Love in the Afternoon

Synopsis: In Paris, detective Claude Chavasse is hired to follow a wife suspected of infidelity with the notorious American libertine Frank Flannagan. When the husband learns that his suspicions are accurate, he tells Claude of his plan to kill Flannagan. Claude's daughter Ariane overhears the threat and warns Frank of the coming trouble. She then plays the part of a worldly socialite with a list of conquests as long as Flannagan's. The bemused ladies' man returns to America the next day and Ariane, completely in love, follows his romantic escapades in the news. She sees him again in Paris the following year, and resumes her worldly guise, telling tales of former lovers when they meet at his hotel in the afternoon. Frank, amazed by the mystery girl and surprised to find himself jealous of her past, hires Claude to uncover more information about her. When the detective realizes what has happened, he asks Frank not to break his daughter's heart.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Billy Wilder
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
130 min

This is the city. Paris, France.

It is just like any other big city,

London, New York, Tokyo...

...except for two little things.

In Paris, people eat better...

...and in Paris people make love,

well, perhaps not better...

...but certainly more often.

They do it any time, any place.

On the Left Bank...

...on the Right Bank...

...and in between.

They do it by day...

...and they do it by night.

The butcher...

...the baker...

...and the friendly undertaker.

They do it in motion.

They do it sitting absolutely still.

Poodles do it.

Tourists do it.

Generals do it.

Once in a while,

even existentialists do it.

There is young love...

...and old love.

Married love...

...and illicit love.

That is where I come in.

My name is Claude Chavasse.

I am what you would call

"a private eye."

It was Monday, June 11, 6:15 a.m.

I had been working

the nightwatch on the Place Vendme...

...outside the Ritz Hotel.

In order to protect the innocent,

I will call this the case of Madame X.

Of course, she was not

entirely innocent.

While Monsieur X was attending

a business conference in London...

...she was conferring nightly

in Suite 14 of the Ritz.

45 a.m.

I arrived at No.17, rue Mallebranche.

This is where I live, and this

is also where I have my office.

It is a very quiet neighborhood.

My clients prefer it this way.

- Bonjour, Madame.

- Bonjour, Monsieur Chavasse.

It is a neat,

normal life we have here.

There's just myself,

my daughter, and her cello.

- Papa?

- Good morning, Ariane.

Good morning, Papa.

Did you have a hard night?


Interesting case?


- Tell me about it.

- Never mind.

Why not?

Never mind!

Papa, I'm worried about you.

You've been working every night.

It's my busiest season.

You need a rest.

In my profession,

it's like being a doctor.

I have to be on call

night and day.

A good doctor can never rest,

not until the patient is out of bed.

I'd never thought of it that way.

You shouldn't think of it at all.

How are things at the conservatory?

- So-so. We're rehearsing.

- Rehearsing what?

A symphony. Haydn's 88th.

I always tell you what I'm doing but

you never tell me what you're doing.

That's because I love you.

I want to protect you from these sordid

matters I have to deal with.

- Now go back to your cello.

- Yes, Papa.

Wouldn't you like some breakfast?

Later. I have some work to do

in the darkroom.

I'm expecting a client.

When Mama was alive, I'm sure

you discussed your work with her.

Your mama was a married woman.

I'm so glad.

- Papa, your coffee's getting cold.

- Just a few minutes.

- You can play detective later.

- All right.

- Who's this man?

- Ariane, please!

He's very attractive.

He's very objectionable,

and quite immoral.

- He is?

- And utterly no good.

- What did he do?

- That's enough.

I don't think I've ever seen

his face in the files.

Ariane! Have you been into my files?

No, Papa.

I mean, yes, Papa.

Just a few of them, when I was dusting.

Ariane, you've been told a thousand

times to stay away from those files.

I've been trying, Papa,

but they're so fascinating.

At the conservatory, all the girls envy

me because I have my private library.

Library? This is not a library.

This is a sewer.

How can you say that?

Some of these cases are so romantic.

- I've read them time and time again.

- What cases?

Well, I guess my favorite

one is in file "D."

The Duchess of Devontry

and her Alpine guide.

It's so sad, and so beautiful.

Your father almost had a heart attack

following them up the Matterhorn.

How she must have loved him,

to give up everything.

The duke, the castle,

the horses and the hounds.

And for what?

Two weeks of shameless passion.

Two glorious weeks!

It was a terrible scandal,

and it had to lead to a terrible end.

But it was worth it.

What woman could ask for more

than to die together with her lover?

Buried under an avalanche,

locked in each other's arms forever.

Nonsense. They'll thaw out this summer,

and that will be it.

Papa, how can you be so cruel?

Don't you have any sympathy?

I do. My sympathy is with the duke.

And the horses and the hounds.

How about the case of the Benedictine

monk who quit his order...

...for the love of a young widow?

She only married him because she wanted

the secret formula for the liqueur.

- Papa, you're a cynic.

- I guess I am.

- You enjoy your work.

- I guess I do.

- You'd enjoy it even if you weren't

paid. - I wouldn't go that far.

You enjoyed exposing Madame La Roche.

Madame La Roche?

You've read that, too?

And those passionate letters

she wrote that bullfighter...

...after he was gored

by her husband.

I'm going to put double locks

on everything around here.


Ariane, you are not to come into

this office without my permission...

...and you are not to dust in here!

And you are not to answer the door.

This is my client.

Go back to your room and practice.

Bonjour, Monsieur.

Bonjour, Monsieur Chavasse.

I came straight from the airport.

- My wife thinks I'm still in London.

- Very clever. In here, please.

What did you find out?

It will be a few more minutes.

The evidence is not quite dry.

- How was the weather in London?

- Miserable.

It was beautiful here.

The nights have been so warm.

- How was business in London?

- Terrible.

That's a shame.

Things have been very lively in Paris.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than fifty years and sixty films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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