Through fashionable Paris in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn
The Gardens and Stamp Market
These gardens appear in "Charade" and "How to Steal a Million."
If you are doing this walk on a Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday morning, you will see the stamp market. In the movie "Charade," made in 1963, a crucial scene takes place here. In those days, the stamp market was bustling and crowded, with dozens of sellers and buyers. Today it is much quieter, with fewer exhibitors. If stamps do not interest you, some vendors offer antique postcards, which are often cheaper than modern postcards and much more memorable. Some vendors also sell old coins and a few sell old telephone cards.
On your left just past the entrance, look for the children's puppet theatre, le Guignol. This, too, appears in "Charade." The theatre still operates, offering shows in the afternoon on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Le Guignol shows are like Punch-and-Judy productions, usually with a husband and wife who argue constantly, and various other characters, including a policeman. In the movie, Audrey and Cary Grant watch the show from at the back of the audience of children, standing in front of the tall hedge that screens the Guignol from the rest of the gardens.
The gardens are also where Peter O'Toole buys the toy boomerang that he uses in the big heist in "How to Steal a Million." That scene takes place near the big fountain on which four stone children represent the four seasons.
All these scenes involve children in some way -- the little boy in the stamp market, the children watching the puppets, and those clustering around the toy seller. Children have always played here, and old postcards show them in stiff 19th century outfits with nannies and nursemaids, playing in the gardens.
Now walk towards the large eight-sided building beyond the fountain.