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Favorite Paris movie

We're planning to visit Paris next May. As a lead up to the trip, I thought it'd be fun to have a Paris movie night a couple of times a month. (Perhaps the movies inspired this trip since we've watched An American in Paris, Funny Face, and Midnight in Paris in the last year.) I've seen Rick's recommended viewing list, but know there's so much more out there. So tell me: What's your favorite Paris-set movie (English or French language)?

Posted by
2246 posts

I wouldn't say they are my favorite, necessarily, and I don't know that they are set in Paris, but I highly recommend seeing one or more of Jacques Tati's films. For some they are an acquired taste, however the sight gags and simple comic timing of events is hilarious stuff, imho, and it pokes lots of fun at the French. A sort of more-modern Chaplin.

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2193 posts

Paris, je t'aime is excellent, and the soundtrack is great. You already mentioned Midnight in Paris, which would be my next recommendation.

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1286 posts

Hi Katie - I loved Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.

Posted by
8984 posts

La Haine (The Hate). A 1995 movie about the day in the life of three young men (jew/black/muslum) living in the projects outside of Paris. Half the story takes place in the projects the other half in central Paris. It's one of the most successful French Language films in the US, and has a huge cult following here. It also launched the careers of Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui who have successfully crossed-over into english language movies/tv. It available for streaming via Hulu+ and Amazon Instant.

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45 posts

I highly recommend viewing Amelie, in French with English subtitles. This is in my top 5 of all time favorite movies. As a by product you will see some excellent scenes of Montmartre and Canal Saint Martin. On my next Paris trip I will have a drink at Cafe des Deux Moulins (featured in the film) and skip stones in the canal. Enjoy.

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521 posts

We watch Amélie a couple of times a year and still laugh in the same places. We also like Paris, je t'aime, which is 20 short films set in Paris. And not strictly Parisian, but very French, is the animated film Les Triplettes de Belleville. We watch that once or twice a year too.

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175 posts

I also love Midnight in Paris. It definitely gets me in the mood for Paris. I don't know if these are ones Rick recommends, but I love "French Kiss" with Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan and "Forget Paris" with Billy Crystal. Most of Forget Paris is not in Paris, if I recall correctly, but it still gets me excited and I love Billy Crystal.

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784 posts

"Paris" with Juliette Binoche. It has 4 loosely connected story lines and nice views of Paris. It was made in 2008 so should be fairly was to obtained. I have it on DVR from one of the cable movie networks.

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3454 posts

As Dave suggested at the top of the thread , the films of Jacques Tati . The most appropriate one for Paris is " Mon Oncle " and an older film that's one of the greats , based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story " Babylon Revisited " , " The Last Time I Saw Paris " with Van Johnson and Elizabeth Taylor .

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3454 posts

Just remembered another ; " La Vie en Rose " , the story of Edith Piaf , starring Marion Cotillard .

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6478 posts

Two more that have not been mentioned: Paris Blues with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier. Sabrina (1995 version) with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond.

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2297 posts

My recommendation is for one of my favourite movies of the past year. It was a HUGE hit in France and all over Europe. Very funny and insightful: The Intouchables It's based on the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, a very rich French aristocrat who became a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident. His life changes again when he hires a young guy from the Parisian suburbs to be his aide.

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2297 posts

My recommendation is for one of my favourite movies last year. It was a HUGE hit in France and all over Europe. Very funny and insightful: The Intouchables It's based on the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, a very rich French aristocrat who became a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident. His life changes again when he hires a young guy from the Parisian suburbs to be his aide.

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12875 posts

Certainly it's hard to say the all time favourite but one of them is "La Balance" (1983 ?)

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355 posts

A couple of more French language films that I enjoyed are: Belle de Jour, The Diner Game, The Closet, and Tell No One English language: The Last Time I Saw Paris (with Elizabeth Taylor) A Little Romance (with Laurence Olivier and 13-year-old Diane Lane)
DaVinci Code

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515 posts

I have to go with the obvious, Les Miserables. Even though it no really filmed in Paris.

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537 posts

The Bourne Identity : Paris and Matt Damon - what more can you ask?
Charade : fun and Cary Grant

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2065 posts

All of the above and Phantom of the Opera, Julie & Julia, le Divorce, A Good Year--for Provence of course, French Kiss and Camille Claudel.

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2297 posts

Oh, how could I forget "Julie and Julia"! Definitely a must see! I'd also suggest to have a look at this wikipedia site with a very comprehensive list of movie titles, French ones and foreign ones set in Paris: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_set_in_Paris#1960s Here are some of my favourites from the list: FRENCH: - À bout de souffle (Breathless), by Jean-Luc Godard - Le Dernier Métro (The Last Metro), by François Truffaut - Trois Couleurs: Bleu (Three Colours: Blue), by Krzysztof Kieslowski - Coco avant Chanel (Coco before Chanel), by Anne Fontaine FOREIGN (mostly Hollywood): - The Pink Panther (1963), by Blake Edwards - Dangerous Liaisons (1988), by Stephen Frears - Jefferson in Paris (1995), by James Ivory
- Before Sunset, by Richard Linklater - Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, by Tom Tykwer - Marie Antoinette, by Sofia Coppola

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449 posts

If you wish to see a film with images of contemporary Paris take a look at "Holy Motors" which came out a few years ago. This is a fantasy film about a human shape shifter (within limits - nothing really unusual) who is being driven around Paris in a limo. During his journey he visits the Pere Lachaise cemetery and the area around the closed La Samaritaine department store. One of the scenes is filmed on the roof of that building. There are many street scenes. Despite the weird sounding story line this film does have a 90% rating on rottentomatoes.com and is highly regarded by the film critics. Also, in case it has not been mentioned don't forget "Before Sunset" which has Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke talking and walking around Paris.

