In this war drama set during the French Resistance of WW II, a courageous fighter escapes Gestapo headquarters and returns to Marseille. There he and his group capture a traitor and throttle him. They then try to rescue a Resistance fighter in Lyons. As they do so, the hero is again captured and his partner killed. Again the hero escapes just before he is executed. He then finds that a female partner has been captured. To avoid having her daughter forced to work in a Nazi brothel, the woman has informed upon the othersl she is then released and subsequently killed by another Resistance fighter for revenge. The screenplay is based on Joseph Kessel's novel and became filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville's magnum opus.Billy Fisher (Tom Courtenay) is known to his blue-collar British mates as Billy Liar because of his vivid imagination. This film version of the Keith Waterhouse-Willis Hall stage play "visualizes" some of Billy's more outrageous fabrications. He periodically escapes the drudgery of his job at a funeral parlor by conjuring up impossible adventures, usually involving the conquest of women. In one of her first film roles, Julie Christie plays one of two "real" girls who wish that Billy would come down to earth and pop the question. Following this film adaptation, Billy Liar was transformed into a stage musical, and later resurfaced as a British TV series.In typical Luis Buñuel fashion, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie surrealistically skewers the conventions of society. Buñuel applies his surrealist touch to a mundane event: a dinner party that may never come to pass. A group of well-to-do friends attempt to gather for a social evening, but are thwarted at every turn. The initial problem seems to be a simple scheduling mistake, but the obstacles become more and more bizarre. At one point, the guests are interrupted at the table by an army on maneuvers. Later they learn that they are merely characters in a stage play and so cannot have dinner together. These misadventures are combined with symbolic dreams of the various characters, some of which also involve interrupted dinners. Wicked social satire and one of Buñuel's funniest films. Winner of the Academy Award for "Best Foreign Film" in 1972.This strangely-christened French film noir was released in the U.S. as Grisbi. Jean Gabin stars as a racketeer known by the Runyonesque nickname of Max the Liar. Seeking out the finer things in life, Max intends to pull one last job and retire. After stealing a fortune in gold, our "hero" is faced with a crisis of conscience when his best friend (René Dary) is kidnapped and held for a huge ransom. Somehow Max manages to turn the tables on the abductors, but his dreams of a life of ease explode in his face. Up-and-coming leading lady Jeanne Moreau plays a pivotal role as the femme fatale who leads Dary into the hands of his kidnappers.In this crime comedy with heavy neorealist influence, Antonio (Alberto Sordi) is a Sicilian auto plant worker who has almost completely forsaken his southern Italian roots by marrying a fair-haired girl from the north and conceiving two children with her. As the movie opens, Antonio prepares to round up the family and take them on a vacation to his native town of Calamo, Sicily. Before he leaves, however, his boss summons him in and asks him to pass along a little gift to Don Vincenzo, a mob boss in Calamo. Antonio agrees to the plan, tentatively at first, but as the family gets closer and closer to the isle of Antonio's childhood, and shares lodging with Antonio's eccentric family, Sicilian pride and enthusiasm well up inside of this family patriarch, and he is,ultimately confronted with a request to carry out a hit for Vincenzo. Dino DeLaurentiis produced and Alberto Lattuada directed. Though the film was long forgotten, it received a U.S. theatrical release by Rialto in 2007 and netted absolutely stunning reviews.Jules Dassin -- in his second European film after being driven out of the United States during the years of the house Un-American Activities Committee hearings -- directed this landmark caper film about the planning and execution of a nighttime robbery at a swanky English jewelry shop in the Rue de Rivoli. The story concerns a collection of thieves who band together to commit a seemingly impossible robbery. The gang consists of a tough, straight-talker named Tony Stephanois (Jean Servais); a young man under Tony's tutelage named Jo (Carl Mohner; a happy-go-lucky Italian by the name of Mario Farrati (Robert Manuel); and a safecracker named Cesar (the director Jules Dassin under the pseudonym of Perlo Vita) who likes to jiggle the combinations of women in his off hours. The set piece of the film is an intricate 28-minute sequence that depicts the robbery in detail -- all filmed silently without dialogue or music. After the success of the robbery, the gang barely has time to celebrate when a rival gangster, Pierre Gruuter (Marcel