Live Poll: The Best French Movies of the 20th Century

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  • Updated 7 months ago
  • (Edited)
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?

List: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls041399961/
Poll: https://www.imdb.com/poll/tD9T5FszEec/
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SeventhAr7

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Posted 7 months ago

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Kyle Perez

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Gotta opt with La Haine (1995); a masterpiece in so many ways.
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ElMo

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You might find some interesting additions in this clip, I had tried to pay tribute to the Best French movies ever (most of them made before the 21st century)
(Edited)
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ElMo

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Bande à Part
Pépé le Moko
La Bandera
Les Valseuses
Le Trou
Le Roi et l'Oiseau
Les Enfant Terribles
Cleo the 5 a 7
Le Grand Bleu
Casque d'Or
Ridicule
La Grande Vadrouille
Cyrano de Bergerac
Les Vacances de mr. Hulot
La Nuit Américaine
The "Marseilles" Trilogy
La Maman et la Putain
Les yeux Sans Visages
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort
Le Mari de la Coiffeuse

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Vincent Fournols

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Outstanding!! :)
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MAthePA

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ElMo

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I 100% agree about the quality, but I think the perspective should be important too.
I would have made a two-part poll; one about worldwide famous movies and then classic movies but more celebrated in France, for me "Le Viager" is one of the best French comedies ever but I would keep it for the second poll and ask "which film would you love to discover?"
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MAthePA

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You may check the release pages against all the above.
One not known title: Le père Noël est une ordure (1981), but it is really worthy to be world-wide. For 20 years I had no idea about this movie, but then it was a unique for-20-laughter-whoop for the whole night x)))))
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ElMo

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One of the funniest French movies ever, and certainly the most quotable.
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Vincent Fournols

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I saw "Le Viager" again a couple of weeks ago, and it still stands very high. "Le père Noël" is totally cult (and "quotable" :), But it would come third behind "Le dîner de cons" a total concentrated comic masterpiece (1h16, I think), but above all the unsinkable "Grande Vadrouille"!
My 2 euros :)
(Edited)
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ElMo

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If I had a Top 20 to make of French Comedies (let's say 20 "undeniable" classics to recommend to someone who's not familiar with French comedy and not ranked according to my preferences but to what I believe are their classic magnitude):

LA GRANDE VADROUILLE
LE PERE NOEL EST UNE ORDURE
LE DINER DE CONS
LES AVENTURES DE RABBI JACOB
LES VISITEURS
LE GRAND BLOND AVEC UNE CHAUSSURE NOIRE
LES TONTONS FLINGUEURS
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
LES BRONZES FONT DU SKI 
LE CORNIAUD

LA CHEVRE
LES TROIS FRERES
LE FABULEUX DESTIN D'AMELIE POULAIN
LA VIE EST UN LONG FLEUVE TRANQUILLE
LES BRONZES
PAPY FAIT DE LA RESISTANCE
LE GENDARME DE ST TROPEZ
LES VACANCES DE MR HULOT
LA FOLIE DES GRANDEURS
LA VERITE SI JE MENS

But among MY favorite, you'd find movies like LE JOUET, LA CITE DE LA PEUR, LE VIAGER and so many ASTERIX and LUCKY LUKE movies.
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MAthePA

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MAthePA

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(Edited)
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Vincent Fournols

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1. Les Enfants du paradis/Children of Paradise
Van Gogh
Quai des orfèvres
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg
L'Amour à mort
Des hommes et des dieux
Garde à vue
Fort Saganne
Cyrano de Bergerac

(Edited)
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MAthePA

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Vincent, hi!
The Van Gogh idea also come to my mind because of the cast, but it seems to be originally in English and international coproduction, is it?
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Vincent Fournols

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Sorry, I was referring to this one: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103190/reference, by Maurice Pialat in 1991, with Jacques Dutronc. A baffling blow...

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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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SeventhAr7

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Hey guys ElM.Vincent FournolsMAthePA,  Nikolay Yeriomin
first of all, thanks for the suggestions!! They are very welcome.

However i think i'm gonna follow the idea of ElM. and make a part two of this topic because from what i see very of your suggestions are about movies that are less popular than from what i have on my list but don't get me wrong i'm not saying that they are bad... i'm the first to assume that popularity don't defines the quality of the movie. 

One of the things that come to me mind, is create a poll with yours suggestion called "Hidden Gems from France Cinema" p.s: we can debate the title if you guys want.

Why i am doing this?? because of the movies you guys suggested appears to be good and great but mostly of them are not well know to the audience and i think if i include some ones on my list they will be on the bottom of the list, for this fact.

