Hidden Gems From French Speaking Cinema ✓

by SeventhAr7 | created - 11 Jan 2019 | updated - 24 Mar 2019 | Public

It's a fact that popularity doesn't define the quality of a movie. There are movies that are big hits in their country but don't make that impact when they cross borders.

This list is composed of some of the best hidden gems of French language chosen by the users of the IMDb Poll Board.

Which one do you consider the best?

Discuss here

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1. Marius (1931)

Not Rated | 130 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Marius is faced with a choice whether to fulfill his passion by sailing the seas or stay and marry the woman he loves.

Director: Alexander Korda | Stars: Raimu, Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Charpin, Alida Rouffe

Votes: 2,016

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

2. Four Bags Full (1956)

80 min | Drama

Two men carry at night four suitcases of contraband meat across German-occupied Paris during WWII. Their opposite personalities and strange encounters provoke different adventures - until they are arrested by the police.

Director: Claude Autant-Lara | Stars: Jean Gabin, Bourvil, Louis de Funès, Jeannette Batti

Votes: 3,581 | Gross: $0.02M

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

3. The Two of Us (1967)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Drama

In Nazi-occupied France, a Jewish child is sent away from his family and conceals his religious affiliation from the anti-Semitic elderly man that takes care of him.

Director: Claude Berri | Stars: Michel Simon, Roger Carel, Paul Préboist, Luce Fabiole

Votes: 2,030 | Gross: $0.05M

Suggested by: albstein

4. The Collector (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: 7,127

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

5. Very Happy Alexander (1968)

G | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

Alexandre, a young and honest farmer, is oppressed by an authoritarian wife, who makes him work like a dog. When she dies in a car crash, he decides to stay in bed, absolutely free and ... See full summary »

Director: Yves Robert | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Françoise Brion, Marlène Jobert, Paul Le Person

Votes: 1,968

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

6. The Things of Life (1970)

GP | 89 min | Drama, Romance

A highway engineer is involved in a car crash, after which, near death, he remembers his life leading up to the accident.

Director: Claude Sautet | Stars: Michel Piccoli, Romy Schneider, Gérard Lartigau, Jean Bouise

Votes: 4,060

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

7. Lucky Luke (1971)

71 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

When the members of a caravan of pioneers find a daisy growing in the middle of the desert they decide to stop there and to build their town on this very spot. Houses soon spring up like ... See full summary »

Director: René Goscinny | Stars: Marcel Bozzuffi, Pierre Trabaud, Jacques Balutin, Jacques Jouanneau

Votes: 1,526

Suggested by: albstein

8. Going Places (1974)

R | 117 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Two whimsical, aimless thugs harass and assault women, steal, murder, and alternately charm, fight, or sprint their way out of trouble. They take whatever the bourgeois characters value: ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Blier | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou, Patrick Dewaere, Christian Alers

Votes: 8,369 | Gross: $0.77M

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

9. Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

Not Rated | 202 min | Drama

A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.

Director: Chantal Akerman | Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Henri Storck, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze

Votes: 7,624 | Gross: $0.02M

Suggested by: leavey-2

10. The Old Gun (1975)

R | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War

During World War II, a peaceful French surgeon is forced to ruthlessly exterminate the Nazis because of their atrocities.

Director: Robert Enrico | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Romy Schneider, Jean Bouise, Joachim Hansen

Votes: 3,835

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

11. The Toy (1976)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

A poor journalist finds himself as a toy of a boss' son. Making friends with a naughty child, he tries to save him from the cruel power of his father.

Director: Francis Veber | Stars: Pierre Richard, Michel Bouquet, Fabrice Greco, Jacques François

Votes: 4,795

Suggested by: MAthePA

12. Santa Claus Is a Stinker (1982)

88 min | Comedy

Two neurotics, working for a suicide hotline on the night of Christmas Eve, get caught up in a catastrophe when a pregnant woman, her abusive boyfriend, and a transvestite visit their office.

