Remaking French films -- "Breathless" and "La Femme Nikita" are just two films that have be turned into American movies

By Lawrence O'Toole
January 13, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

To use a French-derived term, you could fittingly call True Lies an homage to La Total, the 1991 French film upon which it’s based. Or you could, opting for the local idiom, call it a rip-off. Either way, Schwarzenegger’s film is just the latest in a growing line of American remakes of films from the cinéma de France. Here are some other notables on the video shelves.

The Wages of Fear Four men (led by Yves Montand) escape a South American hellhole via trucks loaded with nitroglycerin. B

Sorcerer Roy Schneider leads the way out in William Friedkin’s spectacular ode to Wages director Henri-Georges Clouzot. A-

Breathless Luc Godard directs Jean-Paul Belmondo as a hood and Jean Seberg as his amoral American girlfriend in this homage to American B movies. A

Breathless Drearily features Richard Gere, too pretty to be so pained, and, as his foreign girlfriend, Valerie Kaprisky, from whom not much has been heard since. D+

Three Men and A Cradle A trio of bachelors discover their inner mother while changing the dirty diapers of a baby girl they find on their doorstep.C-

Three Men and a Baby About the only thing that’s changed from the sire is a word in the title as Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson bring up baby. C-

La Femme Nikita Anne Parillaud is a reformed drug addict-turned-heartless government hit woman in Luc Besson’s sensational action picture. A-

Point of No Return A somewhat softened-up heroine (Bridget Fonda) and nonstop action still can’t match the toughness and élan of the original. B