him rather than prolong the inevitable with chemotherapy or be smothered in sympathy by those who know him.

Director: François Ozon | Stars: Melvil Poupaud, Jeanne Moreau, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Daniel Duval

Votes: 8,274 | Gross: $0.12M

17. 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: 16,164 | Gross: $0.04M

18. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal hatch a plan to murder him while having the perfect alibi. They carry out the plan...but then his body disappears.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 58,684

19. The Wages of Fear (1953)

Not Rated | 131 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli

Votes: 50,577

20. Le Corbeau (1943)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

French village doctor becomes target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Pierre Fresnay, Ginette Leclerc, Micheline Francey, Héléna Manson

Votes: 8,241 | Gross: $0.03M

21. 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: 18,679 | Gross: $0.02M

22. 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: 34,962

23. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

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.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud

Votes: 26,071 | Gross: $0.09M

24. 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: 18,939 | Gross: $0.06M

25. Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Cleo, a singer and hypochondriac, becomes increasingly worried that she might have cancer while awaiting test results from her doctor.

Director: Agnès Varda | Stars: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray, Dorothée Blanck

Votes: 13,911

26. My Night at Maud's (1969)

GP | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The rigid principles of a devout Catholic man are challenged during a one-night stay with Maud, a divorced woman with an outsize personality.

Director: Éric Rohmer | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Françoise Fabian, Marie-Christine Barrault, Antoine Vitez

Votes: 9,502

27. Chloe in the Afternoon (1972)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Though he has an adoring wife, a bourgeois man is still tempted to pursue other women.

Director: Éric Rohmer | Stars: Bernard Verley, Zouzou, Françoise Verley, Daniel Ceccaldi

Votes: 5,782

28. Claire's Knee (1970)

GP | 105 min | Drama, Romance

On lakeside summer holiday, a conflicted older man is dared to have a flirt with two beautiful teenage stepsisters despite his betrothal to a diplomat's daughter and the fact that the girls have boyfriends.

Director: Éric Rohmer | Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Aurora Cornu, Béatrice Romand, Laurence de Monaghan

Votes: 7,891

29. Elle (I) (2016)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

89 Metascore

A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling

Votes: 57,399

30. La Vie En Rose (2007)

PG-13 | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music

66 Metascore

Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.

Director: Olivier Dahan | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 79,513 | Gross: $10.30M

31. Rust and Bone (2012)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Céline Sallette

Votes: 60,715 | Gross: $2.06M

32. A Prophet (2009)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb

Votes: 89,968 | Gross: $2.08M

33. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

NC-17 | 180 min | Drama, Romance

88 Metascore

Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche | Stars: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing

Votes: 130,128 | Gross: $2.20M

34. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

PG-13 | 112 min | Biography, Drama

92 Metascore

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.

Director: Julian Schnabel | Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny

Votes: 100,259 | Gross: $5.99M

35. 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: 25,153

36. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

During WWI, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are eventually sent to a seemingly inescapable fortress.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 32,117 | Gross: $0.17M

37. Children of Paradise (1945)

Not Rated | 189 min | Drama, Romance

The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Pierre Renoir

Votes: 17,313

38. 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: 43,203 | Gross: $0.02M

39. 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: 13,562

40. 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 the 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: 29,188 | Gross: $4.54M

41. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

94 Metascore

A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin

Votes: 19,372 | Gross: $0.11M

42. Rififi (1955)

Not Rated | 118 min | Crime, Thriller

97 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 24,037 | Gross: $0.06M

43. Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Not Rated | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand

Votes: 20,153 | Gross: $0.37M

44. 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: 41,485 | Gross: $0.04M

45. Purple Noon (1960)

PG-13 | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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, Erno Crisa

Votes: 12,601

46. Forbidden Games (1952)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, War