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The Cellist, the Playboy, and the Private Investigator

A cello movie about the love affair that will be felt around the world.

Looking for something cello-related to escape from current events for a couple of hours? Love in the Afternoon is a witty, romantic, and light-hearted movie about a Parisian cello student that’s available for free on YouTube.*

Maurice Chevalier and Audrey Hepburn with her cello in Love in the Afternoon. Copyright by production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

Maurice Chevalier and Audrey Hepburn with her cello in Love in the Afternoon. Copyright by the production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

Love in the Afternoon

Today’s cello movie is a 1957 American black-and-white film set in Paris: Love in the Afternoon. Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond wrote the screenplay, based on a 1920 novel, Ariane, jeune fille russe by Claude Anet. The movie trailer claims that this is the story of “The love affair that will be felt around the world.”

The main characters are:

  1. Audrey Hepburn as Ariane Chavasse, a French cello student at the conservatoire
  2. Gary Cooper as Frank Flanagan, a rich American playboy, and
  3. Maurice Chevalier as Claude Chavasse, a private investigator – and Ariane’s father.

Cellist Ariane to the Rescue

Ariane becomes worried about a man her father is investigating in a case of infidelity when an irate husband declares he will kill the man. Ariane goes to warn the man, the notorious American playboy, Frank Flanagan.

We won’t give away the rest of the plot, but we will say that while the cello is not essential to the story, it – and its case – is featured frequently in the film.

Danger! Danger! Don’t do that to your poor cello!

We enjoyed this light-hearted film but occasionally cringed at how Ariane treats her poor cello, particularly in how and where she places it in various resting positions, and how she transports it. The cello appears to be a decent one – more than a prop, especially in comparison with the cello used in the movie The Living Daylights.

Audrey Hepburn leans the cello on furniture in precarious ways. Do not try this at home! From Love in the Afternoon.

Audrey Hepburn leans the cello on furniture in precarious ways. Do not try this at home! From Love in the Afternoon. Copyright by the production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

Our favorite scene where we felt the cello was at risk was the car journey from the conservatoire to the Ritz. The cello traveled in the front seat of Ariane’s friend’s car, leaning on its bridge, with its head and neck protruding from the sunroof!

Cello protruding from the sunroof of a car - Love in the Afternoon

Cello, leaning on its bridge, protruding from the sunroof of a car. From Love in the Afternoon. Copyright by the production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

We all have friends who don’t understand how to carry cellos. Ariane’s friend Michel is one – but she lets him carry it anyway. Poor cello!

Some Friends Should Not Be Allowed to Carry Your Cello! Ariane and Michel run down the conservatoire hallway while Michel carries and shakes her cello the whole way. From Love in the Afternoon.

Some friends should not be allowed to carry your cello! As Ariane and her friend Michel run down the conservatoire hallway, Michel shakes her cello the whole way. From Love in the Afternoon. Copyright by production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

Where to Find the Film

The film was easy to find online in the USA. We found it on Netflix DVD, to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video, to purchase on Amazon as a DVD or Blu-ray, and for free on YouTube.*

Here is the full movie on YouTube:

 


We hope you enjoy this light-hearted, two-hour reprieve from the real world.

Your Turn

What are your favorite cello movies? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.



* Unfortunately, we cannot test viewing options from other regions, and YouTube videos come and go. Be sure to check DVD viewing formats in your area before purchasing.
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