Simone Signoret, Yves Montand and I.

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Paris is known for its lovers. There were plenty over the centuries as you can probably guess, dozens and hundreds, more or less famous ones, some even made it on the screen, Ninotchka and Count Léon d’Algout, for example. My favourite couple, however, is a real life one that made it into the movies nonetheless: Simone Signoret and Yves Montand, these glorious French actors. They made fabulous films, they drank and smoked, she won an Oscar, he betrayed her with Marilyn Monroe, and most importantly, they had an apartment on 15, Place Dauphine, on the loveliest square in all of Paris, it’s kind of secluded, but you always sense where you are: right in the middle of Paris. Each time I’m there, I pay them a visit, come rain or shine, I stroll by the Seine or cross the Tuileries, depends on where I come from, Rive Gauche or Rive Droite, I cross the Pont Neuf, my favourite bridge in the world, as the square lies on an island in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, just like Notre Dame, and there I am, happy as a child, lingering for quite some time, it’s a perfect spot for a coffee, too. The old chestnut trees were replaced some years ago, at first it looked a bit sad, these little ones couldn’t measure up to the old ones who might still have seen Simone and Yves leaving the house for cigarettes or an invitation to dinner some place fancy, but they’ve grown a bit, and the last time I visited Place Dauphine, I started looking forward to growing old with them.

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One thought on “Simone Signoret, Yves Montand and I.

  1. As much as I enjoy your posts about Berlin, I really do feel that Paris is your city – you write so beautifully about it and I love the photos. This is an eloquent and wonderful tribute to a very special couple whom I’ve long admired too. I remember being moved when I read an interview with Yves Montand saying that the older Simone Signoret became, the more he loved her. They were both so beautiful and he betrayed her but their relationship was also something unique and extraordinary. I have not seen where they lived but will make a point of going there next time. Instead, I took flowers to their grave in Père Lachaise and spent a moment thanking them for all they gave to cinema, to the world and to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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