‘The French Dispatch’ Viewing Guide: 32 Movies That Inspired Wes Anderson’s Latest

Films by Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Tati, Henri-Georges Clouzot, and more are required viewing.
"The French Dispatch"
"The French Dispatch"
Searchlight Pictures/Everett Collection

Wes Anderson’s long-awaited “The French Dispatch” is finally here. After world premiering to strong reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in July, the anthology film traveled to Telluride and the New York Film Festival ahead of its theatrical release October 22. The movie is billed as “a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th century French city.” The cast includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson.

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn awarded “The French Dispatch” a B+ review out of Cannes. “It’s hard to imagine another living filmmaker with a style as instantly recognizable as Wes Anderson, a feat that works against him no matter how expansive his approach,” Kohn wrote. “‘The French Dispatch’ doubles down on it, with a freewheeling triptych of stories that make the case for his appeal by amplifying it…Closer to a French New Wave experiment than the more controlled ensemble stories in his repertoire, the movie is akin to Anderson inviting audiences into his laboratory as he mines for gold from real material, and fuses it with his homegrown artistry.”

With “The French Dispatch” now set for theaters, Anderson fans would be remiss not to explore the movies that inspired either before or after their first viewing. The film’s distributor, Searchlight Pictures, has provided the list of 32 French movies that inspired Anderson while prepping “The French Dispatch.” The list is accompanied by the following message: “‘The French Dispatch’ pays homage and owes a debt to a rich, diverse cinematic history. Here are some of the films that provided inspiration to the filmmakers, cast, and crew, in no particular order.”

The list of films includes several works by some of the greatest French directors of all time, including Jacques Tati, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Becker, Henri-Georges Clouzot, and Julien Duvivier. Other directors featured include Howard Hawks, Francis Ford Coppola, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Roman Polanski, and Albert Lamorisse.

Check out the list of films that inspired “The French Dispatch” below.

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