The Classic Great Films Of France - Buy DVDs of the best for French Cinema
Gazon Maudit (aka French Twist) (1995). Victoria Abril, Josiane Balasko, Alain Chabait, Ticky Holgado.
Husband and wife have affairs on the side with hilarious results.
Betty Blue (1986). Béatrice Dalle, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Gérard Darman.
A painter novelist sunning himself in Gruissan, near Narbonne, finds love in unpredictable Betty Blue, and they discover the cruelty of art, reflecting in their lifestyles
Diva (1982). Frederic Andrei, Richard Bohringer.
Opera mad messenger boy get involved in thriller, with missing tapes, mistaken identities, and the voice of Diva Wilhelminia Wiggins Fernandez
Jean de Florette.(1986) Yves Montand, Gerard Depardieu
The film to linger in and enjoy the drama of Pagnol
Manon of the Spring.(1986) Yves Montand, Emmanuelle Beart
The sequel - these two films haunt one like almost no other French Film. Considered by Siskel and Ebert to be Number 4 in the Best Films of the World
Last Tango in Paris.(1973) Marlon Brando, Maria Shneider, Jean-Pierre Léaud.
Brando adores and degrades an anonymous Maria Shneider in Paris in empty rooms, industrial angst, and romantic dancehalls.
Tenue de soirée (1986). Gerard Depardieu, Michel Blanc, MiouMiou
Monique will do anything for a life of luxury. Antoine will do anything to avoid losing Monique. Then Bob appears. He will do anything for the love ....of Antoine.
Merci Ia vie (1994). Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anouk Grinberg
Two friends, one innocent and one adventurous, set off on the road together to explore life.
Préparez vos mouchoirs (Get Out Your Handkerchiefs) (1978). Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere, Carole Laure, Riton, Michel Serrault.
Reoul, presents his wife with a lover, after finding her unresponsive sexually.
36 fillette (Virgin) (1988). Deiphine Zentout, Etienne Chicot.
14 year old Lili, on a family camping holiday, accepts a car ride from a balding Maurice. Later they met at a night club, and a mating ritual begins.
Belle de Jour.(1967). Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel
A bored surgeon's wife spends the afternoons working in a high class brothel. A collage of surrealist images with a whirlwind of degenerate desires
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972). Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig
A South American ambassador and his five friends try to have dinner together, but are unable to do so, interrupted by steadily more and more absurd events.
Diary of a Chambermaid (1964). Jeanne Moreau, Michel Piccoli, Geirges Geret
Octave Mirbeau story of a servant girl who looked through keyholes, in a society of fetishists.
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977). Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina, Julien Bertheau
Buñuel's last film story of a businessman who is so obsessed with the maid Conchita that he fails to notice that she's played by 2 different actresses, and he finds himself helplessly ensnared in her erotic web
Tristana.(1970). Catherine Deneuve, Fernando Rey
A great Buñuel, set in 1930s Toledo, about an elderly free-thinking guardian (Rey) who seduces/rapes his young ward Tristana (Deneuve) but is unable to completely possess her, even after the amputation of her legs confines her to his house.
The Milky Way. Laurent Terzieff, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Edith Scob, Bernard Verlay
Two tramps on a humorous pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostella, complete with Buñuel's blasphemous and abrasive views of the Catholic dogma.
The Phantom of Liberty (1974). Michel Piccoli, Jean-Claude Brialy, Monica Vitti, Milena Vukotic
His most free film, surveying human absurdities in all their richness and unpredictability
Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus) (1959) Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Adhemar Da Silva.
Orpheus, a tramcar conductor, is engaged to exuberant Mirt but in love with Eurydice. Pursued by Death and the vengeful Mirt, the lovers story is in the midst of carnival Rio.
Quai des Brumes (1938). Jean Gabin, Michèle Morgan, Michel Simon.
Jean Gabin is a cynical army deserter who falls in love with idealistic, trench coated Michèle Morgan, and tries to take her from her guardian Michel Simon.
Le Jour Se Leve (1939). Jean Gabin, Arletty, Jules Berry.
Jean Gabin is a murderer held at bay in a Paris Tenement. Screenplay by Jacques Prévert.
