Tours and Classes

Paris’ Hidden Gems: Secret Movie Locations

by Badaude
Hotel du Nord - Lisa WeathersbeeLisa Weatherbee – Hotel Du Nord

NOT the Eiffel Tower. We’ve seen it so many times! From the Lumière Brothers’ 1897 Panorama to Merchant Ivory’s 2003 Le Divorce. You can also forget Sacré-Coeur (Amelie, 2001) and Notre Dame (all the Hunchback movies). But there are hidden romantic movie locations all over Paris waiting to be discovered…

L’Hôtel Du Nord  – Hôtel Du Nord – Michel Carné (1938).

Now this one’s complicated so listen carefully. When Michel Carné made his classic movie of doomed love and dreams of escape in 1938, the decrepit Hôtel Du Nord on the Canal Saint Martin had already closed. So set designer Alexandre Trauner reconstructed the building and a whole stretch of the canal (complete with bridges) on a soundstage outside Paris. The real-life hotel was saved from demolition by its newfound on-screen fame and is now a restaurant of the same name, capitalizing on the movie’s retro glamour. It’s well worth a stop for its boho setting as well as its manouche (gypsy jazz à la Django Reinhardt) nights every Thursday. Sadly the hotel does not actually rent out rooms.

Hotel Du Nord - Lisa WeathersbeeLisa Weatherbee – Hotel Du Nord

La Place de FurstembergL’Appartment – Giles Memouni (1996)

I’m finding it difficult to track down the ‘little Place near the Luxembourg gardens’ where the lovers in L’Appartment, Giles Memouni’s 1996 little-known but impossibly romantic and twisty Hitchcockian thriller, meet, or fail to, but I think it’s the Place de Furstemberg in Saint Germain. Additional romance factor – Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci, the Brangelina of French film, met on set. While you’re there, you can also visit 19th century painter Delacroix’s house and studio, now a museum, in the corner of the Place.

A Bout de Souffle – Jean Luc Goddard (1960) – Rue Campagne Première

Badaude - Rue Campagne PremièreBadaude – Click on image to view larger size

Turn off the Boulevard Raspail in Montparnasse into rue Campagne Première and you’ll find yourself in the last scene of Godard’s Beat classic. Number 11 is the building where French small-time crook, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and American wannabe-journalist, Jean Seberg, spend their final night together and the end of the movie (I’m not giving anything away) is played out the next morning on the street below.

After browsing the street’s second hand bookshops and art galleries, eat at moderately-priced Natacha or bon marché La Mere Agitée. Seberg, who died in Paris, is buried in the nearby Cimetière de Montparnasse.

Rue Campagne Première - Lisa WeathersbeeLisa Weatherbee – Rue Campagne Première

This must have you thinking, does any Paris love story end happily? Let’s see: Les Enfants du Paradis, Les Amants du Pont Neuf, Bonjour Tristesse – erm I think that last one says it all. But it’s the French who see their city as the capital of doomed lovers: for a more optimistic outlook, you have to cross the Atlantic.

Pont des Arts - Lisa WeathersbeeLisa Weatherbee – Pont des Arts

Paris just does something to Americans. Watch the 1995 version of Sabrina with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford to see the effect in the final scene on the Pont des Arts; or maybe visit the Louvre and practice descending the staircase in front of the Winged Victory statue like Audrey Hepburn, playing bookstore-assistant-turned-model Jo, as she falls for photographer Fred Astaire in Funny Face (1957). Or even spend a night at the Jeu de Paume hotel where the strictly business relationship between Pretty Woman (1990) Julia Roberts and tycoon Richard Gere begins to get mushy round the edges.

Promenade plantee - Lisa WeathersbeeLisa Weatherbee – Promenade Plantée

The Promenade Plantée – Before Sunset – Richard Linklater (2004).

Who could fail to be moved as the camera tracks Julie Delpy down the Promenade Plantée, the long thin elevated garden that brings a splash of green to the built-up 12e, as she justifies her life to Ethan Hawke, the guy that got away nine years previously in Before Sunrise? This bittersweet love story doesn’t quite fit our ‘loved-up Americans’ theory. Why not? Perhaps because Frenchwoman, Delpy, co-wrote the script with American, Linklater.

Addresses:

  • L’Hôtel Du Nord, 102 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris, France, 01 40 40 78 78
  • Natacha, 17 bis, rue Campagne Première, 75014 Paris
  • La Mere Agitee, 21, rue Campagne Première, 75014 Paris
  • Musée Delacroix, 6 Rue de Furstenberg, 75006 Paris, France
  • Jeu de Paume Hotel, 54 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile, 75004 Paris

Related Links:

  • Paris Movie Walks
  • … an Amélie Poulain tour of Montmartre
  • Parisian Party’s most romantic places in Paris

Written by Badaude for the HiP Paris Blog. Lisa Weatherbee is a New York based photographer and designer, currently eating and shooting her way through Paris. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

The concepts in the essay all also are written in a way that will be very easy for anyone and everyone that reads the paper to understand. Given your lecturer will be expecting you to complete the term paper within a certain time, the writers here will not let you down on this but will work around your time and ensure that they complete writing the excellent essay way before the deadline of the paper that you had stated for the term paper.

Written By

Badaude

Badaude (“a person given to idle observation of everything with wonder or astonishment; a credulous or gossipy idler”) is an award-winning illustrator who writes and draws a weekly column for The Times Fashion, and whose work has also appeared in The Guardian as well as many other publications worldwide. Artist-in-residence at legendary Paris bookshop, Shakespeare & Company and the Port Eliot Festival, she teaches at The Idler Academy and her illustrated book of London Walks is about to be published by the Tate. Her blog is a Webby Honoree. View Badaude's Website

6 comments on “Paris’ Hidden Gems: Secret Movie Locations

Hotel du Nord, such a great place in a wonderful location by the Canal Saint Martin. We had a great night when we were last there for our review. Nostalgic, romantic and oozing with atmosphere.

Place de Furstemberg was also the location of the famous last scene in The Age of Innocence by MScorsese.

Penelope Tsaldari

Beautifully written and researched. So very much enjoyed the tour and points of interest which I shall log for my next jaunt to Paris. One of my very favorite cities in the world. You are so right – Americans love Paris. Guess that’s why so many movies and books have been written about it. This was a great read, articulate and concise. I’m very glad I’ve subscribed.

A tout a l’heure
Penelope

Oh so frustrating I havent seen all those movies yet. Now you just added some more to my list AGAIN. But I love that. Thanks a lot. Love this blog.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe without commenting

Vacation Rentals for Those Who Don’t just Travel, they Experience.

Boutique rentals from our trusted partner Haven In

Paris · Provence · Tuscany · London
ALL RENTALS

Vacation Rentals You'll Love