French New Wave

by allisonalmodovar | created - 10 Jun 2015 | updated - 10 Jun 2015 | Public

Jean Douchet's book, French New Wave, features film reviews by critics such as Jacques Rivette, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, André Bazin, and Éric Rohmer.

The book not only covers the groundbreaking films of the New Wave, but the films that inspired and were inspired by the movement.

1-9: 1955 10-17: 1956 18-25: 1957 26-35: 1958 36-45: 1959 46-57: 1960 58-65: 1961 66-73: 1962 74-80: 1963 81-85: 1964 86+ Additional movies found in the essays and index.

#109 (Les Sept péchés capitaux) refers to Jacques Demy's segment "La Luxure" #111 (Paris vu par…) refers to author Jean Douchet's segment "Saint-Germain-des-Prés" #130 (Paris vu par…) refers to Jean-Luc Godard's segment "Montparnasse-Levallois" # 164 (Paris vu par…) refers to Jean-Daniel Pollet's segment "Rue Saint-Denis" # 178 (Paris vu par…) refers to Jean Rouch's segment "Gare du Nord"

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1. Johnny Guitar (1954)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Western

83 Metascore

After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady

Votes: 14,885

2. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal plan to murder him with what they believe is the perfect alibi.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 59,675

3. La Strada (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani

Votes: 56,150

4. Journey to Italy (1954)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance

100 Metascore

An unhappily married couple attempts to find direction and insight while vacationing in Naples.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Maria Mauban, Anna Proclemer

Votes: 8,368

5. French Cancan (1955)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

This comedy drama from Jean Renoir chronicles the revival of Paris' most notorious dance as it tells the story of a theater producer who turns a humble washerwoman into a star at the Moulin Rouge.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Françoise Arnoul, María Félix, Anna Amendola

Votes: 3,546

6. The Grand Maneuver (1955)

106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn't like other girls he's known.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Michèle Morgan, Gérard Philipe, Jean Desailly, Pierre Dux

Votes: 841

7. The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Not Rated | 128 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Marius Goring

Votes: 9,348

8. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez

Votes: 17,723

9. Bad Liaisons (1955)

84 min | Drama

Through her answers to police inspector Corbin's questions, investigating Dr Danieli's suicide, Catherine Racan draws her self-portrait. The ambitious young journalist indeed tells how she ... See full summary »

Director: Alexandre Astruc | Stars: Jean-Claude Pascal, Anouk Aimée, Gaby Sylvia, Philippe Lemaire

Votes: 155

10. Lola Montès (1955)

Not Rated | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Biopic of adventurer Lola Montès who ends up as a circus attraction after being romantically involved with famous European men.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook, Henri Guisol

Votes: 4,670 | Gross: $0.11M

11. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama

89 Metascore

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus

Votes: 80,488

12. Night and Fog (1956)

Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 16,534

13. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid the $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 78,945 | Gross: $0.65M

14. That Is the Dawn (1956)

102 min | Drama

The wife of a physician who diligently cares for the poor, grows weary of their dull South France factory town and pressures her older husband to move to glorious Nice, on the Mediterranean... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Georges Marchal, Lucia Bosè, Julien Bertheau, Jean-Jacques Delbo

Votes: 631

aka Así es la aurora aka That Is the Dawn

15. The Mystery of Picasso (1956)

PG | 78 min | Documentary, Biography, History

A filmed record of Pablo Picasso painting numerous canvases for the camera, allowing us to see his creative process at work.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Pablo Picasso, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Claude Renoir

Votes: 1,995 | Gross: $0.27M

16. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Passed | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang

Votes: 9,356

17. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Romance

In Sweden at the turn of the century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlqvist

Votes: 11,823

Smiles of a Summer Night

18. ...And God Created Woman (1956)

PG | 90 min | Drama, Romance

In sunny St. Tropez, a young sexpot loves one brother but marries the other.

Director: Roger Vadim | Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Curd Jürgens, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jane Marken

Votes: 7,177 | Gross: $2.00M

And God Created Woman

19. A Man Escaped (1956)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from a Nazi prison in France.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock, Roland Monod

Votes: 17,819

20. Baby Doll (1956)

Approved | 114 min | Comedy, Drama

A steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous nineteen-year-old virgin.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach, Mildred Dunnock

Votes: 6,528

21. Lovers and Thieves (1956)

85 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A man becomes the lover of his former persecutor's wife.

