Shoots in Versailles
Shoots in Versailles
A total of 170 films have been shot at Versailles since 1904, so the filmography can be considered abundant.
Versailles served as a setting for films that have gone down in cinematic history. Henri Lavedan, Marcel L’Herbier and Max Lyon shot movies there in the silent era and Ettore Scola, Vincente Minelli, Philippe de Broca and Stephen Frears in more recent times. Scenes from Abel Gance's Napoleon, Max Ophüls' Madame de..., Claude Autant-Lara's Le mariage de Chiffon, Sacha Guitry's legendary Royal Affairs at Versailles and Ariane Mnouchkine's Molière were also filmed at the palace.
Directors have been interested in Versailles since film's earliest days, so it has witnessed cinema's evolution from the first "views" in the manner of the Lumières to the rising number of television productions. In 1929 Versailles was even the setting of France's first talking picture, Gaston Ravel's Collier de la reine.
A wide range of pictures have been shot at Versailles. Surprisingly, historical epics account for just one-third of them. Whether films d’auteurs or popular movies, they are always a sure bet. Marie-Antoinette incontestably heads the list, with four biopics and four pictures about the necklace affair. Directors have also set movies about Napoleon (three films), Casanova (two films), Madame du Barry, the poisons affair and the French Revolution at Versailles.
Contemporary genres run the gamut from comedy-dramas to comedies, fantasies, love stories, war movies and spy thrillers. The Palace of Versailles is integrated into the plot for what it is today: a piece of France's heritage and a monument evoking the monarchy. In 1968's Le Tatoué Jean Gabin, walking with Louis de Funès, said he "has come to admire the house of the kings who made France over a period of a thousand years." But sometimes Versailles just serves as a backdrop, and in those cases the scenes are shot in undistinguishable places.
List of films shot at Versailles between 1904 and 2007 [French]