Jean Gabin was a French actor and one of the most iconic stars of French cinema in the 20th century.

He appeared in over 90 films during his career, ranging from gritty crime dramas to romantic comedies, and his rugged, masculine charm made him a beloved figure both in France and around the world.

Best Jean Gabin Movies/strong>

In this list, we’ll take a look at some of Jean Gabin’s best movies, showcasing his talent and range as an actor.

1. The Grand Illusion (1937)

“The Grand Illusion” is a 1937 war drama directed by Jean Renoir, starring Jean Gabin as Lieutenant Maréchal, a French soldier captured by the Germans during World War I.

The film explores the relationships between the French and German officers in a prisoner-of-war camp, highlighting the futility and tragedy of war.

Gabin’s performance in “The Grand Illusion” is a standout, as he brings a sense of humanity and complexity to the role of Maréchal.

His chemistry with the other actors is excellent, and he brings a sense of empathy and understanding to the film’s themes.

The film is notable for its exploration of class differences, as well as its humanistic approach to the horrors of war.

Gabin’s performance adds an extra layer of depth and nuance to the film and serves as a reminder of his talent as an actor.

“The Grand Illusion” is considered one of the greatest films of all time and a masterpiece of French cinema.

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2. La bandera (1935)

“La Bandera” is a 1935 crime drama directed by Julien Duvivier, starring Jean Gabin as Pierre Gilieth, a criminal on the run who joins the Spanish Foreign Legion to escape the law. The film follows his adventures as he tries to redeem himself through acts of heroism.

Gabin’s performance in “La Bandera” is a standout, as he brings a sense of brooding intensity and vulnerability to the role of Pierre Gilieth. His chemistry with the other actors is excellent, and he brings a sense of depth and nuance to the film’s exploration of redemption and self-discovery.

   

The film is notable for its gritty, realistic portrayal of the underbelly of society, as well as its exploration of themes of honor, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Gabin’s performance adds an extra layer of complexity and richness to the film and serves as a reminder of his talent as an actor. If you’re a fan of crime dramas or looking for a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, “La Bandera” is definitely worth checking out.

La Bandera
  • French (Subtitle)
  • French (Publication Language)

3. The Crossing of Paris (1956)

“The Crossing of Paris” is a 1956 comedy directed by Claude Autant-Lara, starring Jean Gabin as Grandgil, a black marketeer in Nazi-occupied Paris who agrees to transport a black marketeer on a bicycle across the city.

The film is a satire of the French collaboration with the Nazis during World War II and the black market that flourished during that time.

Gabin’s performance in “The Crossing of Paris” is a standout, as he brings a sense of humor and mischief to the role of Grandgil. His chemistry with the other actors is excellent, and he brings a sense of irreverence and wit to the film’s exploration of a dark period in French history.

The film is notable for its sharp and biting satire, as well as its clever use of physical comedy. Gabin’s performance adds an extra layer of entertainment value to the film and serves as a reminder of his talent as a comedic actor.

If you’re a fan of witty comedies or looking for a film that will make you laugh and think, “The Crossing of Paris” is definitely worth checking out.

4. The Lower Depths (1936)

“The Lower Depths” is a 1936 drama directed by Jean Renoir, starring Jean Gabin as People, a thief living in a squalid tenement in pre-revolutionary Russia. The film explores the lives of the tenants in the tenement and their struggles with poverty and desperation.

Gabin’s performance in “The Lower Depths” is a standout, as he brings a sense of grit and toughness to the role of People. His chemistry with the other actors is excellent, and he brings a sense of empathy and understanding to the film’s exploration of the human condition.

The film is notable for its bleak and uncompromising portrayal of poverty and despair, as well as its exploration of themes of class struggle and human resilience. Gabin’s performance adds an extra layer of depth and nuance to the film and serves as a reminder of his talent as an actor.

If you’re a fan of gritty dramas or looking for a film that will move you with its portrayal of the human spirit, “The Lower Depths” is definitely worth checking out.