I want to this movies have a fair dispute and for that i think create a own league for them it's more fair... and more, on create a list of great french movies but hidden gems people will have the opportunity and knowledge to watch them.

I am grateful for your suggestions and please give me your feedback about this!!

...and then we can argue with some rules
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MAthePA

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Hi again!

I was going to further investigate, but stil have two options in my pocket: Indochine (1992) and Le professionnel (1981).

The latter is outdated in some reasons - this is why Le samouraï (1967) is not suggested from my side and I would not include some other initially included titles in a poll of my own. It is always important for me to distinguish the eternal art of cinema vs. museum of cinema. But it's totally clear for me what "classics" mean and I don't try to convince you to follow unpopular ways. To summerize, I vote for Indochine (1992) to be the 5th element in my suggestion ))

Also I do like to suggest Le dîner de cons (1998) to be included in the current poll "The Best French Movies of the 20th Century".
(Edited)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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I would say that  Le samouraï (1967) is far more timeless and influential then Le professionnel. Unlike the latter, Melville's film still inspires other movies around the world, while The Professional is mainly remaining a cult classic in France and Post-Soviet countries and never quite hit the same chord with the audiences around the world. I've seen people from India to USA talking about The Samurai, while Professional sadly never reached the same level.   

But that's me being totally biased, because 1967 movie is of much influence for my life. And, to be honest, I love both of those movies. It's just that (in my humble opinion) if you really love cinema, there's no such thing as "museum vs. eternal art": each film has something timeless to offer. 
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MAthePA

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One more thing to be treated in general. When you prepare a compilation of titles, there are two neutral grounds for sorting: alphabet and year. The wider the theme of compilation is, the more reasonable is to stay neutral. Whenever a period of years is a basic criterion, it is logically motivated and non-misleading to sort the list by year.
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MAthePA

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And the last important thing at this moment...
The 21st Century draft + The Fifth Element (1997) + Léon (1994) = What is similar? If here we exclude these two movies out for the language criterion, stil they are totally of French production, we have a blurred concept for the 21-century movies - they are mostly in coproduction (not only EU), hard to find the wholy local ones...

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SeventhAr7

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I choose some os yours suggestion and I end up with 25 options. I think it's a good number.

That makes sense, I reordered the list from the year of release.

... and I added the Indochina (1992) suggestion on the other list.

To explain better my thoughts, what I want on this and 21st Century list is the French element on the movie.
The movie needs to have a French production and the French element (language or places) needs to appear on the movie... but like I say they need to have a French production or coproduction.

What I don't want is that movies when the characters and story are French and the actors are english and only speak English with the exquisite French accent.
E.g: Hugo

... and like I say, Leon have a French production but they don't have a French element on the screen. You only realize that is French when you see who directed.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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SeventhAr7,

Please consider changing this sentence in your list from:
France is known to be one of the European countries with more film culture.

To:
France is known to be one of the European countries with a robust film culture.
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Peter, Champion

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Perhaps you should say "Here are some of the greatest".
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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SeventhAr7,

Thanks for making the change that I recommended. I agree with Peter's suggestion.
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SeventhAr7

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I agree. Addition made. :)
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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SeventhAr7,

Thanks for making the change that Peter recommended so quickly. I've updated your original post accordingly.
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SeventhAr7

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Kkkkkk I'm with the page of the GS open, this is why I was so fast. Thank you I
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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SeventhAr7

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Thanks for notifying me :)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Congrats & Bravo! : )

(I'm surprised that Red isn't on the list. 100 Metacritic score, nominated for a few Oscars, one of the top 250 IMDb films, and the whole trilogy was both critically acclaimed and universally seen. It's also one of my three favorite films ever but that, of course, is not a qualifying feature, lol.)
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MAthePA

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Red and the whole trilogy have the highest ratings of mine, but among production companies:
Zespol Filmowy "Tor"
CAB Productions
Télévision Suisse-Romande (TSR)
Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l'Europe

As for me, some other contries may honesty say, e.g. "the movie is Polish", especially noting the first part of trilogy. Both variants are correct until someone is going to discuss who was more involved...

There were the same reasons why Red was not suggested here, and Joyeux Noël in the further poll. But in practice, for the second poll I see the slightly smashed concept.
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SeventhAr7

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I was in doubt MAthePA on the Joyeux Noël and i wanted you to give me more details about the movie... but i included since it appears to have a french element and among the other countries it was France that kept the representation of the movie internationally. 

 rubyfruit76, oh it appears that yeah, i missed that one 
(Edited)