10 Best French Film Noir Films

Thursday, February 10 by Amanda Ferguson

The 10 best French film noir films are the apex of the genre. French film noir is the staple and beginning of the historical genre. These films consist of dark lighting and story lines.

  1. "Le Corbeau." Being a French village doctor sure isn't easy. Particularly when he becomes targeted and accused of abortions and sordid affairs. This film's subject matter is dark, just like the movie itself. It is quintessential French Film Noir.
  2. "Panique." Just outside of Paris, a very old maid is shot and dead. The murderer is caught up in a love triangle that involves, prison, and woman, and the man that loves her. This film is one of the main reasons French Film Noir has the imagery that it does.
  3. "Quai Des Orfevres." Sometimes succeeded in business is too difficult for some people. This French Film Noir classic portrays the story of a young woman who desperately wants to succeed as a singer. Her extremely jealous husband doesn't like her advances towards business men, and one of them ends up dead.
  4. "Dedee d'anvers." This is a French Film Noir movie that doesn't overly involve murder and mystery. Rather, its about a prostitute wanting to escape when she meets up with and falls in love with an Italian sailorman. Her daydreams are what creates a classic French Film Noir lighting that is infamous today.
  5. "Casque d'Or." This film takes place during France's "Belle Epoque" period. It, yet again, tells a tale of jealousy amongst friends and the ugly truth of an affair. Someone dies and its up to Marie, The Casque d'Or, to handle the situation.
  6. "Le Salaire de la Peur." French Film Noir is all about psychological fear. However, in this film, the fear of death is a most certain looming character. When men are hired to drive trucks carrying nitroglycerine through the rough hills of South America, each turn of the wheel is full of suspense. 
  7. Quand Tu Liras Cette Lettre. When a very charming gigolo seduces an innocent shop girl, it quickly becomes rape. Little does this gigolo know, the shop girl's sister, an ex-nun, will be plotting his revenge. But are his charming ways too much for the sister too handle?
  8. "Une Si Jolie Petite Plage." Anytime a small town gets a new visitor, everyone is curious. The same can be said for this classic French Film Noir movie. The stranger's identity is revealed by an acquaintance as well as his committed crime.
  9. "Nous Sommes Tous Des Assassins." This film exceeds entertainment value and comments on capital punishment. It follows the story of a professionally trained assassin during World War II. However, once the war ends he doesn't know how to stop killing and condemned to death.
  10. "Avant Le Deluge." Post World War II lead many young people's lives depleted and bleak. When four girls and four boys decide they want to act as Noah did and leave on a boat, they begin to rob and steal in order to make it happen. But, they stand trial for their innocent crimes.
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