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Belle de Jour (1967)

Belle de jour (original title)
R | | Drama | 10 April 1968 (USA)
A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director:

(as Luis Bunuel)

Writers:

(novel) (as Joseph Kessel de l'Académie Française), (adaptation) (as Luis Bunuel) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marcel (as Pierre Clementi)
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Renee (as Macha Meril)
Muni ...
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Claude Cerval
Michel Charrel ...
Footman
Iska Khan ...
Bernard Musson ...
Majordomo
Marcel Charvey ...
François Maistre ...
L'ensignant
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Storyline

Severine is a beautiful young woman married to a doctor. She loves her husband dearly, but cannot bring herself to be physically intimate with him. She indulges instead in vivid, kinky, erotic fantasies to entertain her sexual desires. Eventually she becomes a prostitute, working in a brothel in the afternoons while remaining chaste in her marriage. Written by James Meek <james@oz.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Luis Bunuel's Masterpiece of Erotica!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

10 April 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belle de Jour  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,037,017, 31 December 1995
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

When Severine and friend are in the cab, the projected background in the cab does not match the exterior as seen when Severine gets out. See more »

Quotes

Madame Anais: You'll meet the other two girls soon. Mathilde and Charlotte. Both very nice. I only tolerate well-bred people here and they must be cheerful. I want people to enjoy their work. Just last week I had to let a girl go. Very beautiful, too. But she was too vulgar. It's a shame.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Extremes (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of Bunuel's more well-known works; an interesting morality story with Deneuve
19 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

Luis Bunuel, notorious for his use of simple, striking, yet un-cannily affecting surrealism in movies, keeps it down to a lower (yet still imaginative) key for Belle Du Jour. This works though because un-like a film like Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie where surrealism was like another character amidst the other character's dreams and nightmares, this one only keeps in surrealism for the sake of the lead character's inner demons poking up through the every-day malaise. This lead, Severine, is played in one of Catherine Deneuve's key career performances, that finds that two-sided-ness she feels while married to her husband Pierre.

She loves him, but there's something that she's not getting out of the marriage that's leaving her empty, aimless, and her fantasies- however in the realm of (dark) fantasy- go to show she needs to do something during the day. She then finds out about a high-class brothel with only a couple of workers already employed. At first reluctant, she gives in to her temptations, serving the odder types of Paris looking for a good time, with one of them, Marcel (Pierre Clementi) falling head over heels for her.

What seemed most intriguing about the film was how Bunuel dealt with the themes- the two crucial ones being morality and sexuality. His imagery is direct, maybe too direct, but it gets its points across with a realism that is alluring and far & away (almost like a satire of such a life). She can't stop what she's started, and she doesn't really know how to end it unless she gets caught.

Then with the sexuality, it's never over-emphasized (i.e. no nudity, outside of a quick couple of shots of nudity), and no one is shown having sex on screen. What comes out is the emotional tally of Severine, the other girls, and the supporting characters that come in and out of the brothel. It may seem dated at moments, and the observatory notes go to making the film seem a tad longer than it is. But never-the-less, Belle de Jour is a worthwhile, memorable effort of the 1960's cinema.

And, at many times, it's quite funny. More than that, a laugh riot.


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