Jean-Paul Belmondo was a French actor and one of the most iconic stars of French New Wave cinema. He began his acting career in the 1950s and went on to become a major international star, known for his rugged good looks, charming personality, and dynamic performances.

Belmondo’s films often combined action, drama, and comedy, and he worked with some of the most renowned directors of his time, including Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Jean-Pierre Melville.

Some of his most popular and acclaimed films include “Breathless” (1960), “Pierrot le Fou” (1965), “Le Professionnel” (1981), and “Itinéraire d’un enfant gâté” (1988).

Best Jean-Paul Belmondo Movies

Throughout his career, Belmondo was known for performing many of his own stunts and his natural athleticism, which added to his on-screen charisma.

Today, he is remembered as a legend of French cinema and a symbol of the golden age of the French New Wave.

1. Breathless (1960)

“Breathless” (original title: À bout de souffle) is a 1960 French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The movie stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in the lead roles and is known for its innovative, unconventional style.

The film tells the story of Michel (Belmondo), a small-time criminal on the run after shooting a police officer.

He seeks refuge with his American girlfriend, Patricia (Seberg), who is a student and aspiring journalist. As the two spend time together, they navigate their complicated relationship, while Michel tries to evade capture.

“Breathless” is renowned for its use of jump cuts and improvisational dialogue, which challenged the traditional norms of filmmaking at the time. The film also features a jazzy score by composer Martial Solal, which adds to its energetic and vibrant atmosphere.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release and has since become a classic of French New Wave cinema.

Its influence can be seen in the work of many subsequent filmmakers, both in France and around the world. “Breathless” is a must-watch for fans of experimental and innovative cinema, and anyone interested in the history of film.

Breathless (English Subtitled)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Luc Godard (Actors)
  • criterion (Director) - Jean-Luc Godard (Writer) - Georges de Beauregard (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

2. Two Women (1960)

“Two Women” is an Italian drama film released in 1960, directed by Vittorio De Sica and starring Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Eleonora Brown. The film is based on the novel “La Ciociara” by Alberto Moravia.

The movie is set in Italy during World War II and tells the story of Cesira (Sophia Loren), a widowed mother who lives with her teenage daughter Rosetta (Eleonora Brown) in a small village in the countryside.

When the war reaches their doorstep, Cesira and Rosetta flee to Rome, hoping to find safety and refuge.

However, life in the city is difficult and dangerous, and Cesira and Rosetta soon find themselves struggling to survive amidst the chaos and violence of the war.


Along the way, Cesira falls in love with Michele (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a kind and compassionate man who helps them in their struggle.

“Two Women” is a powerful and emotional film that explores themes of survival, sacrifice, and the horrors of war. Sophia Loren delivers a remarkable performance as Cesira, capturing the character’s strength, vulnerability, and resilience in the face of incredible hardship.

The film won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actress for Loren’s performance, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Italian films of all time.

Two Women
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Sophia Loren, Eleonora Brown, Jean-Paul Belmondo (Actor)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

3. Le Doulos (1962)

“Le Doulos” is a 1962 French crime film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Serge Reggiani. The film follows a small-time thief named Maurice (Reggiani), who is released from prison and quickly becomes embroiled in a plot involving a jewelry heist.

Belmondo plays Silien, a shady character who claims to be Maurice’s friend but may have other motives. As the heist unfolds, tensions rise and alliances are tested, leading to a shocking and unexpected climax.

“Le Doulos” is considered a classic of French film noir and is known for its stylized cinematography, moody atmosphere, and complex plot. Melville’s direction is praised for its masterful use of shadow and light, and the film’s screenplay is noted for its twists and turns.

Belmondo and Reggiani both deliver strong performances, with Belmondo in particular earning praise for his portrayal of Silien, a character that remains enigmatic and unpredictable throughout the film.

“Le Doulos” has influenced many subsequent films and is considered a seminal work in the French New Wave movement. It remains a gripping and suspenseful crime drama that continues to captivate audiences to this day.

4. Pierrot le Fou (1965)

“Pierrot le Fou” is a 1965 French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Alexander Skarsgård was not involved in this film as it was released before he was born. Therefore, he did not have a role in the movie.

The film stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina, and follows the story of a man named Ferdinand Griffon (Belmondo) who leaves his bourgeois life and wife behind to embark on a violent and passionate adventure with his former lover, Marianne Renoir (Karina).

While Skarsgård did not appear in “Pierrot le Fou,” the film remains an influential and important work in the history of cinema.