Director: Sacha Guitry | Stars: Jean Poiret, Michel Serrault, Magali Noël, Clément Duhour

Votes: 271

22. Written on the Wind (1956)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone

Votes: 9,705

23. The Adventures of Arsène Lupin (1957)

104 min | Crime, Mystery

Arsène Lupin, the multifaceted gentleman thief, steals two masterpieces from the President of the Council. Some time later, posing as Monsieur Gilles, a winegrower who is marrying his only ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: Robert Lamoureux, Liselotte Pulver, O.E. Hasse, Daniel Ceccaldi

Votes: 445

24. The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Music

A gangster hires a down-and-out press agent to make his airheaded girlfriend a singing star.

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, Edmond O'Brien, Julie London

Votes: 2,931

25. An Affair to Remember (1957)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

A couple falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building - but will it happen?

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning, Neva Patterson

Votes: 26,789

26. The Killing (1956)

Approved | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five man team to plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 78,385

27. Bonjour Tristesse (1958)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance

Cecile, decadent young girl who lives with her rich playboy father Raymond. When Anne, Raymond's old love interest, comes to Raymond's villa, Cecile is afraid for her way of life.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Jean Seberg, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Mylène Demongeot

Votes: 4,239

28. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 156,099

The Seventh Seal

29. Les Girls (1957)

Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy, Musical

The former members of a dance troupe are suing because of recently published memoirs. Each one insists on own point of view.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, Taina Elg

Votes: 2,380

30. Il Grido (1957)

Not Rated | 116 min | Drama

A man wanders aimlessly, away from his town, away from the woman he loved, emotionally and socially inactive.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: Gabriella Pallotta, Steve Cochran, Alida Valli, Dorian Gray

Votes: 4,158

The Outcry

31. Montparnasse 19 (1958)

Not Rated | 108 min | Biography, Drama

Biographic movie about the last year of the famous Italian painter Modigliani. Modigliani, a poor painter in Paris of 1919, falls in love with a daughter from a wealthy family. Her parents ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: Gérard Philipe, Lilli Palmer, Lea Padovani, Gérard Séty

Votes: 1,108

Montparnasse 19

32. Touch of Evil (1958)

PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 95,977 | Gross: $2.24M

33. The Lovers (1958)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

Saddled with a dull husband and a foolish lover, a woman has an affair with a stranger.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Alain Cuny, Jean-Marc Bory, Judith Magre

Votes: 4,542

35. End of Desire (1958)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama

Normandy, second half of the nineteenth century. Jeanne Dandieu lives in a manor house with her parents and their servant Rosalie. She gets to know Julien, a handsome man, whom she soon ... See full summary »

Director: Alexandre Astruc | Stars: Maria Schell, Christian Marquand, Pascale Petit, Louis Arbessier

Votes: 261

End of Desire

36. Les Mistons (1957)

18 min | Short, Comedy

Five young boys in pre-puberty are collectively attracted by a beautiful, young woman, Bernadette Jouve. She awakes in them the springs of luminous sensuality. As they are too young to love... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Gérard Blain, Bernadette Lafont, Michel François, Alain Baldy

Votes: 3,062

37. Le Beau Serge (1958)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama

After long absence, a man returns to his hometown only to find his best friend has become an alcoholic.

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Gérard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Michèle Méritz, Bernadette Lafont

Votes: 2,850

38. The Cousins (1959)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama

A pair of cousins share a flat, but animosity begins to build between the two when a woman gets involved.

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Gérard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Juliette Mayniel, Guy Decomble

Votes: 2,428

39. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud

Votes: 26,866 | Gross: $0.09M

40. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 99,901

The 400 Blows

41. Rio Bravo (1959)

Passed | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson

Votes: 53,922 | Gross: $12.54M

42. Head Against the Wall (1959)

95 min | Drama

In order to get rid of his troublesome son François, Maître Gérane manages to have him committed to a mental hospital owned by Dr. Varmont, a supporter of traditional treatments, in ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Franju | Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Anouk Aimée

Votes: 541

43. Two Men in Manhattan (1959)

Not Rated | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Pierre Grasset, Christiane Eudes, Ginger Hall, Colette Fleury

Votes: 1,630

44. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

98 Metascore

After two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft

Votes: 234,842 | Gross: $25.00M