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Three love scenes from French cinema which are the envy of the world

Famous for its romance, French cinema is bursting with passionate love scenes. Here’s our guide.

The most cult.

In Port of Shadows by Marcel Carné (1938), when Jean Gabin tells Michèle Morgan ‘you have beautiful eyes, you know’, she answers: ‘kiss me’. This legendary reply came from Jacques Prévert, the film’s screenwriter. Critics say that the intensity of this phrase is also down to Jean Gabin’s performance and to Michèle Morgan’s expression, enhanced by the talent of head cinematographer Eugen Schufftan.

The hottest.

In Contempt, directed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1963, the inflammatory Brigitte Bardot – lying naked on a bed – asks her lover, played by Michel Piccoli: ‘And my bottom? Do you like my bottom?’. However, this cult scene did not exist in the director’s first version: the American producers demanded that the actress (for whom they had paid a huge fee) shoot a nude scene, which Jean-Luc Godard added to the second edit.

The most Parisian.

In the final scene of Amélie there are no words, just intense gazes, timid smiles and intimate kisses. This film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1998) ends with Amélie and Nino meeting. The pair have never spoken, but complete a strange ritual which consists of kissing the corner of the mouth, the eye and the neck. This ceremony has now gained a cult following!

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