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January 1996, Week 5


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Richard J. Leskosky" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 29 Jan 1996 19:27:10 -0600
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (43 lines)
I will hazard a rsponse only to Kendall  D'Andrade's first  January 28,
1996 question:
>Having just watched _Belle de Jour_, in a video version, I wonder if there is,
>or once was, an alternative ending for this film.  My "evidence" is very weak:
>     the blurb on the box says that her husband must decide what to do about
>         his knowledge that his wife worked in a whorehouse.
>     my memory of a contemporary review in a popular magazine (probably
>         _Time_) was that the reviewer claimed that she told her husband
>         herself and then simply walked out clearly having nowhere to go.
>Since neither source is especially reliable, and the second is weakened still
>further by the filter of memory, we may simply have yet further evidence of
>their unreliability.  But it is interesting that they agree in the sense of
>claiming that something happens after the husband learns that his wife worked
>in a whorehouse, that someone did something.  Whereas in the version I saw,
>there was only a "cut" to another fantasy sequence.  Does anyone have any
>information about any alternative endings, even ones which may have been
>filmed, or even just contemplated, but never released?
I saw BELLE DE JOUR in the 1970's and recently in its theatrical
re-release, and there were no differences.  Husson (Michel Piccoli) goes to
Belle's husband offscreen to tell him about her day job and leaves.  Belle
enters her husband's room and sits down across from him.  We see shots of
the husband crying. Then the fantasy begins with its usual signal of
carriage bells as he gets up from his chair.  Andrew Sarris' original
(1968) review of the film  confirms this version.  If there had been
another at the time, he surely would have mentioned it.  The novel
presumably ends somewhat differently since Sarris notes that there are no
fantasy scenes in the novel.
--Richard J. Leskosky
Richard J. Leskosky                     office phone: (217) 244-2704
Assistant Director                      FAX: (217) 244-2223
Unit for Cinema Studies                 University of Illinois
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