10 Best Foreign Films

Many Americans are unaware of the riches to be discovered in foreign movies, so let's consider the cream of the crop, the 10 best foreign films.

  1. "L'Age d'Or/Un Chien Andalou" This 1930 film, which is translated to mean "The Age of Gold" or "The Golden Age," is the work of esteemed French director, Luis Bunuel. Some of these film's screenplays were co-written with artist Salvador Dali. Watching it will remind you what it felt like to be young and foolish.
  2. "La Belle et la Bete" Even if you don't know how to speak French, you might guess that this film retells the story of "Beauty and the Beast." Jean Cockteau directed it with such imagination. It may be a fairytale, but it'll still scare you.
  3. "The Bicycle Thief " You might think a movie about a guy trying to find his stolen bicycle would be quite a light plot, but director Vittorio turns this small problem into an epic film.
  4. "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" This Werner Herzog film takes revisionist history to a whole new level. You won't think about the New World, and all its deadly warfare the same way ever again. It's a twisted vision, as only the excellent German director can twist history. 
  5. "The American Friend" Some may tell you that Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire" is his masterwork, but this story about organized crime is absolutely top notch. And when you watch it, keep a look out for two other famous directors, Nicolas Ray and Sam Fuller, who make guest appearances. 
  6. "A Nous la Liberte" This 1931 film, which is translated as "Freedom for Us," was directed by Rene Clair. With it, Clair follows the lives of French hoboes. Homelessness doesn't normally look nearly this fun, however.
  7. "Ashes and Diamonds" Can you imagine "Rebel Without A Cause" set in Eastern Europe? Well, probably not. But this film does a great job of doing that imagining for you.
  8. "L'Avventura" If your friend suddenly disappeared, would you make a play for your friend's lover? Let's hope not. This film contemplates such a bizarre circumstance.
  9. "L'Atalante" While many Americans see foreign films as being strange and absurd, this Jean Vigo movie focuses on two lovers exploring their love for each other. Isn't that sweet?
  10. "Belle de Jour" This is another Bunuel film, which stars Catherine Deneuve. If you're looking for a lot of kinky sex, albeit, artfully done, this might be just the foreign film for you. Also known as "Beauty of the Day," this film was directed by Luis Bunuel.
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