Classic French Film Festival

Jun 13th to Jun 29th
The Sixth Annual Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the 1980s (with a particular focus on filmmakers from the New Wave), offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema.
The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations. We’re especially pleased to present a program of recently restored works by the great silent comedian Max Linder. “Be My Wife,” the feature in that program, was until recently only available in fragments. Three programs feature 35mm prints: “Lola,” “Un Flic,” and the long-unavailable “Je t’aime, je t’aime.”
The festival again explores France’s major contributions to the silent era and pairs the works with live music: The Poor People of Paris accompany the Max Linder feature and short. Every program features introductions and discussions by scholars and critics. The discussions will place the works in the contexts of both film and French history and provide close analyses.
All films are in French with English subtitles.

When: June 13-15, & 20-22 at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and June 27-29 at Webster University.

Where: Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park and Winifred Moore Auditorium, Webster University’s Webster Hall, 470 E. Lockwood Ave.

Admission: $12 general admission; $10 for students, Cinema St. Louis members, Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) members, and Alliance Française members; Webster U. screenings free for Webster U. students.

Advance Tickets: Advance tickets for Saint Louis Art Museum screenings can be purchased beginning June 3 through MetroTix at and 314-534-1111. Tickets purchased through MetroTix will incur a service fee; the service fee is waived for advance tickets purchased in person at the museum’s information centers or box office. For more information, visit Advance tickets for Webster U. screenings can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at In the "Find an Event" search box, type "Classic French." A service charge will apply.

A PDF version of the program is now available to download.


Fri, Jun 13 at 7:00pm
Director: Max Linder
1921, B&W, 55 min. Restoration, DVD source

The great silent comedian Max Linder (the stage name of Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle) was France’s rival to Charlie Chaplin, who called him...


With live musical accompaniment by the Poor People of Paris

Shown With:
Max Wants a Divorce
Sat, Jun 14 at 12:00pm
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
1964, B&W, 95 min. Restoration, Blu-ray source

Four years after “Breathless," Jean-Luc Godard re-imagined the gangster film even more radically with “Band of Outsiders,” which is...

Sat, Jun 14 at 2:30pm
Director: François Truffaut
1962, B&W, 106 min. Restoration, Blu-ray source

Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, “Jules and Jim” charts, over 25 years, the relationship between two friends and the object of...

Sun, Jun 15 at 1:00pm
Director: Leos Carax
1986, color, 116 min. Restoration, Blu-ray source

Finally receiving a belated U.S. theatrical run, Leos Carax’s stunning “Mauvais Sang” (also known by the English-language titles “The Night...

Fri, Jun 20 at 7:00pm
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
1957, B&W and color, 78 min. DVD source

In 1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot, the acclaimed director of “The Wages of Fear” and “Diabolique,” joined forces with artist Pablo Picasso to...

Sat, Jun 21 at 12:00pm
Director: Patrice Leconte
1989, color, 81 min. DVD source

In a provincial French apartment block, Monsieur Hire (Michel Blanc) endures a solitary life of dull work as a tailor and vitriolic scorn...

Sat, Jun 21 at 2:30pm
Director: René Clément
1960, color, 117 min. Restoration, Blu-ray source

Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when “Purple Noon” was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colorful...

Sun, Jun 22 at 1:00pm
Director: Jean Renoir
1956, color, 95 min. Restoration, DVD source

Set amid the military maneuvers and carnivals of turn-of-the-century France, Jean Renoir’s delirious romantic comedy “Elena and Her Men”...

Fri, Jun 27 at 7:00pm
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
1972, color, 98 min. New 35mm print

In “Un Flic,” piano-playing Edouard (Alain Delon) and nightclub owner Simon (Richard Crenna of “Wait Until Dark” and “Body Heat”) both love...

Sat, Jun 28 at 6:00pm
Director: Alain Resnais
1968, color, 91 min. New 35mm print

Recovering after a suicide attempt, Claude Ritter (Claude Rich) is obviously the perfect guinea pig for an anonymous corporation’s...

Sat, Jun 28 at 8:30pm
Director: Georges Franju
1963, B&W, 97 min. Restoration, Blu-ray source

This effortlessly cool crime caper, directed by Georges Franju, is a marvel of dexterous plotting and visual invention. Conceived as an...

Sun, Jun 29 at 7:00pm
Director: Jacques Demy
1961, B&W, 90 min. Restoration, 35mm print, print courtesy of Institut Francais

A cigar-smoking man in a Stetson gazes out at the Nantes waterfront, then drives his high-finned American convertible past sailors out on a...