Belphegor ou le Fantôme du Louvre (1965)

Director: Claude Barma

Costume designers: Christiane Coste, Françoise Tournafond

Closing credits music: Antoine Duhamel (sampled in 2001 by Wu Tan Clan for ‘Gravel Pit’)

First published on my previous blog on 21st February 2010

Belphegor ou le fantôme du Louvre (Belphegor or the ghost of the Louvre) was developed for French TV in the mid-60’s mixing what French are best at in my opinion: Slightly supernatural and crime. This mini-serie gained a surprisingly success gathering 10 million viewers when broadcasted for the first time (France population at the time was about 46 millions). Although it was rather scary when I saw it (6ish) and didn’t really understand what was going on, it has left a strong impression on me.

I always watch it with a lot of nostalgia as Paris is beautifully shot mainly around the Louvre museum area but also at the Clignancourt flea market, the Montmartre area and suburbs (Le Vesinet). At least til the late seventies, that’s pretty much how Paris looked like until a lot of its old charm was swept away in the 80’s when ugly cars, clothes and modern architecture flooded in.

Flea market at the Porte de Clignancourt, middle background, one of the most popular French cars, the Citroën 2CV (casually called a ‘Deuch‘ pronounced ‘Dush’)

Mobil petrol station somewhere in Paris (possibly in the 17th borough) and a Citroën DS car being filled up.

Colette (Fresh face Christiane Delaroche)’s Fiat 500, another extremely popular city car fancied mainly by women

Suede leather jacket, tartan shirt and high ponytail

Colette out to the movies, fur hat and collar. Doesn’t look very 60’s, does it?

Lady Hodwin’s pearl choker/stuck in Paul Poiret 20’s, an intriguing and cheeky character played by Sylvie

Marly-le-Roy bowling alleys: Tartan skirt, headscarf and little cardigan. This kind of seats can still be found in some Paris tube stations.

A fairly typical example of modern 60’s architecture in the French suburbs: Part flats, part shopping mall all gathered in one long alley. Here, a Philips record and music shop. Price of a 45rpm, 1 franc!

Vintage police car mixing black and white colours, in the background two Citroën police trucks (casually called ‘panier à salade‘ – salad shaker -)

The man who chases the ghost of the Louvre: Young law student André (Yves Rénier), classy suit and neat haircut!

Not my favourite shape of glasses. The trend cycle for glasses always seem to be extremely slow as 60’s designs persisted well after the 60’s.

Phone booth in a café basement (located here near the toilets) where you needed a special token (apparently you couldn’t put money in it, not sure why) at the time. Note the tiny tiny wriswatch, also very typical from the period.

National lottery tickets: Still rolling on Wednesdays!

Laurence (played by Juliette GrecoMiles Davis‘s love of a lifetime-), femme fatale and Queen of the Eyeliner!

Possibly wearing Chanel by the look of it, unless it was Dior

Laurence in her luxurious Parisian flat

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