French Without Tears (film)

French Without Tears is a 1939 British comedy film directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Ray Milland. It was based on the play of the same name by Terence Rattigan who also co-wrote the script. An on-off working relationship between Asquith and Rattigan began with this film and continued over the next 15 years.[1][2]

French Without Tears
Film poster
Directed byAnthony Asquith
Produced byMario Zampi
Written byIan Dalrymple
Anatole de Grunwald
Terence Rattigan
StarringRay Milland
Music byNicholas Brodszky
Clive Richardson (uncredited)
CinematographyBernard Knowles
Edited byDavid Lean
Distributed byParamount British Pictures
Release date
  • 1939 (1939)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


The love affairs of three young Englishmen at a language "cramming" school in the south of France. Diana, the sister of one of the boys, arrives in town to flirt with all of her brothers' schoolmates.[3]


Critical reception

Sky Movies described a "sparkling version of Terence Rattigan's comedy play. The import of Ellen Drew and Ray Milland from Hollywood ensured the film's success world-wide."[1] Writing for Allmovie, Hal Erickson wrote, "much of the wit and zest of the original stage production has been blunted for the screen, moving one critic to describe French Without Tears as "Comedy Without Laughs". In all fairness, however, the film does boast a hilarious drunk scene in a musty old French wine cellar."[2]


  1. "French Without Tears - Sky Movies HD". 23 May 2002. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  2. "French Without Tears (1939) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  3. "French without Tears | BFI | BFI". Retrieved 4 March 2014.
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