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The Lower Depths (Kurosawa 1957) / The Lower Depths (Renoir 1936) (The Criterion Collection) [DVD]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Jean Gabin, Suzy Prim, Louis Jouvet (Actors)
  • Akira Kurosawa (Director) - Akira Kurosawa (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

5. Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case (1959)

“Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case” is a 1959 crime drama directed by Jean Delannoy, starring Jean Gabin as Inspector Jules Maigret, a famous detective investigating a murder at a family estate in the French countryside.

Gabin’s performance in “Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case” is a standout, as he brings a sense of authority and intelligence to the role of Inspector Maigret.

His chemistry with the other actors is excellent, and he brings a sense of nuance and subtlety to the film’s exploration of a complex murder case.

   

The film is notable for its atmospheric setting and sense of tension and mystery, as well as its exploration of themes of class, family, and the dark underbelly of rural life.

Gabin’s performance adds an extra layer of depth and complexity to the film and serves as a reminder of his talent as an actor.

If you’re a fan of detective stories or looking for a film that will keep you guessing, “Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case” is definitely worth checking out.

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Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case
  • Jean Gabin, Valentine Tessier, Michel Auclair (Actors)
  • Jean Delannoy (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

6. Deadlier Than the Male (1956)

“Deadlier Than the Male” is a 1956 crime thriller directed by Julien Duvivier, starring Jean Gabin as André Chatelin, a restaurant owner who becomes embroiled in a web of crime and deception when he agrees to help an old friend.

The film explores the criminal underworld of Paris and the dangerous games played by those who inhabit it.

Gabin’s performance in “Deadlier Than the Male” is a standout, as he brings a sense of world-weariness and toughness to the role of André Chatelin.

His chemistry with the other actors is excellent, and he brings a sense of depth and nuance to the film’s exploration of loyalty, betrayal, and honor.

The film is notable for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the criminal underworld, as well as its exploration of the complexities of human relationships.

   

Gabin’s performance adds an extra layer of complexity and richness to the film and serves as a reminder of his talent as an actor.

If you’re a fan of crime thrillers or looking for a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, “Deadlier Than the Male” is definitely worth checking out.

3 Reasons To Watch Jean Gabin Movies

Masterful Acting: Jean Gabin was a talented actor who was able to bring depth and nuance to his performances.

He had a remarkable ability to convey complex emotions with a subtle change in expression or tone of voice. Watching Gabin’s performances is a masterclass in acting and a true delight for fans of the craft.

Rich Cinematic History: Jean Gabin’s films spanned several decades and reflect the changes in French cinema during that time.

Watching his films is an excellent way to explore the history of French cinema, from the early sound era to the New Wave and beyond.

Gabin’s work also provides a window into the social and political context of the time, making his films a valuable tool for studying French culture and history.

Timeless Themes: The themes explored in Jean Gabin’s films are timeless and universal, making them relevant and engaging for audiences today.

From love and loyalty to power and politics, Gabin’s films continue to resonate with viewers and offer valuable insights into the human condition. Watching Gabin’s films is a great way to connect with timeless themes and explore the complexities of the human experience.

Best Jean Gabin Movies – Wrap Up

Jean Gabin was a legendary French actor whose performances left an indelible mark on cinema. His films spanned several decades and explored a wide range of themes, from crime and politics to love and loss.

Some of his best movies include “La Grande Illusion,” a powerful anti-war film; “Pépé le Moko,” a crime drama set in Algiers; and “Le Jour Se Lève,” a classic film noir about a love triangle that ends in tragedy.

Other notable films include “The President,” a political drama set in Africa; “A Monkey in Winter,” a heartwarming comedy-drama about second chances; and “La Bête Humaine,” a psychological thriller about a train engineer haunted by his past.

Watching Jean Gabin’s films is not only a treat for fans of cinema, but also an opportunity to explore the history of French cinema and the complexities of the human experience.