Tres Fantastique: 5 Movies Set in France
Widely considered the most beloved nation on Earth, France has been the setting of countless movies. In stark contrast to that, let's count out five of them. These movies not only cover a wide variety of genres and styles, but that certain je ne sais quoi that only comes from the country that gave us French fries, French toast, and French kissing. Here are five movies set in France (French movies not included)
"Charade" Stanley Donnen's 1963 thriller uses the exotic locale of Paris, France for its window dressing. Audrey Hepburn's husband has been murdered for a large sum of money and his killers think she has it–the problem is she has no idea where it is. Luckily, she has Cary Grant to protect her and lots of Parisian streets and alleyways to escape into.
"A Shot in the Dark" Perhaps one of the reasons so many American movies are set in France is because dialogue sounds good in a French accent and there are few French accents better or more iconic than the one Peter Sellers uses as Inspector Jacques Clouseau. It might not be the most realistic accent in the world, but Sellers performance is a comedy classic. Of note is a scene where his investigation of a murder takes him to a nudist colony and he has to strip in order to get in. Ah, France.
"Ronin" There's something about French cities that make them great for car chases. In "Ronin," a group of assorted spies and criminals are chasing after a mysterious package, and master action director John Frankenheimer gives the streets of France lots of great car chase scenes to exemplify the fact. The movie may make you think that visiting Paris or Nice will result in daring and possibly fatal car accidents, but it's a lot of fun to watch.
"The Truth About Charlie" This possibly-too-hip remake of "Charade" is even more French than the original. The soundtrack is filled with French pop and there are even cameos from French new wave figures Agnes Verda and Anna Karina. Tres fantastique, or whatever.
"Inglourious Basterds" Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" creates the ultimate historical fantasy: What if the final blow against the Nazis would took place in a French movie theater? Everyone knows the French make the best movies, but for the sake of this Tarantino masterpiece, the assembled Nazis are there to watch (of course) a German propoganda film. When one brave Parisian woman decides she's not gonna pass up an opportunity like this, she's arranged to blow up the theater using highly flammable film prints. Paris really is the City of Lights.