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Is Paris Burning? (1966)

Paris brûle-t-il? (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 26 October 1966 (France)
The departure of the German Army from Paris in 1944.

Director:

René Clément

Writers:

Larry Collins (book), Dominique Lapierre (book) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Pierrelot - Yvon Morandat
Charles Boyer ... Docteur Monod
Leslie Caron ... Françoise Labé
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Lieutenant Henri Karcher
George Chakiris ... GI in Tank (as Georges Chakiris)
Bruno Cremer ... Colonel Rol-Tanguy
Claude Dauphin ... Colonel Lebel
Alain Delon ... Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Kirk Douglas ... Gen. George S. Patton Jr.
Pierre Dux ... Cerat - Alexandre Parodi
Glenn Ford ... Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley
Gert Fröbe ... General Dietrich von Choltitz (as Gert Froebe)
Daniel Gélin ... Yves Bayet
Georges Géret ... The Baker
Hannes Messemer ... General Jodl
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Storyline

In this sprawling, star-laden film, we see the struggles of various French resistance factions to regain control of Paris near the end of World War II. The Nazi general in charge of Paris, Dietrich von Cholitz (Fröbe), is under orders from Hitler himself to burn the city if he cannot control it or if the Allies get too close. Much of the drama centers around the moral deliberations of the general, the Swedish ambassador (Welles), and the eager but desperate leaders of the resistance. Written by Carl J. Youngdahl <zomno@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Burn Paris! was the order that had come shrieking over the phone. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

French | German | English

Release Date:

26 October 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

¿Arde París? See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White | Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although most of the movie is in black and white, the final sequence, an aerial view of Paris, is in color. See more »

Goofs

At 1:03:15 in the scene when the German vehicle hits the tree, the soldier in the passenger front seat seems to have the wherewithal to stand up after hitting his head on the gun propped against the dashboard, he stands up in a staggering way, firmly grasps the barrel of the gun and pushes it aside just before he 'dies' on the hood of the vehicle. It is as if the actor clearly didn't want to "die" in an uncomfortable position. See more »

Quotes

Consul Raoul Nordling: And if a bomb should miss?
Général Von Choltitz: A few bombs always miss, but others will hit the target. It's the law of averages.
Consul Raoul Nordling: [very softly] A bomb that misses... could hit... Notre Dame. Sainte Chapelle. That's a thousand years of history, turned to dust.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credit sequence is in color. See more »


Soundtracks

Paris en Colère
Music by Maurice Jarre
Lyrics by Maurice Vidalin
Performed by Mireille Mathieu
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exciting chronicle about Paris liberation with extraordinary plethora of famous actors
31 January 2008 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The film concerns about the Allies advance on Paris during WWII, in a remarkable act of courage, several French Resistance groups(Bruno Cremer,Alain Delon,Jean Paul Belmondo,Georges Geret,Bernard Fresson, among others) confront to regain Paris from the Nazis, who rule tyrannically the city and detailing the last days before the liberation. The German general in charge Von Choltitz (Get Froebe) is under direct orders from Hitler to destroy Paris, rather than left to the Allied, commanded by general Omar Bradley(Glenn Ford) and general Patton(Kirk Douglas) . But the Resistance fighters eventually take over Paris and Van Choltitz decides not to burn the city but to let intact to the liberators , as he thought which destroying it no useful for the future like a mankind legacy.

This is a spectacular pseudo-documentary style developing the liberation of Paris with the Resistance factions and tryings to burn the city by Nazy hierarchy . It's a co-production French and Paramount US with a plethora of international actors, many of them playing cameos and prestigious intervention. Special mention to Bruno Cremer as Resistance chief , Orson Welles as Sweden consul and Leslie Caron as fighter wishing to free her husband. The short details-characters about Resistance leaders only for a minutes are based on the stories of real-life people. Appear historical characters well incarnated by famous players Omar Bradley(Glenn Ford),George Patton(Kirk Douglas) General Lecrec(Claude Rich), Von Choltitz(Get Froebe), among others. The title movie comes from the continuous phone calls realized by Hitler to Von Choltitz that always began with : It's Paris burning ?. The movie was filmed in atmospheric black and white which allow the edition adding actual-life footage but also the main reason was the German swastikas flags but the French Mayor rejected to let the black and red in Paris and they would agree sole to gray and black version of flag that looked real when shot.

The motion picture displays an interesting script by Gore Vidal and Francis Ford Coppola, based on Larry Collins and Dominic Pierre novel who give you a much better perspective about role each Resistance faction played in the Paris liberation. The picture was deservedly nominated to Academy Award for best Art Direction, and best cinematography by Marcel Grignon, though didn't achieve none. The movie is professionally directed by Rene Clement, though sometimes is confuse and contains some flaws.


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