Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 2 June 2017

The French list .....

Continuing our Lists theme, 25 essential French flicks we love, from the Fifties to the Seventies, again two maximum from each director ... (AND, Those French Tough Guys). 
  • LA RONDE (1950) / MADAME DE … (1953) - Ophuls. Classic French cinema avec Danielle Darrieux & Co. 
  • M RIPOIS (KNAVE OF HEARTS) 1954 / PLEIN SOLEIL (1959) – Rene Clement: Gerard Philipe and Alain Delon both at peak perfection in Clement's perfect films. Maurice Ronet is also terrific in SOLEIL as a very unpleasant Dickie Greenleaf ,,,,
  • AND GOD CREATED WOMAN / HEAVEN FELL THAT NIGHT – as was Bardot in 1956 and 1958 in these Vadim scorchers! She WAS the female James Dean.
  • LIFT TO THE SCAFFOLD (1958) / LE FEU FOLLET (1963) – Malle - Malle's electrifying films still dazzle now, as does Maurice Ronet and Moreau ...
  • LOLA (1961) / BAY OF ANGELS (1963) – Demy - 2 gleaming monochrome classics, as good as Demy's musicals, Anouk and Moreau at their best (Of course we love Demy's 2 pastel musicals and his 2 enchanting fairy tales as well, Demy label).
  • AMELIE, OU TE TEMPS D’AIMER – Michel Drach, 1961 - not seen since at the Academy in Oxford Street London in 1964 when I was 18. Jean Sorel and a Victorian romance at moody Mont St Michel (my favourite place in France). 
  • UN HOMME ET UNE FEMME - Lelouch. We just love Anouk and Trintignant and that lush score and visuals. Perfectly 1966
  • LA FEMME INFIDELE / INNOCENTS WITH DIRTY HANDS (1975) – Chabrol's valentines to Stephane and Romy ... (just two from my 14 disk Chabrol set)
  • UNDER THE SAND / TIME TO LEAVE – Ozon. A brace of Ozon classics. TIME TO LEAVE is harrowing, Rampling is perfect UNDER THE SAND (as was Deneuve in POTICHE).
  • 400 BLOWS / HISTORY OF ADELE H. – Truffaut. Isabelle Adjani mesmerises as Adele H in 1975. and the first Antoine Doinel from 1959 is New Wave personified. 
  • LES DRAGUEURS  - Mocky. More perfect 1959 French new wave as we take in Paris by night with Anouk and Belinda Lee.
  • CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 – Agnes Varda, 1962. 
  • LES VALSEUSES - Blier's shocker from 1974 still packs a punch as tearaways young Depardieu and Dewaere go on the rampage, in those flaired jeans. 
  • THE BEST WAY TO WALK – Miller. Claude Miller's delicious 1976 drama
  • THE WILD REEDS (LES ROSEAUX SAUVAGES)  – Techine. Andre Techine's gay classic from 1994, Gael Morel shines. 
  • INDOCHINE – Wargnier - A Deneuve epic from 1992, almost a French GWTW.
  • CESAR & ROSALIE – Sautet. Romy and Montand are perfect leads. One of Schneider's 6 with Claude Sautet, each is perfect. 
  • PLAYTIME -Tati. TRAFIC is fabulous too as Monsieur Hulot goes travelling, 
  • RIFIFI – Hossein in Dassin's 1955 masterclass
  • MELODIE EN SOUS SOL – Verneuil's 1963 caper with Gabin & hot shot young Delon as they rob a Cannes casino, the playoff is perfect, 
  • LE SAMOURAI – Melville's masterpiece from 1967
  • LE HOMME D’ RIO – De Broca. Belmondo dazzles in Rio in 1964 with Dorleac. 
  • BORSALINO – Deray. Delon and Belmondo ramp up the glamour in 1970
  • THE WICKED GO TO HELL - Hossein's slick 1955 thriller with his wife Marina Vlady, and Henri Vidal.
  • TOI LE VENIN -  Slick Hossein thriller from 1958, "Night is not for sleep" indeed! 
  • UNE MANCHE ET LA BELLE (KISS FOR A KILLER) - Super Verneuil 1957 thriller with Vidal and Mylene Demongeot and Isa Miranda. 
  • CHAIR DE POULE – Duvivier's jet black thriller from 1963 with Sorel and Hossein (right)
  • LE CIRCLE ROUGE / ARMY OF SHADOWS – Melville's downbeat wartime epic with Signoret, Ventura & Co. 
More on all these at labels, particularly PLEIN SOLEIL, MR RIPLEY etc. 


  1. Compared to the British list, what masterpieces! I very vaguely remember seeing THE WICKED GO TO HELL as a kid here in Derry. It was just steamy enough for it to make an impact on me at the time.