There is nothing like relaxing with a well-crafted French prison movie from eras past.
A Man Escaped (1956) is directed by Robert Bresson. The movie takes place at a German prison camp for Frenchmen during WWII. As the title indicates, a prisoner hatches a plan for his escape to freedom. Bresson keeps it very minimal, while still concentrating on the fine details.
Le Trou (The Hole, 1960) is directed by Jacques Becker. A prisoner finds himself with new cellmates, and learns of their elaborate plan to escape. The work is both skillful and labor intensive, and every man participates. It’s a fine film worthy of seeking out.
La Grande Illusion (Grand Illusion, 1937) is directed by Jean Renoir. Set at a prison camp in Germany during WWI, La Grand Illusion is an epic and beloved film. A group of French officers are confined together, and try to make the best of their circumstances. It features Jean Gabin and the renowned director/actor Erich Von Stroheim.
Un Chant D’Amour (A Song of Love, 1950) is a silent short film directed by Jean Genet. Two prisoners share intimate moments through their thick cell wall. Solitude is combated with memories, imagination and attempts at sensual contact. Un Chat D’Amour is a beautifully artistic and interpretive film.