It is known for its experimental style, use of jump cuts and handheld cameras, and its commentary on political and social issues of the time.

The film has been praised for its visual beauty, its poignant themes of love and existentialism, and its depiction of a rapidly changing society.

Pierrot le fou (The Criterion Collection)
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Graziella Galvani (Actors)
  • Jean-Luc Godard (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

5. Léon Morin, Priest (1961)

“Léon Morin, Priest” is a French drama film released in 1961, directed and written by Jean-Pierre Melville, based on the novel of the same name by Béatrix Beck. The movie stars Jean-Paul Belmondo in the title role and Emmanuelle Riva in a supporting role.

Set in a small town in France during World War II, the film tells the story of Barny (played by Emmanuelle Riva), a young widow and mother who is struggling with her faith and the uncertainty of the war.

She begins a series of conversations with Léon Morin (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo), a handsome and charismatic priest who challenges her beliefs and ultimately helps her find a new sense of purpose and direction in her life.

The movie explores themes of faith, love, and sexuality, as well as the complex relationships between individuals during wartime. It has been praised for its powerful performances, nuanced storytelling, and sensitive treatment of controversial subject matter.

“Léon Morin, Priest” was a critical success and has been considered one of the greatest French films of the 1960s. It was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival and has since been recognized as a classic of French cinema.

Leon Morin, Priest (The Criterion Collection)
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva (Actors)
  • Jean-Pierre Melville (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

6. A Monkey in Winter (1962)

A Monkey in Winter is a 1962 French film directed by Henri Verneuil and starring Jean Gabin and Jean-Paul Belmondo.

The film is based on the novel “Un singe en hiver” by Antoine Blondin and tells the story of an alcoholic ex-boxer, Albert, who runs a small hotel in a seaside town in Normandy.

The film is set in the off-season, when the town is empty and there are few customers at Albert’s hotel. One day, a young man named Gabriel arrives and asks for a room. Gabriel is an aspiring writer who has come to the town to work on his novel.

Despite their initial differences, Albert and Gabriel develop a friendship and spend long nights talking about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

A Monkey in Winter is a character-driven film that explores themes of friendship, aging, and the search for meaning in life.

The film is notable for its strong performances, particularly by Gabin and Belmondo, who have a natural chemistry on screen. The film’s depiction of the quiet desperation of small-town life and the isolation of the characters is poignant and deeply affecting.

A Monkey in Winter was well-received by critics and audiences alike and is considered to be one of Verneuil’s best films. It is a classic of French cinema and a testament to the enduring power of human connection in the face of adversity.

A Monkey in Winter
  • Jean Gabin, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Suzanne Flon (Actors)
  • Henri Verneuil (Director) - Antoine Blondin (Writer) - Jacques Bar (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

7. The Professional (1981)

“The Professional” (original title: “Le Professionnel”) is a 1981 French action-thriller film directed by Georges Lautner and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo in the lead role.

The film tells the story of Josselin Beaumont (Belmondo), a French secret agent who is betrayed by his own government and left to die in a foreign country.

Beaumont manages to survive and returns to France to seek revenge on the officials who betrayed him. Along the way, he meets a beautiful photographer (played by Robert Hossein) who helps him in his mission.

The film is known for its fast-paced action sequences, its political commentary on government corruption and betrayal, and Belmondo’s charismatic performance. It was a box-office success in France and helped solidify Belmondo’s reputation as a leading action star.

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8. Les Misérables (1995)

“Les Misérables” is a 1995 film adaptation of the classic Victor Hugo novel of the same name. The movie was directed by Claude Lelouch and stars Jean-Paul Belmondo, Michel Boujenah, and Alessandra Martines in the lead roles.

The film follows the story of Jean Valjean (Belmondo), a man who is released from prison after serving a long sentence for stealing bread.

He begins a new life under a new identity, but is pursued by Javert (Boujenah), a police inspector who is determined to bring him back to prison.

Along the way, Valjean takes in a young girl named Cosette (played by Salomé Lelouch and later Marie-Sophie L.), and becomes embroiled in the French Revolution.

While the movie deviates somewhat from the original novel, it is still a faithful adaptation that captures the spirit and themes of the source material. The film explores issues such as poverty, justice, and redemption, and features several powerful musical sequences.

“Les Misérables” received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising its grand scope and emotional impact, while others criticized its pacing and melodramatic moments.

Nevertheless, the film has earned a devoted following among fans of classic literature and historical dramas, and is a must-watch for anyone interested in the story of Jean Valjean and the struggles of the French people during the 19th century.

