Montmartre was once the beating heart Paris’ belle époque. Its famous streets and infamous history also made Montmartre a feature in many French films, most notably, of course, Amélie. However, the area’s storied history in film features in many other classic films. Here are a few classic films set in Montmartre to get you started.
Montmartre-sur-Seine, or simply Montmartre was Edith Piaf’s second appearance in film. The romantic comedy stars Piaf as Lilly, a street singer who later becomes a cabaret star. The film was directed by Georges Lacombe, who later directed the Night is My Kingdom.
The French Cancan was directer Jean Renoir’s homage to the Moulin Rouge. The film stars Jean Gabin as Henri Dangerland, a businessman who is looking to revive the can-can with a new cafe-concert. He subsequently constructs the Moulin Rouge, with dancer Nini as his muse.
Bob le Flambeur is the best movie ever set in Montmartre. A classic film noir; critics consider the film to be a precursor to the French New Wave movement. Roger Duchesne stars as Bob, a former bank robber and gambler living in Montmartre who later decides to rob a casino.
La Traversée de Paris is a comedy set in Paris in 1942. Later known internationally as The Trip Across Paris; the film is based on the short story by Marcel Ayme and follows two men who try to deliver pork across Paris on the black market during the Nazi occupation. The main character, Marcel, similarly lives on Rue Lepic, like Ayme himself did.
Film critics consider the 400 Blows to be one of the greatest films of all time. The film follows a rebellious adolescent who struggles with his relationships with his parent and teachers. Many prominent Montmartre sites like Boulevard de Clichy and the Montmartre Cemetery feature in the film. The film was director Francois Traffaut’s debut as a filmmaker.