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12040 posts

Truffaut's The 400 Blows (no, it's not a porno...). A good reminder that life in Paris, like any large city, isn't all singing, dancing, flowers and sunshine. Particularly in the outer arondissements.

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4684 posts

Micmacs a Tire-Larigot is a hilarious caper movie in modern Paris by the guy who did "Delicatessen". Also, more seriously, the cop show "Spiral"/"Engrenages" will give you the view NOT endorsed by Tourist Information.

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12 posts

I second La Vie en Rose for the old Paris. Intouchables and Cliente (American title is A French Gigolo) for the new Paris, as well as anything by or with Josiane Balasko, and many films starring Gerard Depardieu. Films dealing with the outer arrondissements, immigration, etc are also tres courant. There's a great 2013 film called Le Prenom (What's in a Name) but I saw it at a film festival and don't know how you can get it in the US.

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2246 posts

I'll second Phillip's Mic-Macs suggestion; it's a hilarious and completely original film. Tell No One excellent too.

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8 posts

Many new suggestions and some I've had in the queue and forgotten about. You all are the best. Thank you!

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2023 posts

L'Argent (the money)-not exactly an upbeat film but quite good. I think some scenes were in Belleville so you will not see pretty Paris.

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3454 posts

A very odd and unique film by Sylvain Chomet ( Triplettes de Belleville , L'Illusioniste ) is " The Old Lady and the Pigeons " . This is a 22 minute animated film ( you can watch it on youtube ) which is indicative of Chomet's brilliant and twisted mind . This film is really far out and very Parisien .

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3696 posts

Hi Katie... fellow A2... you can also look up a previous post by me that has dozens of movies...not only Parisian or French movies, but lots of great European movies in general.
@Steven... just on my way home from NYC and Ct. and drove through your area... next time I am working out east you will have to have an RS meeting and I will come... you always have such great movie suggestions:)

Posted by
1668 posts

French, but not Parisian: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The music gets inside your head.

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1020 posts

How to Steal a Million - Hepburn and O'Toole - brilliant

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355 posts

@Cynthia - If you like The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, have you seen The Young Girls of Rochefort? Also by Jacques Demy, with Catherine Deneuve and her sister (Francoise Dorleac), Gene Kelly, and George Chakiris. Not set in Paris either, but a real (albeit campy) treat!

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10 posts

I LOVE to watch French movies. For those not fluent in French, of course they all have sub-titles but after the first couples minutes you get in the swing and it's simple to follow. I've been watching foreign films for years and sub titles aren't an issue. I watch an endless variety of French movies on Netflix or directly from internet websites, or purchase on Amazon. Anything with Audrey Tautou is going to be a gem as well as Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Hubert, Isabelle Adjani, Gerard Depardieu, and many more. Priceless (2006) He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2002) A Very Long Engagement (2004) Well Digger's Daughter (2011) Romantics Anonymous (2010) Change of Plans (2009) Shall We Kiss? (2007) Private Property (2006)
The Father of My Children (2009)

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3454 posts

Well ,this one is not Parisian ,but it is very French . From 1961 , " Fanny " , from the Marseilles trilogy by Marcel Pagnol . The story of Fanny , Marius ,her love , and Marius' father , Cesare . Stars Leslie Caron , Charles Boyer , Maurice Chevalier , and Horst Bucholz . Filmed in wide screen , on location in Marseilles , a touching story of the lessons life teaches . When Fanny and Marius meet after his absence from Marseilles ,she asks him " Did you see the isles beneath the wind , what were they like ?" He answers " Volcanic Ash "

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355 posts

Just thought of another one that I loved... Apres Vous is set in a restaurant in Paris and stars Daniel Auteuil.

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177 posts

Cleo from 5 to 7 (Cléo de 5 à 7 - 1962). A movie by Agnes Varda shot in Paris in real time. Probably my favorite movie. I like this film so much that I went through the different filming locations a few years ago.
Music by a young Michel Legrand that also acts in the movie. Magnificent views of the streets of Paris in 1962.

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1757 posts

Great list, one more is "Until September" (romantic drama, 1984).

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228 posts

We loved "The intouchables" It's in French with english subtitles. Takes place in Paris and other parts of France. Beautiful story! Also "Hugo", curiously good movie with a surprizing cast of well-respected actors... don't put i down because it looks like a child's movie. 'la vie en Rose", "Julie and Julia", and of course "The Da Vinci Code" with Tom Hanks.

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24 posts

Chocolat! Filmed in Beynac, a charming town in Southern France! Enjoy

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282 posts

Can't believe no one's mentioned "Casablanca" yet - maybe only a few scenes in Paris but so French and so romantic!
As in, "We'll always have..."

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3336 posts

Paris J'Taime and Amelie are my two favorites!