Louis de Funès in 10 locations
From the gendarme to the food critic to the King of Spain’s finance minister, Louis de Funès has made many generations laugh with his often impulsive and grumpy attitude, his inimitable facial expressions and his presence. Although he was not always successful, he remains one of the most famous actors in French cinema. Little known in English-speaking countries, his films have met with great success in Russia and Europe.
To follow in the footsteps of the iconic actor, there’s nothing like going on a pilgrimage to the locations where his most memorable films were made.
1. The Crossing of Paris – Jambier’s building (Louis de Funès)
During the Occupation, Marcel Martin (Bourvil) and Grandgil (Jean Gabin) had to transport suitcases containing the pieces of a pig to the other end of Paris for the black market. Marcel first comes to play the accordion in the cellar of the grocer Jambier (Louis de Funès) to cover the cries of the animal when it is killed. The situation becomes more complicated when he returns to take possession of the suitcases with Grandgil. The latter wants to be paid more and bullies the grocer. He spoils a part of his food stock then repeats very loudly “Jambier, 45 rue Poliveau!”. Fearing that the police would discover his traffic, the shopkeeper finally gave in. If 45 de la rue now houses a café called La Traversée de Paris (in english The Crossing of Paris) and is decorated in the effigy of the film, the building whose facade is filmed is actually at number 13.
Address: 13 rue Poliveau, 75005 Paris
2. Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez – Gendarmerie of Saint-Tropez
The gendarmerie is the nerve centre of the operations led by Warrant Officer Gerber (Michel Galabru) and his right-hand man Ludovic Cruchot (Louis de Funès). There are six films well known to the general public, but a 7eadventure exists in the form of a podcast: The Bethlehem Gendarme. As far as the gendarmerie is concerned, it hosted real brigades between 1879 and 2003. In 2016, it was transformed into a museum of the Gendarmerie and the Cinema of Saint-Tropez.Read more
3. The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob – L’Étoile de Kiev (closed)
L’Étoile de Kiev temporarily welcomes Victor Pivert (Louis de Funès), in fake Rabbi Jacob. Salomon (Henri Guybet), his former driver, is staying above the shop. In order not to have to deal with traffic problems during filming, Gérard Oury decided to faithfully reconstruct the Rue des Rosiers in Saint-Denis, in a neighbourhood that was being demolished. However, one detail escaped the production. During the famous scene of the Hasidic dance, in front of l’Étoile de Kiev, we see furtively in the background the basilica of Saint-Denis! The sign of L’Etoile de Kiev no longer exists today, but the shop at this corner is easily recognizable. If he played the role of a miser or a racist, Louis de Funès always refused to play that of an unfaithful husband. This accentuates the comical situation when his wife, Germaine (Suzy Delair), accuses him of cheating on her.
Address: 7 rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris
4. Fantomas vs. Scotland Yard – Lord Mac Rashley’s Castle
The plot of Fantomas vs. Scotland Yard takes place in the Scottish castle of the mysterious Lord Mac Rashley (Jean-Roger Caussimon). However, you don’t have to go all the way to Scotland to discover the sumptuous house. Lord Mac Rashley’s castle is located in Gironde. The castle of Roquetaillade lent its facade for the needs of the shooting. Since then, many fans come to visit the huge building in the footsteps of the famous criminal. In 2017, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film’s theatrical release, many enthusiasts gathered at the castle to catch a glimpse of a DS and Fantomas himself on board. A fourth opus of Fantomas’ adventures, Fantomas in Moscow, never saw the light of day. We were to learn that Fandor was the son of the famous criminal.Read more
5. The Sucker – Place of the accident
The most famous car accident in French cinema occurs at the back of the Pantheon, in front of the Sainte-Geneviève church. Coming from rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève, Antoine Maréchal’s 2CV is dislocated by Léopold Saroyan’s Rolls-Royce (Louis de Funès), coming from rue Clovis. Shooting the scene required cutting the car into 250 pieces. They would disengage using small electrical devices triggered at the right time. During the take, Bourvil improvised the line that had become cult: “What am I going to do now?”. This surprise declaration triggered a laugh at Louis De Funès. The latter turns his head so as not to be obliged to replay this scene so complex to set up.
