French Postcards

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French Postcards
DVD cover for the film
Directed by Willard Huyck
Produced by Gloria Katz
Written by Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz
Starring Miles Chapin
Blanche Baker
David Marshall Grant
Valérie Quennessen
Debra Winger
Mandy Patinkin
Marie-France Pisier
Jean Rochefort
Music by Lee Holdridge
Cinematography Bruno Nuytten
Edited by Carol Littleton
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 19, 1979 (1979-10-19)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
West Germany
Language English

French Postcards is a 1979 American romantic comedy film starring Miles Chapin, Blanche Baker, David Marshall Grant, Valérie Quennessen, Debra Winger, Mandy Patinkin, Marie-France Pisier and Jean Rochefort about a group of American exchange students who spend a year studying in Paris. Madame Catherine Tessier (Marie-France Pisier), who with her husband, Monsieur Tessier (Jean Rochefort), directs and teaches at "The Institute", takes special interest in Alex (David Marshall Grant), whose real ambition is to experience Parisian life; Madame Tessier's interest extends beyond the classroom and into her bedroom. Debra Winger and Mandy Patinkin co-star in this comic coming-of-age tale co-written by American Graffiti scripters Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, who also directs.


The story line primarily follows three American students as they feel their ways through a year of studies at The Institute in Paris: Laura (Blanche Baker), who ostensibly narrates the goings-on of the film with the postcards she sends to her boyfriend back home; Alex (David Marshall Grant), whose interests aren't so much in studying but with love and life in Paris; and Joel (Miles Chapin), who can't quite seem to live with the courage of his convictions. Alex becomes ensnared in a tryst with his instructor (and the Institute's co-director Madam Tessier (Marie-France Pisier), while Joel falls in love with a local bookstore employee, Toni (Valérie Quennessen). Real American students were used as extras in the movie.



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