Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Posts Tagged ‘French’

Diary of a Country Priest (1951) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1951

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(French:  Journal d’un cure de campagne)

115 min – view video trailer

Director: Robert Bresson
Starring: Claude Laydu, Nicole Ladmiral, Jean Riveyre

Genres: Drama, Mystery

IMDB 7.9 / Amazon 4.4 / Decent Films A+

Oscars: none

Ranked #83 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment. IMDB rating: 7.9 from over 3,916 users

The film locks in to the mind of a sickly, ineffective young priest trapped in an unfriendly rural area. Bresson charts the priest’s collapse with a series of brief scenes, a minimalist style that makes the slightest touch of a hand or far-off sound of a dog barking seem magnified in importance. (This is a movie that must be watched and listened to–it is not a casual experience.) Amazon 4.4 stars from over 31 users

Faithfully adapting its source material, Catholic novelist Georges Bernanos’ fictional autobiography of a soul, the film profoundly contemplates the spiritual meaning of suffering and persecution, conversion and incorrigibility, and the dark night of the soul with a rigor and insight evocative of Augustine’sConfessions or Thérèse’s Story of a Soul. Read full Decent Films review: rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up

MRQE – over 29 review links

Madison Public Library


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The Rules of the Game (1939) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1939

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110 min – view video trailer

(in French, title: La regle du jeu)

Director: Jean Renoir
Starring: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Foreign

IMDB 8.0 / Amazon 4.4 / MRQE 96 / Tomatometer 100%

Oscars: none

Ranked #19 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

Renoir’s look at bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II. An assorted cast of characters – the rich and their poor servants – meet up at a French chateau.  IMDB 8.0 rating from over 12,546 users

Consistently cited by critics worldwide as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s bittersweet drama of life, love, class, and the social code of manners and behavior (“the rules of the game”) is a savage critique undertaken with sensitivity and compassion. Renoir’s catch-phrase through the film, “Everyone has their reasons,” develops a multilayered meaning by the conclusion. Amazon 4.4 stars from over 72 users

Now often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game was not warmly received on its original release in 1939: audiences at its opening engagements in Paris were openly hostile, responding to the film with shouts of derision, and distributors cut the movie from 113 minutes to a mere 80. It was banned as morally perilous during the German occupation and the original negative was destroyed during WWII. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 100% (audience 90%)

MRQE 96% from over 45 reviews

Madison Public Library

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L’Atalante (1934) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1934

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89 mins – view video trailer

Director: Jean Vigo
Starring: Dita Parlo, Jean Daste, Michel Simon

Genres: Drama, Foreign, Romance

IMDB 7.9 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 97% / Tomatometer 100%

Oscars: none

Ranked #67 Greatest Movies Through 1960

Bored by life on the river, Juliette slips off to see the nightlife when they come to Paris. Angered by this, Jean (her husband) sets off, leaving her behind. Overcome by grief and longing for his wife, Jean falls into a depression and Pere Jules (second mate on their boat) goes and tries to find Juliette. IMDB 7.9 rating from over 6,133 users

This intoxicatingly inventive masterpiece- a perennial entry on best-of-all-time lists- is one of the world’s great films. Jean Vigo’s innovative style transforms a simple and engaging plot of a young woman’s stormy initiation into married life on a river barge, into a kaleidoscope of dazzling digressions and offbeat characterizations complete with tour-de-force scenes that still seem fresh and startling. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 29 users

Jean becomes jealous of a flirtation between Juliette and a peddler, and when she leaves the ship again later, Jean casts off from the port. This dark love story is also peppered with hallucinations and unusual camerawork. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 100% Audience 89%

MRQE 97% from over 35 reviews

Madison Public Library

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The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1928

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(French: La passion de Jeanne d’Arc)

110 min (with English subtitles and optional music track) – view video trailer

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Writers: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Joseph Delteil
Starring: Renee Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, Andre Berley

Genres: Biography, Drama, History, Foreign

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.8 / MRQE 98% / Decent Films A+

Oscars: ??

Ranked #53 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d’Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 16,008 users

Dreyer’s film is most devastating in its central performance by Falconetti (née Renee Falconetti), a French stage actress who made her only screen appearance here–one critic Pauline Kael has suggested “may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.” Through Falconetti, Joan’s spiritual devotion, simple dignity, and suffering become utterly real; even without a dialogue track and only sparse inter-titles, the film achieves a fevered eloquence. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 168 users

To witness Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc is to glimpse the soul of a saint in her hour of trial. The film is more than a dramatization, more than a biopic, more than a documentary: It is a spiritual portrait, almost a mystical portrait, of a Christ-like soul sharing in the sufferings of Christ… The key to the film’s sense of authenticity, though, is the haunting face of Maria Falconetti, whose transcendent evocation of the Maid of Orleans has been called the greatest performance ever filmed. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 98% from over 50 reviews (the highest rating of any movie)

Notes: This was a silent film with French text screens.  The DVD includes a music track that is excellent in itself and also includes English subtitles.

Madison Public Library

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