My must-see French movies about WWII


Today, 8th May is the day of the French WWII Armistice. Remembering not to let it happen again… This was Lucie Aubrac leitmotiv, a French resistant! Let’s remember by watching the great French movies featuring WWII! From comedy to drama, let’s remember a nice way!



La Grande Vadrouille – Don’t look now… we’re being shot at (1966)


Another Louis de Funès classic. In this movie, he teams up with Bourvil, their double act is just hilarious! A clever film that will keep you laughing throughout. The humour lies in the absurd situations the character get themselves into.

With an audience of 17,2 million, this movie kept the record as the most successful movie for 40 years in France until it was dethroned by Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis.

In 1942, a British plane is shot down over Paris by the Nazis. The 3 British pilots land in different places of the French Capital, that was occupied at the time. Two French civilians, a construction painter (Bourvil) and a conductor (Louis de Funès) help them to get away to the Free zone, unoccupied France. They become members of the French resistance despite them!

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A classic, my favourite!!!


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Indigènes – Days of glory (2006)


« Indigènes,” or natives, in French, gives back their glory to the 110,000 North Africans and 20,000 Black African that fought beside the French Army to liberate « the motherland », with big quotation marks!

The movie director, Rachid Bouchareb, follows a small group of World War II infantrymen from North Africa through Italy and across France into Alsace.

Saïd, Abdelkader, Messaoud and Yassin are told again and again that liberating France of its German occupiers is a patriotic duty, but again and again, they are treated as second-class citizens of a republic consecrated to liberty, equality and fraternity…


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Elle s’appellait Sarah – Sarah’s key (2011)


Julia Jarmond, an American journalist living in Paris for 20 years, writes an article about a painful part of French History. The Jew mass arrest organised by the French Police itself in 1942: the Vel d’Hiv’ round-up! During her investigation, Julia crosses Sarah’s path who was 10 years old in July 1942. Her research quickly become a personal concern unveiling a family secret.

A beautiful movie with Kristin Scott Thomas, an amazing francophile British actress also naturalised French! I strongly recommend!


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Amen (2003)


This is a Franco-German-Roumanian movie, Amen that was awarded multiple Cesars among which the best movie in 2003!

The movie tells the story of Kurt Gerstein, a German SS officer, who acted against the Nazi regime. With the help of the young Jesuit, he decided to inform the Pope Pie XXI and the Allies about the jew genocide that was being organised in the concentration camps.

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Based on a German play, the Curate « Der Stellvertreter” by Rolf Hochhuth, the movie puts the light on the diplomatic relations of the Vatican with the Nazis regime. The character of Kurt Gerstein existed and fought against the Nazi regime during the war.

A compelling and disturbing movie, with great directing and actors, not to miss!


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Jeux interdits – Forbidden games (1952)


When 5-year-old Paulette parents are killed by an airstrike while trying to escape Paris during the German invasion, Paulette wanders into the French countryside, where she meets Michel, an 11-year-old peasant boy. And as the two children build a special and secret friendship, the adults have their own of stupid peasant quarrel.

A French post-war masterpiece by director René Clément, with a beautiful soundtrack, won many awards at Cannes festival, Venice festival and the Best Foreign Film Oscar winner. Brigitte Fausette, interpreting the role of Paulette, in a performance that rips the heart out was made a star after this movie.


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Lucie Aubrac (1997)


This movie is the true story of the Lucie Aubrac, the French school teacher who fought the Gestapo. She was a member of the French Resistance with her husband, Raymond. Raymond was arrested in 1943 in Caluire, near Lyon, together with the famous Resistant Jean Moulin. Lucie, did everything in her power to liberate her husband.


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I hope you will like them. Let me know afterwards what you thought!

Are there any other French WWII movies you liked? Let me know in the below comments. I’d love to know.

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