I’ll be completely honest in admitting it won’t take long to visit all the Hugo film locations in Paris. The film is set in the 1930s and has a visual style that doesn’t lend itself well to present-day Paris.
Martin Scorsese mainly shot the film on soundstages at Shepperton Studios in the UK, but he also took every opportunity to be as authentic as possible.
Hugo is a love letter to the mythologized beginnings of cinema centring around the great Georges Méliès. It’s a story that calls for clean streets, period settings and a little bit of pixie dust. A gorgeous film for all the ages!
The film is about a young boy, Hugo, who loses his parents and lives in the rafters of a train station in Paris. His days are spent dodging the station guard and fixing an automaton that his dad found in a museum. He meets Isabelle, a kindred spirit, whose guardian, Georges Méliès, isn’t all he seems… In fact, he turns out to be the mastermind behind countless fantastical films including the highly revered A Trip to the Moon (1902).
All of the Hugo Film Locations in PARIS!
Gare Montparnasse Train Station, 75015
I will admit, this entry is a huge cheat as the station was torn down in the 1960s. And it also wasn’t a film location. However, the station in Hugo is modelled after Gare Montparnasse. And Georges Méliès really did run a toy shop in the station after WW1 so it’s a real shame the station no longer exists. The station is such a huge part of the film so I had to feature it as part of this list.
Bibliothèque Saint-Geneviève, 10 Place du Panthéon, 75005
The Film Academy Library, where Hugo and Isabelle research the history of film, is a real-life Parisian library. And this Hugo film location is pretty much the definition of a bloody gorgeous building.
Théâtre de l’Athénée Louis-Jouvet, 7 Rue Boudreau, 75009
During a flashback of Georges Méliès’ life pre-cinema, we discover that he once worked as Magician. He also performed with his wife, Jeanne, as his assistant. The film location is the theatre where they perform is a real theatre in Paris, named after the French actor Louis Jouvet.
Sorbonne, Place de la Sorbonne, 75005
Towards the end of the film, there is a touching tribute to the work of Méliès. He was one in a million and used the magic of cinema like no other at the time. They filmed the tribute in the lecture theatre of the world-renowned Parisian University, the Sorbonne.
And those are all of the Hugo Film Locations in Paris! Have you watched Hugo or visited any of the film locations in Paris? Let me know in the comments below!