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French Poetic Realism Essentials

Poetic realism films are "recreated realism", stylised and studio bound, rather than approaching the "socio-realism of the documentary". They usually have a fatalistic view of life with their characters living on the margins of society, either as unemployed members of the working class or as criminals. After a life of disappointment, the characters get a last chance at love, but are ultimately disappointed again and the films frequently end with disillusionment or death. The overall tone often resembles nostalgia and bitterness.

  • Under the Roofs of Paris
  • Le Million
  • À Nous la Liberté
  • La Chienne
  • Boudu Saved from Drowning
  • They Were Five
  • Jenny
  • Toni
  • The Crime of Monsieur Lange
  • Grand Illusion
  • The Lower Depths
  • La Bête Humaine
  • Port of Shadows
  • Hôtel du Nord
  • The End of the Day
  • The Rules of the Game
  • Le Jour Se Lève
  • Pépé le Moko
  • Les Visiteurs du Soir
  • Children of Paradise
  • French Cancan