As France and all the world celebrate Bastille Day (including a scheduled visit from Donald Trump), and just before the French-set “Dunkirk” opens, it’s worth remembering another about the liberation of Paris. Based on the Collins-Lapierre bestseller, 1966’s “Is Paris Burning” had an all-star ensemble led by Orson Welles, Charles Boyer, Leslie Caron and Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Julie Delpy wrote, directed and starred in “2 Days in Paris,” co-starring with Adam Goldberg. The 2007 romance garnered a slew of indie nominations including at the Spirit Awards, the European Film Awards and Cesars.
“Amelie” is not a Hollywood film, but the U.S. fell in love with this Jean-Pierre Jeunet fantasy starring the gamine Audrey Tautou and even adapted it for a Broadway musical with Phillipa Soo in the lead role.
Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly topline another classic, Vincente Minnelli’s “An American in Paris.” The Gershwins supplied the music and lyrics and Alan Jay Lerner the screenplay to this musical with such numbers as “I Got Rhythm” that culminates in a gorgeous 17-minute ballet. The film won best picture at the Academy Awards.
No salute to Paris would be complete without “Casablanca,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, shown here with third-billed Paul Henreid. The Morocco-set film birthed hundreds of memorable lines from “Here’s looking at you kid” and “We’ll always have Paris” to “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here.”
Kevin Kline as a French rogue and Meg Ryan as the stranded Canadian tourist who first fights and then falls for him are the highlights of this Lawrence Kasdan romantic comedy in which the Eiffel Tour has a supporting role.
The Marlon Brando-Maria Schneider film was hugely controversial for its raw sex scenes when it was released in 1972. More controversy erupted in 2016 when a clip of Bernardo Bertolucci discussing the infamous rape scene was unearthed. Both Brando and Bertolucci were Oscar-nominated for the film.
Anne Hathaway won a supporting Oscar for her portrayal of Fantine in 2012’s “Les Miserables,” directed by Tom Hooper. Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his nemesis Javert led the cast.
Cannes hit, Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” with Owen Wilson was a fantasy bathing the city in a golden hue while saluting the American talent who took up residence during the 1920s, from Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald to Cole Porter.
Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor sang and danced their way through Baz Luhrmann’s lavish “Moulin Rouge!,” a salute to old musicals with its colorful numbers and costumes. The film opened the Cannes Film Festival in 2001.
Alec Baldwin, Diane Lane and Arnaud Viard star in Eleanor Coppola’s directorial debut. Sony Classics picked up North American rights after the film’s Toronto launch. The indie found a nice arthouse following in 2017, earning $5 million at the box office.
Twenty directors including the Coen brothers, Alfonso Cuaron and Olivier Assayas covered the different districts in Paris in this Cannes Un Certain Regard omnibus entry that is an ode to the City of Light.