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Where Cheri was Shot

Cheri is Hollywood’s belated sequel to Gigi. The two don’t seem to have much in common, but think about it: Both Cheri and Gigi are children of courtesans, both films are based on novels penned by Colette and set in Belle Epoque Paris. Although one explores the dark and troubled side, the other always keeps on the sunny side of Parisian life.

Both stories are centered on the same truth: that love is a very powerful beast indeed, the one human instinct that has not been thoroughly domesticated. We may try to tame it, in the knowledge that it can wreck even our most carefully thought-out schemes and designs, but we must never think that we have it fully under our control. If we let our guard slip for one instant, it can turn on us and tear our hearts out with a single strike of its savage claw.

"Michelle Pfeiffer on balcony of Hotel Mezzara in movie Cheri shot in Paris"

The key location of the movie is the place where Michelle Pfeiffer has her flat: a building known as the Hôtel Mezzara (60 Rue de la Fontaine in the 16th arrondissement) which was designed by Hector Guimard, better known perhaps as the designer of the Parisian Metro stations.

In the film, director Stephen Frears shows us a cobbled street where Pfeiffer’s toyboy – the eponymous Cheri – approaches his lover’s house, but this was actually filmed half a dozen blocks away in Rue Eugene Manuel just off Rue de Passy. The doorway where Cheri seeks cover is the entrance to the building at no. 2, a famous Art Nouveau apartment building designed by the architect Charles Klein.

"Maxims in Paris where a scene of the movie Cheri was shot"

Other Parisian locations include the church of Saint Etienne du Mont where Cheri gets married, the Hotel Regina where he moves in after separating from his wife, and, inevitably for a movie which so lovingly displays Belle Epoque splendour in all of its Art Nouveau decadence, the restaurant Maxim’s where Cheri spends many a carefree evening. (In the film, the restaurant is called the Dragon Bleu.)

Want to discover more places in Paris where famous films have been shot? Get Paris Movie Walks today!

3 comments to Cheri

  • Jean-Guillaume

    The church they’ve been married in was the Val-de-Grâce Church 🙂

  • Odette

    Thank you so much for this information! Cheri is one of my favorite films – I love the art nouveau design of it very much. I had no idea that the facade used for Lea’s home, and the street Cheri walks down at the end, were two entirely different locations. I found them both on google maps and was amazed at the magic of movie making that created a believable 1900s world out of a patchwork of buildings and streets.

    Now I’m trying to track down where Lea’s house in Normandy and Madame Peloux’s garden were filmed. I think the house in Normandy was probably somewhere in Cologne, but have no idea about the garden. I hope to see some of the locations in person someday (and when I make it back to Paris, I’ll undoubtedly have a copy of Paris Movie Walks with me).

    Another Paris location I’ve been trying to find is a certain staircase that appears in a Eugene Atget 1924 Monmartre photo. I wonder if any of the surrounding buildings, the garden, or even the staircase itself, still exist. I can easily imagine Hemingway running down the steps on his way to some cafe or other.ène_Atget,_Staircase,_Montmartre_-_Getty_Museum.jpg

    • Movies

      Thanks for making me aware of the fascinating picture, Odette. I had never before seen it, and find it as intriguing as you.

      As it happens, I know Montmartre quite well (we lived there for nearly 20 years), and I can only guess where the stairway may be located. It looks too wide and airy for Rue Drevet, and the buildings on the left do not quite seem to match the topography of the Rue Chappe and Rue de Calvaire stairways. The stairway will almost certainly still exist. Montmartre has never experienced a radical makeover (hence its enduring charm), although individual buildings may well have been replaced. There aren’t many candidates, probably somewhere between 5 and 10, so if you were to take a walk around the area, armed with a copy of the picture, you could probably nail down a chief suspect. Sounds like an interesting task – much like what I was doing in preparing the book.

      Happy sleuthing!

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