Lupovici), decides that he wants a cut of the take. When Tony's gang refuses to cooperate, Pierre kidnaps Jo's son, and the gang has to get tough with their nemesis.In this Cold War spy classic, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), a third-rate American pulp novelist, arrives in postwar Vienna, where he has been promised a job by his old friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Upon his arrival, Martins discovers that Lime has been killed in a traffic accident, and that his funeral is taking place immediately. At the graveside, Martins meets outwardly affable Major Calloway (Trevor Howard) and actress Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli), who is weeping copiously. When Calloway tells Martins that the late Harry Lime was a thief and murderer, the loyal Martins is at first outraged. Gradually, he discovers not only that Calloway was right but also that the man lying in the coffin in the film's early scenes was not Harry Lime at all--and that Lime is still very much alive (he was the mysterious "third man" at the scene of the fatal accident). Thus the stage is set for the movie's famous climactic confrontation in the sewers of Vienna--and the even more famous final shot, in which Martins pays emotionally for doing "the right thing." Written by Graham Greene, The Third Man is an essential classic, made even more so by the insistent zither music of Anton Karas. The film is currently available in both an American and British release version; the American print, with an introduction by Joseph Cotten, is slightly shorter than the British version, which is narrated by director Carol Reed. Nominated for several Academy Awards, The Third Man won Best Cinematography for Robert Krasker.One of pioneering director Jean-Luc Godard's most accessible films is this French spin on Dolores Hitchens' novel Fool's Gold. It tells the tale of three disaffected youths who plan a burglary, leading to deadly results. The alienated young trio is marvelous, particularly Anna Karina, and the early scenes of their clearly overdeveloped fantasy lives are splendidly handled. Something of a companion piece to Godard's classic À Bout de Souffle, its young characters have the same odd mixture of fatalism and starry-eyed naïveté that is, by turns, appealing and tragic. Trivia buffs should note that the film gave its name to Quentin Tarantino's production company (A Band Apart), and several of its scenes are echoed in his Pulp Fiction.Based on the same infamous murders that inspired Jean Genet's play The Maids, and the earlier film Sister My Sister, this French drama explores the difficult family life, professional pressures, and forbidden bond that in 1933 led sisters Christine and Lea Papin to murder the mother and daughter who employed them as maids. Based on Paulette Houdyer's novel L'affaire Papin, Les Blessures Assassines traces the childhood of Christine Papin (Sylvie Testud), a high-strung child who follows older sister Emilia to a convent school after their parents' bitter divorce. Emilia, who claims to have been molested by their father, eventually becomes a nun, while Christine goes into service to support her libertine mother (Isabelle Renauld), whom she heartily resents. Coddled youngest sister Lea (Julie-Marie Parmentier), who is allowed to grow up at home, feels torn between her love for her mother and her close bond with Christine. A talented but moody servant who is prompt to demand her rights under France's labor laws, Christine moves from position to position, but eventually finds a series of households where she and the now teenaged Lea can serve together. Living and working together, the sisters develop an uncanny affection that crosses over into lesbian incest. Eventually jealousy, class resentment, and family drama drive Christine over the edge -- and she is not above taking the mostly innocent Lea with her. Released the same year as the Papin documentary En Quete Des Soeurs Papin, Les Blessures Assassines marked the first film in more than a decade from writer/director Jean-Pierre Denis.Robert Bresson's acclaimed Au Hasard, Balthazar presents an unfettered view of human cruelty, suffering and injustice, filtered through the eyes of a donkey over the course of his long life. The burro at the film's center begins life peacefully and happily, as the unnamed play-object of some innocent children in bucolic France, but his circumstances change dramatically when he becomes the property of a young woman named Marie - who christens him Balthazar. As she grows up and encounters tragedy and heartbreak, so does Balthazar; he passes from owner to owner, who treat him in a variety of ways, from compassionately to cruelly. The donkey, of course, lacks the capacity to comprehend the motivations of each individual but accepts whatever treatment (and role) is handed him, nobly and admirably. Bresson ultimately uses the story as a heart-rending allegorical commentary on human spiritual transcendence.