French Postcards

French Postcards is a 1979 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 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 screenwriters Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, who also directs.

French Postcards
DVD cover for the film
Directed byWillard Huyck
Produced byGloria Katz
Written byWillard Huyck
Gloria Katz
StarringMiles Chapin
Blanche Baker
David Marshall Grant
Valérie Quennessen
Debra Winger
Mandy Patinkin
Marie-France Pisier
Jean Rochefort
Music byLee Holdridge
CinematographyBruno Nuytten
Edited byCarol Littleton
NF Geria II Filmgesellschaft m.b.H.
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • October 19, 1979 (1979-10-19)
Running time
95 minutes
CountriesUnited States
West Germany


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), and Joel falls in love with Toni (Valérie Quennessen), a local bookstore employee. American students were used as extras in the movie.



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