Les Collaborateurs: The man who guides the resistant student group right into a German trap. Cute as a Bouncing Betty: The huge cannon Von Choltitz used to destroy Sebastopol is named “Karl”. Deliberately Monochrome: To give the film a documentary/newsreel feel, just like The Longest Day. It features some actual footage too. Eiffel Tower Effect: Of course, as well as several other famous Paris spots. Most distressingly, they are seen while the German soldiers are filling them with explosives. Epic Movie: By French cinema standards at least. Honor Before Reason: Depends on your point of view. Von Choltitz is ordered to burn Paris to the ground. Realizing that history would never forgive him if he did, the general does what he can to arrange a quiet surrender instead. It may have been dishonorable to the Nazis, but it was reasonable and honorable to the French. In Real Life, the French regarded him as “The Savior of Paris” and French officers attended his funeral in 1966. Von Choltitz himself wanted to fight for the city, but when promised reinforcements did not arrive, he decided that destroying buildings and monuments was pointless. Large Ham: Hitler, unsurprisingly. Loads and Loads of Characters: All of the historical protagonists of the event show up at some point. Molotov Cocktail: Prepared by Pr. Fr Joliot Curie. Officer and a Gentleman: Von Choltitz. Questioning Title?: Brennt Paris, Jodl? Refuge in Audacity: When “Pierrelot” (Jean Paul Belmondo) is tasked to retake H Matignon from Les Collaborateurs, he cannot get any men in insurgent Paris. So what does he do? Walk into the place with just his female aid, and ask for control of the place in the name of the temporary government. It works, and he’s treated like a minister. La Rsistance: Most of the French protagonists, naturally. Spiritual Successor: To The Longest Day. Black white historical epic, international All Star Cast, loads and loads of characters, Allied victory in WW2. you got it. Title Drop: Although in German toward the end, Hitler is insistingly asking “Brennt Paris?” (Is Paris Burning?) on the phone. Those Wacky Nazis: Averted except for Adolf Hitler, of course. Urban Warfare: Resistants establish strongholds in several key buildings, and shoot at German troops from there. They also use Molotov cocktails.
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