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Saturday November 17th 2018

Belle De Jour | 1967

Belle de Jour film location: Chalet de la Grand Cascade, Bois de Boulogne, Paris
Belle de Jour location: Séverine is picked up for the Duc: Chalet de la Grand Cascade, Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Luis Buñuel supposedly hated Joseph Kessel’s novel about a bored, masochistic wife of a wealthy Parisian surgeon who spends her afternoons working in a brothel, but nevertheless turned it into a surreal masterpiece.

The apartment of Séverine (Catherine Deneuve) and her husband is 23 avenue de Messine at the corner of rue de Messine, just south of Parc Monceau.

Belle de Jour film location: 23 avenue de Messine, Paris
Belle de Jour location: Séverine’ s luxurious apartment: 23 avenue de Messine, Paris

The elegant café terrace, where Séverine is picked up for the Duc’s incestuously necrophilic fantasy, is the Chalet de la Grande Cascade, Allée de Longchamp by the Second Empire artificial waterfall near the Longchamp Crossroads in the Bois de Boulogne. It’s a very glitzy restaurant, and if you don’t have a car it’s quite a schlep (Métro: Ranelagh) along Route de l’Hippodrome.

In the 1964 Hollywood romance Paris When It Sizzles, writer William Holden and secretary Audrey Hepburn dine on the terrace at the Chalet de la Grande Cascade during a fantasy screenplay sequence.

In Belle De Jour, just behind Deneuve on the restaurant’s terrace, you can see the director, Buñuel, talking business with Robert and Raymond Hakim – producers of the movie.

And it’s their office, with the movie stills outside, in which Marcel (Pierre Clémenti) robs a deliveryman in the lift. The building, since gutted and turned into an Italian restaurant, can be seen at 79 Champs Elysées.

Belle de Jour film location: Château de Rosny-sur-Seine, Rosny-sur-Seine, Yvelines
Belle de Jour location: the decadent Duc's estate: Château de Rosny-sur-Seine, Rosny-sur-Seine, Yvelines | Photograph: Wikimedia / Jean Larrieu

The Duc's mansion is Château de Rosny-sur-Seine on the Seine at Rosny-sur-Seine, in Yvelines, on the A13 about 25 miles northwest of Paris. This Louis XIII-style château was built by one Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully. He'd retired here in 1590 to recuperate from serious wounds sustained fighting alongside King Henry IV in the Battle of Ivry. Since then, the château has passed through several hands and, after standing neglected for many years, is under renovation. It's not currently open to the public.

Belle de Jour film location: 1 square Albin Cachot, Paris
Belle de Jour film location: Séverine works in Madame Anais’ ‘brothel’: 1 square Albin Cachot, Paris

The classy brothel of Madame Anais (Geneviève Page), at the fictitious ‘11 Cité de Jean Saumur’, where the ice-cool Séverine confronts a bizarre spectrum of sexualities, is at 1 square Albin-Cachot, a tiny cul-de-sac south of rue Leon Maurice Nordmann between rue de la Sante and rue de la Glacière (metro: Glacière).