French Revolution Films

Thursday, March 24 by Irving Oala

There been a number of French Revolution films that have been about different aspects of many of the different French revolutions that have occurred. As history has shown, the French are a wily bunch, often demanding change for the better from their rulers. These films that take place in and around the French Revolution reflect different aspects of the politics and moods at the time of the conflicts in the nation of France.

  1. "Jefferson in Paris." This period film starred Nick Nolte as Thomas Jefferson, who was Ambassador to France after America had successfully won it's independence and was there to observe the mindset of the country prior to the French Revolution. We follow him in this environment over the next five years, observing the corruption of King Louis the XIV and Marie Antoinette, leading up to the revolution at the end of the film.
  2. "Start the Revolution Without Me." A comedic take on the first French Revolution, this film starred Gene Wilder, Donald Sutherland and the voice of Orson Welles. It is a funny parody of a number of different famous novels about the French Revolution, like Dickens' "A Tale Of Two Cities" and Dumas' "The Corsica Brothers."
  3. "Danton." This French-made historical film follows Georges Danton, who was one of the leaders of the first French Revolution in the late 1700's. It stars Gerard Depardieu and and is a bio-pic war epic that was produced by France, Poland and West Germany.
  4. "Marie Antoinette." Sofie Coppola's third film takes us inside the palace of Versailles to center on the insanely rich princess Marie Antoinette who was completely separated from the real world of her French countrymen. The film ends with the French Revolution beginning and the people storming the palace.
  5. "Cousin Bette." A comedy and drama which stars Jessica Lange, Elisabeth Shue and Bob Hoskins, "Cousin Bette" is a story that takes place among the very wealthy in the mid-19th century, after the first French Revolution. The final act of the film occurs during the second French Revolution of 1848.