French Music in Classic Movies – Part 1

Hollywood and the American film industry in general have long had an infatuation with French music, usually to create a romantic or lighthearted atmosphere. French music can be quirky and sometimes downright irritating but in the right context can elevate a scene to great heights.

For years Hollywood has turned to French music to bring a certain je ne sais quoi to proceedings, to capture that romantic moment or to portray a certain mood or flavor. Without doubt French music can captivate a film audience and transport them to the very streets or Paris or boulevards of St Tropez. In this blog we look at some of the most memorable French songs that have appeared in some of the greatest ever movies.

For some reason French music is highly sensual, most likely due to the enchanting language, but whatever the reason, it enriches the scene it adorns. An example of this may be Amelie, the setting combined with the music could not be more perfect to encapsulate chocolat in pain au chocolat.

French Kiss – Les Yeux Overts

A humorous and witty film starring Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan, relaying the story of a troubled love affair that develops into something quite unexpected. The humor develops when the scorned young fiance has a chance meeting with a small-time crook. The romance and humor are captured by the film’s classic addition of Beautiful South performing Les Yeux Overts. The song is a little sad, but it has the wonderful capacity to bring a smile to one’s face.

A Good Year – Il Faut du Temps au Temps

A simply wonderful film set in rural France and glorious vineyards. The storyline depicts a high flier from the city who has to return to his family vineyard on the death of his uncle. The film oozes France and the cleverly selected musical score is perfect. The scene where Il Faut du Temps au Temps forms the backdrop is invigorating and depicts the romantic setting perfectly. The song underlines all that is good about the wonderful French countryside and particularly living the leisurely life in rural France.

Madagascar 3 – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien

Possibly the most famous French song ever, and Non Je Ne Regrette Rien has graced so many classy films over the decades. You might be a little intrigued why we have decided to select Madagascar 3 as the film to celebrate such a classic song? Well, perhaps because it is used in a completely different context than it has been in many patriotic movies. In Madagascar 3 it helps to produce a fabulous and hilarious accompaniment to the animated shenanigans of the penguins.

Bucket List – Milord

Bucket List has become one of the most iconic feel-good movies of all times. The unlikely collaboration of two cancer patients with vastly different backgrounds to experience things for the first and possibly last time together is both amusing but tragically sad. One of the most poignant moments utilizes Milord performed by Edith Piaf, a most passionate and classic French song. In part two we look at even more classic French songs that have appeared in the movies and elevated the films they appeared in.