Situated in the middle of Boulevard de Clichy, Pigalle is small in size, but grand in notoriety. In the early 20th century Pigalle was a grim world of pickpockets, prostitutes and strip clubs. Today, Pigalle is grim world of pickpockets, prostitutes and strip clubs, where you can buy a decent kebab. The area’s infamy has been replicated in film many times over the course of the last century. Here, for you, are the best films set in Pigalle.
Le Désert de Pigalle (1958)
In the 1950s, a young catholic priest is assigned to the prostitute riddled streets of Pigalle. Confronting the local pimps, he takes it upon himself to try and reform the sex workers, one by one. The ‘desert’ in the title was to indicate the complete absence of morality in the area.
Maigret à Pigalle (1966)
When Arlette, a local stripper in a Pigalle strip club reports a planned assassination, nobody listens to her. However, when she later turns up dead herself, local inspector Maigret decides to take on the case.
56 rue Pigalle (1949)
In 1940s Pigalle, manservant Lucian blackmails his employer Jean Vigneron. However, when Lucian later is found dead after Jean has paid the sum, he is himself considered the suspect. Jean must prove his innocence so he can save himself and run away with Ricardo’s wife Ines.
Les Ripoux (1984)
Known as My New Partner in English, Les Ripoux won the prestigious Cesar Award for Best Film in 1985. Phillipe Noiret stars as a corrupt policeman in Pigalle who loses his old parter to corruption charges and subsequently tries to convince his new partner to join him in taking kickbacks.
An independent, realist look at the lives of four characters; a transvestite prostitute, a pickpocket, show dancer and a drug dealer. When local hostilities result in the death of her friends, Fifi, the pickpocket seeks revenge.
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