La Ceremonie (1995). Isabelle Huppert, Jacqueline Bisset.
The new housekeeper seems perfectly normal until she meets the post mistress and local gossip (Isabelle Huppert).
L'Enfer (1994). Emanuelle Béart, François Cluzet.
Cluzet and Béart seem the perfect couple, but their marriage is rotting away, thanks to his obsessive jelousy. Thriller.
L'homme blesse (1983). Jean-Hugues Anglade, Liza Kreuzer, Vittono Mezzogiorno.
In the heat of Summer, Henry, a 16-year-old boy, meets an unusual man, Bosmans, and Jean, a boy, who fascinates him and bends him to his will...
La bataille du rail (Battle of the Rails)(1946) Tony Laurent, Lucien Desagneux, Robert Leray.
A study of World War resistance among Breton rallwaymen, using non-professional actors and natural locations. This winner of the Cannes Film Festival is advanced in documentary style.
Les Diaboliques (1955). Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot, Paul Meurisse.
Wife and mistress of villanous headmaster at seedy boys school plot to murder him.
Le salaire de la peur (1953). Yves Montand, Charles Vane, Folco Lulli
In a sleazy South American town, 4, living on the edge risk their lives transporting two truckloads of TNT over treacherous terrain to an distant oilfield.
Les nuits fauves (Savage Nights) (1992). Cyril Collard, Romane Bohringer.
Jean is 30 and lives with 17-year-old Laura. He lives a promiscuous lifestyle, and becomes HIV-positive.
Une aussi longue absence IThe Long Absence) (1961) Alida Valli, Georges Wilson, Jacques Harden.
The owner of a parisian café, meets a tramp who could be her husband who disappeared 15 years before in the war.
Les parapluies de Cherbourg (1964) Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon.
Deneuve is in love with a poor mechanic, she becomes pregnant, he leaves for military service. After he leaves she is nudged into marriage by her mother with a diamond merchant.
The Seashell and the Clergyman (1927)
Film banned in England, tells of dream imagery of celibate clergyman. Considered to be the first surrealist film
L'Ame d'Artist (1925).
A young playwright falls in love with successful actress who is instrumental in finally having his play produced
Sous le soleil de Satan (Under Satan's Sun) (1987). Gerard Depardieu, Sandrine Bonnaire..
Depardieu has a chance meeting with an insinuating horsedealer and confronts a devil of a Satan.
Eyes without a Face (1959). Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli.
Mad plastic surgeon tries to reconstruct daughters face.
Equateur (1983) Francis Huster, Barbara Sukowa, René Kolidehoff.
Africa in 195O's. Leaving a cargo ship, Timar stays in a shabby hotel, run by Adele, a young woman who is married to an old man suffering from malaria.
Stan the Flasher (1989) Claude Berry, Aurora Clément, Richard Bohringer.
Stan is an exhibitionist, flashing in front of school girls. He doesn't have much going, not even in the lessons he gives to kids, except possibly for a pretty young student - Natascha
Charlotte For Ever (1986) Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Roland Dubillard.
Alcoholic successful screenwriter has emotional relationship with his daughter who blames him for her mother's death in a auto accident
Un chant d'amour (1950) (silent, b/w)
Homosexual passion and romance in prison
Alphaville (1965) Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina
Private eye Lemmy Caution turns intergalactic agent, and visits Alpha 60, a fully automated city.
Pierrot Le Fou (1965) Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Dirk Sanders, Sam Fuller.
A thriller of love and language, of neon and song, of Picasso and Velazquez.
Une Femme est une Femme. (1961) Jean Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Jean Claude Brialy
An almost musical, shot in scope and studio, a menage á trois, the desire for a baby. Godard's first film in color.
Le Mepris (1963). France/Italy. Briggite Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang.
A funny look at the odd world of international movie making, following in part a woman's increasing sceptism of a husband torn between a director, and an American producer, with eyes on the box office.
The Baby of Macon (1993). Julia Ormond, Ralph Fiennes, Philip Stone.
In mid-seventeenth France the people of Macon watch a passion play that mirrors their own life - it tells of a community struck barren as a result of allowing their cathedral to fall into disrepair....