Director: Jean-Marie Poiré | Stars: Anémone, Josiane Balasko, Marie-Anne Chazel, Christian Clavier

Votes: 8,643

Suggested by: MAthePA

13. So Long, Stooge (1983)

100 min | Crime, Drama

Lambert, a burned-out case, works the night shift at a gas station, rarely speaking, living alone, drinking. Bensoussan, raised in foster homes, now a small-time pusher for a bar owner ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Berri | Stars: Coluche, Richard Anconina, Agnès Soral, Mahmoud Zemmouri

Votes: 2,478

Suggested by: albstein

14. Camille Claudel (1988)

R | 175 min | Biography, Drama, History

Camille Claude impresses already-famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. He hires her as an assistant, but soon Camille begins to sculpt for herself and she also becomes his mistress. But after a while, she would like to get out of his shadow.

Director: Bruno Nuytten | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Gérard Depardieu, Madeleine Robinson, Laurent Grévill

Votes: 6,267 | Gross: $0.20M

Suggested by: rubyfruit76

15. 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: 9,144 | Gross: $1.16M

Suggested by: MAthePA

16. Toto the Hero (1991)

PG-13 | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Thomas and Alfred were born around the same time; a fire in the nursery had nurses scrambling to save the newborns. Because he felt that he deserved Alfred's good fortune at being born into... See full summary »

Director: Jaco Van Dormael | Stars: Michel Bouquet, Mireille Perrier, Jo De Backer, Thomas Godet

Votes: 5,471 | Gross: $1.23M

Suggested by: leavey-2

17. The Beautiful Troublemaker (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: 7,332 | Gross: $0.41M

Suggested by: MAthePA

18. Indochine (1992)

PG-13 | 160 min | Drama, Romance, War

Eliane adopts Camille, whose Vietnamese parents were friends. In 1930, a French navy officer is interested in Eliane (owns 60km2 plantation) and later in Camille. There's an uprising in Vietnam against French colonial power.

Director: Régis Wargnier | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Linh Dan Pham, Jean Yanne

Votes: 9,398 | Gross: $5.73M

Suggested by: MAthePA

19. Fear City: A Family-Style Comedy (1994)

93 min | Comedy, Horror

A second-class horror movie has to be shown at Cannes Film Festival, but, before each screening, the projectionist is killed by a mysterious fellow, with hammer and sickle, just as it happens in the film to be shown.

Director: Alain Berbérian | Stars: Chantal Lauby, Alain Chabat, Dominique Farrugia, Gérard Darmon

Votes: 8,586

Suggested by: ElM.

20. Ridicule (1996)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, History

To get royal backing on a needed drainage project, a poor French lord must learn to play the delicate games of wit at court at Versailles.

Director: Patrice Leconte | Stars: Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fanny Ardant, Judith Godrèche

Votes: 7,214 | Gross: $2.50M

Suggested by: Patrick Salbaing

21. The Eighth Day (1996)

118 min | Comedy, Drama

An unusual and wonderful friendship develops between a busy but unhappy salesman and a resident of a mental asylum.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Pascal Duquenne, Miou-Miou, Henri Garcin

Votes: 9,066 | Gross: $0.33M

Suggested by: leavey-2

22. The Promise (1996)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

82 Metascore

Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit undocumented immigrants. When one of the immigrants is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Jérémie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Assita Ouedraogo, Jean-Michel Balthazar

Votes: 7,356 | Gross: $0.45M

Suggested by: leavey-2

23. Lorna's Silence (2008)

R | 105 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Sokol and Lorna, two Albanian emigrants in Belgium, dream of leaving their dreary jobs to set up a snack bar. They need money, and a permanent resident status. Claudy is a junkie - he needs... See full summary »

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Arta Dobroshi, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Alban Ukaj

Votes: 8,344 | Gross: $0.34M

Suggested by: leavey-2

24. In the Beginning (2009)

130 min | Drama

France, present day. A professional conman passes himself off as the boss of a construction site building a highway extension. He cons the whole region, hires dozens of workers and ... See full summary »

Director: Xavier Giannoli | Stars: François Cluzet, Emmanuelle Devos, Gérard Depardieu, Soko

Votes: 2,272

Suggested by: albstein

25. The Measure of a Man (2015)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama

74 Metascore

An unemployed factory worker is trying to make ends meet in working-class France.

Director: Stéphane Brizé | Stars: Vincent Lindon, Karine de Mirbeck, Matthieu Schaller, Yves Ory

Votes: 5,750 | Gross: $0.11M

Suggested by: albstein



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