Children of Paradise
June 20, 2 pm
One of the glories of French cinema and culture, made in secret during Nazi occupation, Marcel Carné's masterpiece is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest of all films (1945, 187 minutes, French with subtitles).
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
July 2, 4 pm
Victor Hugo's classic romance of Paris has been made into many movies, but Charles Laughton reigns supreme as Quasimodo in William Dieterle's version, with Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda (1939, 116 minutes).
July 9, 4 pm
Greta Garbo stars, bringing an unexpected naturalness to this famous romantic weeper about a courtesan who dies for love. George Cukor directs the adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's La Dame aux Camelias (1936, 108 minutes).
July 16, 4 pm
Wed to producer David O. Selznick, Jennifer Jones almost carries off a highly stylized performance in Vincent Minnelli's fancy-dress version of the woman ruined by romance. Also starring James Mason as Gustave Flaubert himself (1949, 115 minutes).
July 23, 4 pm
Isabelle Huppert stars in Claude Chabrol's meticulous recreation of the novel's time and place. Her desperation and panic crescendo to her operatic demise, in defiance of the sordid realities of her situation (1991, 129 minutes, French with subtitles).
July 30, 4 pm
Jessica Lange is riveting as a so-called old maid, Honoré de Balzac's title character, in a film that captures the look of 1840s Paris. This story of Cinderella's revenge has no Prince Charming (1998, 112 minutes).
August 6, 4 pm
Gérard Depardieu commands the screen as the title character of this Balzac novel. Thought dead in the Napoleonic Wars, he returns years later to find his "widow," remarried and maneuvering for a peerage in the Bourbon restoration (1994, 111 minutes, French with subtitles).
August 13, 4 pm
With such leading actors as Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman, and Claire Danes, this film has plenty of star power to sweep through the fabulous implausibilities of Victor Hugo's much-adapted melodrama. (1997, 134 minutes).
August 20, 4 pm
Claude Lelouche's epic spans the first half of the twentieth century, retelling Hugo's classic tale but also showing its continuing role in French culture. Jean-Paul Belmondo rises to the quality of epic in a three-part performance (1995, 174 minutes, French with subtitles).
August 27, 4 pm
Maria Schell rends the heart as the Parisian laundress destined not to rise above squalor, in René Clement's precise and evocative film version of Émile Zola's L'Assommoir. The film dissects her downward spiral (1956, 121 minutes, French with subtitles).
September 3, 4 pm
Zola's proletarian novel of coal miners and their struggle is given a deluxe production by director Claude Berri, notorious in its time as the most expensive French film ever made. Gérard Depardieu and Miou-Miou star (1993, 158 minutes, French with subtitles).
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