La Vie du Christ (1906). Silent. B/W
25 sets, 300 extras. Passion story where women are given pre-eminence
Madame a Des Envies (1906).
Pregnant woman has craving for phallic food which leads her into trouble
Un Soulier pour un Jambon (1906)
Two hobos fish ham out of a soup, and replace it with an old shoe. Wife serves shoe to husband during meal
A Shadow of Doubt (1992). Mirielle Perrier, Alain Bashung, Sandrine Blancke.
Psychological thriller on daughter's claim her father has subjected her to sexual abuse
Histoire d'O (Story of O)(1975).
Need one say more!
Jean-Paul Jeunet and Marc Caro
The City of Lost Children (1995). Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon
The tales of our childhood from Grimms Brothers to Jules Verne
Delicatessen (1991). Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac
Fantasy set in delicatessan in tenement building: despite the national food shortage, meat is plentiful, and the occassional vanishing tenant never worries anyone.
The Double Life of Veronique.(1991) France/Poland. Irène Jacob, Philippe Voltier
Two women, one French, one Polish, unrelated but identical, one dies, the other feels inexplicable loss.
Three Colours:Blue.(1993). Juliette Binoche, Benoît Regent, Florence Pernel.
Blue is the colour of liberty, demonstrated by Binoche's attempt to cope with the death of her husband and child, by ridding of all her material possessions
Three Colours:White.(1994). France/Poland. Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy.
White represents equality, set in post communist Poland, to which Karol Karol returns in order to start afresh after his French wife leaves him
Three Colours:Red.(1994). France/Switzerland. Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Red represents fraternity, in the relationship of a retired judge to a young woman who accidentally runs over his dog. She returns it to him, finding unexpected secrets both of herself and him
Un homme et une femme (1966). Anouk Aimée, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pierre Baruuh.
A beautiful love story, where racing driver meets script girl in Deauville, famous for its popular "daba-daba-da" musical theme.
Les Miserables (1995). Jean-Paul Belmondo, Michel Boujenah, Jean Marais
A film spanning 1842 - 1942, and Jean Valjean history, including Nazi occupation and the persecution of the Jews.
Aime Cesaire- Le Masque des Mots (1987)
Documentary on use of torture during the Algerian War
Set in Angola in 1970's, a woman increasingly becomes aware of colonial oppression
Lift to the Scaffold (1957). Maurice Ronet, Jeanne Moreau.
Man and his mistress plot to murder her husband, murderer gets stuck in lift whilst escaping.
Le monde du silence (The Silent World) (1956). Codirected with Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
An exploration of the ocean's fauna and flora by Cousteau, the famous French oceanographer, diver and documentary film-maker..
Pretty Baby (La petite) (1977).Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine, Antonio Fargas.
Set in a New Orleans brothel where the pretty baby of the title eagerly waits her twelfth birthday and the deflowerment which will inaugurate her career.
Fatale (Damage) (1993) Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, Miranda Richardson.
A Conservative Member of Parliament, meets Anna, with whom he has a passionate affair, even though she is having an affair with his son.
La Jetee (1964). Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich, Jacques Ledoux.
A film of the New Wave, a man witnesses the moment of his own death
La petite voleuse (1988). Charlotte Gainsbourg, Didier Bazace, Simon de Ia Brosse.
Charming and slightly plain - Janine is 16, seeks love, but it never lasts.
L'empire des sens (Al No Corrida) (1976). (jap/fr) Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda.
The central couple are archetypal Oshima Outsiders, who during the 1936 militaristic times plunge into an erotic world of their own.
Max, mon amour (1986). Charlotte Rampling, Anthony Higgins.
A brilliant young diplomat, Peter, on suspecting his wife Margaret is having a lover, finds that his rival is a chimpanzee named Max.
Lune de fiel (Bitter Moon) (1992). Emmanuelle Seigner, Peter Coyote, Hugh Grant.
A British couple, hoping to rejuvenate thieir marriage go to India, and become involved in fellow traveller, who is American.
Le Hussard sur le toit (1995) Juliette Binoche, Olivier Martinez
"Love in times of Cholera, in the 19th century Provence; based on a novel by Jean Giono" .... J.N.
