Directed by Francois Truffaut, this film begins before WWI with two friends, the timid Austrian writer Jules and the more outgoing Frenchman Jim. Both men become enchanted by a statue that a friend had seen and soon Jules meets the free spirited Catherine after being with several women before her. Although he begins a relationship with Catherine, she soon casts her spell on both of them causing them to have a very close relationship.
Just before the Great War begins Jules and Catherine are married but when the fighting starts the two men are on opposite sides. Fortunately, they both come out of the war and Jim comes to stay with his friends in their mountain home. Now they have a daughter but their marriage is difficult because Catherine has had several affairs. She begins to flirt with Jim and Jules gives his blessing hoping Catherine will still be present in his life.
Catherine and Jim end up separating however when they struggle to have a child. Later, they reconnect in Paris but Jim resolves to marry another girl much to Catherine’s jealousy. They meet one last time and Catherine goes on a drive with Jim that ends fatally. Jules is left to grieve for his best friend and his true love.
It is interesting how Catherine is really the main character here despite the title suggesting otherwise. Jeanne Moreau does not seem like your typical beauty either and yet Truffaut makes her character truly special. If you want to become acquainted with Truffaut and the style of French New Wave this one of the films you need to go to. The 400 Blows first, Jules and Jim soon after.