A summary of French films predating the French New Wave, with works and directors identified as being part of "some Old Waves." From the introductory chapter of Nouvelle Vague?, Jacques Siclier's 1961 French-language book surveying the early days of the French New Wave.
Siclier breaks the directors and their films into these date-based distinctions: 1940 to 1944, 1945, 1946, 1951, 1955-1956. This list is presented in the chronological order of the source.
Some films are not identified by name, but rather as the results of the respective directors making their "first" films (which is not always an accurate claim), making a notable shift, or realizing their potential within the time frame. When there is doubt which film Siclier is referring to in his summary, I've used the director's first credited movie as director from Siclier's timeline.
The films by Molinaro and Malle are described as "readying the storefront for the opening of the New Wave."