La Bête Humaine (1938). Jean Gabin, Simone Simon, Fernand Ledoux.
A train driver falls for Séverine, whose jealous husband has already murdered her previous lover.
La Belle Noiseuse (1991). Emmanuelle Beart, Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin
"A young artist and his girlfriend visit an aging (60s) famous painter at his country house/studio. The visit rekindles the artistic fire in the old master, who convinces the girl to pose for him. This lengthy film demonstrates the process of drawing, painting and making art." (John Olsen)
My Father's Glory (La Glorie de Mon Pere) (1991).
My Mother's Castle (Le Chateau de Ma Mere) (1991)
"Two beautiful films based on Marcel Pagnol's childhood in the French countryside...." (Kerry Parsons)
The Blue Villa (Un Bruit Qui Rend Fou (1995). Fred Ward, Arielle Dombasle, Charles Torjman
The Blue Villa is a seedy bordello on a Mediterranean island where the villages are frightened by the ghost-like return of a young man, who mysteriously disappeared after the killing of a young Eurasian woman
Last Year in Marienbad (1961). Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff
Modernist love story. Landmark movie of the French New Wave
Trans-Europ-Express (1966). Jean-Louis Trintignant, Marie-France Pisier.
Authors and their imaginary characters come face to face on train. Drug-trafficking, sinister intrigue, with lots of sado-masochism sexual perversion
Rendez-vous in Paris (1995). Clara Bellar, Antoine Basler, Mathias Megard.
Three short stories of romantic encounters
A Tale of Springtime (1990). Ann Teyssedre, Hugues Quester, Florence Darel.
Story of a father, his lover, (who is as young as his daughter), and his daughter
A Winter's Tale (1991). Charlotte Véry, Michel Voletti, Hervé Furic.
Shakespeare rears his head, in the life of a hairdresser Felice, whose idyllic holiday is spoiled by her giving her lover the wrong address.
Nelly and Mr Arnaud (1995). Emmanuelle Béart, Michel Serrault, Jean-Hugues Anglade.
A friendship between young Nelly and old Mr Arnaud.
Maitresse (1970). Gerard Depardieu, Bulle Ogier, Andre Rouyer
Ogier is the professional maitresse who has a straight romance with Depardieu, whilst below stairs where she entertains her clients in a dungeon.
Une flamme dans mon coeur (1987). Myriam Mézières, Aziz Kabouche, Benoit Régent.
The story of the life and death of one affair and the beginning of another.
The Sacrifice.(1986). France/Sweden. Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Valérie Mairesse.
In Tarkovsky's last film, a writer hearing news of impending nuclear strike, offers everything he owns as a sacrifice, praying for salvation.
Scene of the Crime (1997). Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux.
Ma Saison Prefere (My Favorite Season).(1993)
"This director makes excellent use of locales. Some beautiful shots around Toulouse in the French countryside." (Kerry Parsons)
Le Retour de Martin Guerre (1984). Gerard Depardieu, Nathalie Baye, Roger Planchon
"n the 16th century a man returns to his village after a long absense, is welcomed back by family and friends, then questions arise regarding his identity. Is he Martin Guerre or a clever imposter? Based on a true story, a legal case heard by the magistrates at Toulouse. Great acting and a fascinating tale. (Was remade in the U.S. as "Sommersby")" (John Olsen)
Zero de Conduite (1933)
Revolution in a seedy boys school
L'Atalante (1934). Dita Parlo, Michel Simon, Jean Dasté
Wonderful film. First few days of marriage between young bargekeeper and his wife, and their adventures with their first mate Michel Simon.
A Propos De Nice (1930)
Possession (1981) (fr/germ). Isabella Adjani, Sam Neil.
A schizoid housewife deserts both husband and lover for an affair in an isolated Berlin apartment with a many-tentacled monster.
La femme publique (1984). Francis Huster, Valérie Kaprisky, Lambert Wilson.
Ethel, a young actress wants to build herself a personality with her body and her inflexible willpower, even if it is through the personality of her lover's vanished wife, Elena.
Do you have suggestions to add to list? Particularly interested in creating a list of films shot in and/or about Southern France.