Is Paris Burning?
(Paris brûle-t-il?)

Screening on Film
Directed by René Clément.
With Gert Fröbe, Orson Welles, Kirk Douglas.
France, 1966, 35mm, color and b&w, 173 min.
French with English subtitles.

Near the end of World War II, remaining Nazi factions are under attack from members of the French Resistance. Featuring a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Gore Vidal, the film is nothing if not star-studded. Orson Welles appears as the Swiss ambassador, alongside his compatriots Glenn Ford, Kirk Douglas, and Anthony Perkins, as well as a who’s who of 1960s French film, including Leslie Caron, Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, and Albert Rémy. Gert Fröbe stars as the Nazi general in charge of Paris, under orders to torch the city if the rebels or the Allies begin to take control. For all the star power of the cast, however, the true star of the film is the city of Paris itself, lovingly photographed by Clément and cinematographer Marcel Grignon.

Part of film series

Read more

Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: A–Z