Address: Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris
6. La Grande vadrouille – Mende-Brenoux airfield
The final scene of the Don’t Look Now: We’re Being Shot AtDuring the film, the characters manage to escape from the German soldiers on board of gliders, is unforgettable. A sequence shot in Lozere, on the airfield of Mende-Brenoux. Founded in 1946 by Charles Samson and several of his friends, the airfield of Mende-Brenoux is the only one in the whole department of Lozere. It is still possible to see the wreckage of the vehicle that was used during the filming, more than fifty years after the release of the film, at the foot of the Truc de Balduc, near the village of Chalhac.Read more
7. Delusions of Grandeur – The Palace
Many scenes from Delusions of Grandeur were filmed in the Alhambra of Granada, including the scene of the blind man’s hailer with the queen and the weighing of the king. The gardens were also heavily used. The Alhambra is a palatial complex constituting a major monument of Islamic architecture. Four parts are included within its walls, the Alcazaba, the Nasrid palaces, the Generalife with its gardens and the palace of Charles V. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984, the first documents referring to the site date back to 889. However, they refer to the Alcazaba and its rehabilitation, suggesting that the building is much older. A great admirer of the actor, Alexandre Astier named one of his characters Lucius Silis Sallustius (Patrick Chesnais) in his series Kaamelott in homage to don Salluste, the character played by Louis de Funès.
Address: The Alhambra, Calle Real de la Alhambra, 18009 Granada, Spain
8. La Soupe aux choux – Jaligny
The houses of Le Glaude (Louis de Funès) and Le Bombé (Jean Carmet) were built on a plot of land in Bombon in Seine-et-Marne and demolished just after the film. There’s nothing left today but a field. On the other hand, other sets from the film still exist, such as what is supposed to represent the town of Jaligny in the Allier. Actually, you have to go to Champeaux in Seine-et-Marne.
On the market square, we find the Hôtel de France, where Le Bombé comes to have a drink, the bakery frequented by the compères and made up as a clothes shop a little later, as well as the old delicatessen, which we see twice briefly. The Post Office is not far away, located at 2 rue Guillaume de Champeaux. The connection between Richard Donner’s Superman and The Cabbage Soup? Guy Delécluse. The latter built the flying saucer for La Denrée (Jacques Villeret) but was also responsible for the sets on the planet Krypton for the film on the Man of Steel.
Address: Place du Marché, 77720 Champeaux
9. The Wing or the Thigh? – Charles Duchemin’s premises (Louis de Funès)
The premises of the famous Duchemin guide rewarding the best restaurants are located at 5 place d’Iéna in the 16th arrondissement. Charles Duchemin (Louis de Funès) tried many times, within these walls, to convince his son Gérard (Coluche) to take over the management of the publishing house. The two main actors took advantage of the shooting of the film to play some friends. While Louis de Funès brings in his friend and regular screen wife Claude Gensac, Coluche brings in promising young actors such as Gérard Lanvin, Martin Lamotte, Marie-Anne Chazel and Bruno Moynot.
Address: 5 place d’Iéna, 75016 Paris
10. The Tattoo – Château de Paluel
It is in this 15th century castle that Legrain (Jean Gabin) and Félicien Mezeray (Louis de Funès) meet to talk business. After discovering the superb tattoo of Modigliani on the back of the former legionnaire, the art dealer tries by all means to redeem him. He then promises to make his country house “a castle”. At that moment, Félicien did not know that most of the work was already done. Even if it had been cleaned up a bit for the reasons of the film, this medieval fortress was already in a bad state. The cause was an arson attack by the 2nd SS Das Reich Division during the Second World War.
The castle is listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments since 1927. After an English owner, who cleaned up the surroundings, the fortress was sold to a restorer for €853,000 in 2017. In the film, Legrain calls Félicien “a grocer”. A reference to The Crossing of Paris in which Jean Gabin and Louis de Funès were already a team.
Address: Château de Paluel, 24200 Saint-Vincent-le-Paluel
The Fantrippers Buying Board
Map of 100 cult places in PARIS (French Edition)
The Paris Fantrippers map, an original way to discover the French capital! Through 100 pop culture places, walk through its streets from another angle. Movies, TV shows, music, comics and novels, will allow you to spend a pleasant moment in the World City. With a folded format of 10 x 18 cm and an unfolded format of 60 x 54 cm, it slips easily into your pocket or bag for easy reference.
Interest for fans
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By Damien Duarte
Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !