The Best French Movies of the 20th Century ✓by SeventhAr7 | created - 09 Jan 2019 | updated - 24 Mar 2019 | Public
France is known to be one of the European countries with a robust film culture. With a huge influence in European and world cinema, they provided us with great cinematographic works in the last century.
Here are some of the greatest French cinematographic works of the last century; which one do you consider the best?
Live Poll: 21st Century
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1. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Passed | 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.
Votes: 48,159 | Gross: $0.02M
2. 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.
Votes: 33,973 | Gross: $0.17M
5. 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.
6. Rififi (1955)
Not Rated | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...
Votes: 29,222 | Gross: $0.06M
Suggested by: MAthePA
8. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.
Votes: 22,319 | Gross: $0.11M
Suggested by: MAthePA
10. 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.
Votes: 28,607 | Gross: $0.09M
11. Le Trou (1960)
Not Rated | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty.
Votes: 15,541 | Gross: $0.03M
Suggested by: ELM.
12. 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.
Votes: 73,636 | Gross: $0.34M
14. Contempt (1963)
Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Romance
Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.
Votes: 29,081 | Gross: $0.04M
17. 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.
Votes: 45,762 | Gross: $0.04M
Suggested by: Nikolay Yeriomin
18. Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
Not Rated | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
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.
Votes: 22,613 | Gross: $0.37M
19. 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.
Votes: 20,545 | Gross: $0.02M
Suggested by: ELM.
20. The Last Metro (1980)
PG | 131 min | Drama, Romance, War
In occupied Paris, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep him hidden from the Nazis while doing both of their jobs.
21. Jean de Florette (1986)
PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama
A greedy landowner and his backward nephew conspire to block the only water source for an adjoining property in order to bankrupt the owner and force him to sell.
Votes: 24,099 | Gross: $4.94M
22. 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.
Votes: 31,299 | Gross: $4.54M
23. Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
PG | 137 min | Comedy, Drama, History
Famed swordsman and poet Cyrano de Bergerac is in love with his cousin Roxane. He has never expressed his love for her as he his large nose undermines his self-confidence. Then he finds a way to express his love to her, indirectly.
Votes: 22,602 | Gross: $15.14M
24. Delicatessen (1991)
R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime
Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.
Votes: 80,778 | Gross: $1.79M