9. Classe Tous Risques (1960)

“Classe Tous Risques” is a French crime film released in 1960, directed by Claude Sautet and starring Lino Ventura, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Sandra Milo.

The film follows the story of Abel Davos (Lino Ventura), a notorious criminal who has been on the run from the police for several years.

When Abel’s wife and children join him in Italy, he decides to return to France in order to settle some scores with his former partners in crime.

As Abel tries to evade the police and outmaneuver his enemies, he finds unexpected help from Eric Stark (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a young criminal who befriends him and becomes his partner in crime.

Together, Abel and Eric embark on a series of daring heists and narrow escapes, all while trying to avoid the clutches of the police.

“Classe Tous Risques” is a taut and suspenseful crime drama that has been praised for its realistic portrayal of the criminal underworld.

The film is notable for its gritty, noirish atmosphere, as well as the strong performances of its lead actors. The movie has been hailed as one of the greatest French crime films of all time, and a classic of the genre.

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10. A Woman Is a Woman (1961)

“A Woman Is a Woman” is a 1961 French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean-Claude Brialy.

The film is a playful and experimental take on the romantic comedy genre, following the story of Angela (Karina), a Parisian exotic dancer who is eager to have a child with her boyfriend Emile (Brialy).

However, Emile is hesitant to have a child and suggests that Angela should have one with his best friend Alfred (Belmondo) instead. As the three characters navigate their complex relationships, the film explores themes of love, desire, and the nature of cinema itself.

“A Woman Is a Woman” is known for its bold visual style and innovative use of color and music. Godard’s direction is praised for its playful approach to filmmaking, with the director frequently breaking the fourth wall and incorporating elements of self-reflexivity into the narrative.

Karina delivers a memorable performance as the charismatic and independent Angela, while Belmondo and Brialy provide strong support as her suitors. The film’s playful tone and offbeat sense of humor make it a delightful and refreshing addition to the romantic comedy genre.

Overall, “A Woman Is a Woman” is a charming and stylish film that captures the essence of the French New Wave movement and remains a beloved classic of international cinema.

A Woman is a Woman (The Criterion Collection) [DVD]
  • Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Paul Belmondo (Actors)
  • Jean-Luc Godard (Director) - Eric Rohmer (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

3 Reasons To Watch Jean-Paul Belmondo Movies

Iconic Performances: Jean-Paul Belmondo is regarded as one of the greatest French actors of all time, known for his natural charisma, charm, and physicality.

He has played a wide range of characters throughout his career, from romantic leads to tough guys and anti-heroes, and has created some of the most iconic performances in French cinema.

Pioneer of French New Wave: Belmondo was a key figure in the French New Wave movement, a group of filmmakers who rejected traditional filmmaking conventions and experimented with new techniques and styles.

He starred in many of the most significant films of the movement, including Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” and “Pierrot le Fou,” and helped to define the new era of French cinema.

Classic French Cinema: Watching Jean-Paul Belmondo movies is a great way to explore classic French cinema, which is known for its artistic and intellectual qualities, as well as its unique storytelling and visual style.


Belmondo’s films are often set in iconic Parisian locations and offer a glimpse into the cultural and social history of France. For fans of cinema, Belmondo’s work is a must-see, and his impact on French cinema and beyond is undeniable.

Best Jean-Paul Belmondo Movies – Wrap Up

Jean-Paul Belmondo was one of the most iconic actors of French cinema, known for his rugged good looks, natural charisma, and effortless charm. Here are some of the best Jean-Paul Belmondo movies to watch:

Breathless (1960) – Belmondo’s breakthrough role, this French New Wave classic directed by Jean-Luc Godard features Belmondo as a small-time crook on the run.

Pierrot le Fou (1965) – Another collaboration with Godard, this surreal crime drama showcases Belmondo’s range as an actor, as he plays a disillusioned man on the run with his lover.

Léon Morin, Priest (1961) – In this drama directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, Belmondo plays a charismatic priest who helps a young widow find her faith during World War II.

That Man from Rio (1964) – This action-comedy directed by Philippe de Broca features Belmondo as a soldier searching for a stolen artifact in Brazil.

The Professional (1981) – This crime thriller directed by Georges Lautner features Belmondo as a former hitman who is forced back into action to protect his family.

These movies showcase Belmondo’s versatility as an actor, his ability to inhabit a wide range of characters, and his enduring appeal as a leading man.