The Paris street frozen in 1942 (with 100+ pictures)

When the lockdown hit Paris, all non-essential work was forbidden. So a local film crew didn’t have time to remove a huge set on rue Androuet in Montmartre. 

I wrote more about the movie here (called Adieu Monsieur Haffman, a WWII movie set for a 2021 release) and I have been obsessed with the street transformation from day one.

But what’s interesting today is how the film set has been abandoned, leaving one Paris street stuck in Nazi-occupied 1942.

Here’s the strange and slightly eerie story of the frozen film set – in podcast format – with the help of one of the actors and an American woman whose home was taken over by the film crew (and still is!).

And, as promised in the podcast episode, here are 100+ of my own pictures from my visits to the set before, during, and after filming. Click on each image to enlarge it.

The abandoned set, today

The day(s) of the shoot

Period vehicles on set

Detailed shots

Building the set

It’ll be pretty hard for you to visit the abandoned set during lockdown unless you live within one kilometre… but if you do, the address is rue Androuet and rue Berthe.

Oh yes, if you think you recognize the street, the minimarket on the corner features in the 2001 hit movie Amelie.

For way more details about the set, an interview with one of the Nazi actors, and Chelsea whose shop was transported into the movie set, please listen to today’s podcast (and subcsribe).

Oh yes, and I made a full Instagram story with more pics and videos from the set here. Follow!

Lastly, if you enjoy this stuff, way more of my work is on Patreon here and if you want even more from Paris, you can get my new memoir here.

4 thoughts on “The Paris street frozen in 1942 (with 100+ pictures)

  1. Excellent podcast today…and the photos above really made it come to life. Looking forward to watching the movie and looking for Jean, the Nazi driver 🙂

  2. Dear Oliver – Thank you for your latest about the film set in Montmartre and fantastic photographs. Also the detail about the shop used in the film Amelie. This has a special resonance for me, as it’s only a few weeks since my U3A classmates and I saw this film in one of our last sessions before the lockdown. Amazing film – new for me. I do miss our classes and ‘normal’ life so it’s great to get news from you and about life there in Paris. And talking about Paris, yesterday I had the pleasure of receiving your book so I am looking forward to reading it! Many thanks and I look forward to hearing you on Overnights again soon, Merci, Valerie Mayer.

  3. Coucou Oliver! You’ve done an amazing job researching this, capturing great shots of the different stages of the project, and reporting back in this great blogpost. I’ve really enjoyed looking at all the photos in detail. As you know, they’ve inspired me to research the topic of the German occupation. The story I am writing is based on the memories of my très parisienne mother-in-law. She and her family lived in Paris for most of the war. You would not believe the stories she remembered while looking at all your pics. She is in her late 80s now, and those were really special conversations I will do my best to capture. Thank you for inspiring all this with your investigations of a movie set in Montmartre. — Véro

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