[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/catherine_deneuve_gallery_6_3081.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Bored? Try being a hooker.]]


->''"It is possibly the best-known erotic film of modern times, perhaps the best. That's because it understands eroticism from the inside-out--understands how it exists not in sweat and skin, but in the imagination."''
-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert'''

''Belle de Jour'' is one of the most famous films directed by [[Creator/LuisBunuel Luis Buńuel]]. It was based on Joseph Kessel's eponymous erotic novel. Released in 1967, it starred then-débutante Catherine Deneuve.

Séverine (Deneuve) looks outwardly like the perfect {{Housewife}}. Beautiful, demure, well-mannered and impeccably groomed, she is the very image of bourgeois propriety. In fact she is a masochist who likes to fantasize about being humiliated and treated like a sex object. On the recommendation of a friend, she acts out on these fantasies by becoming a part-time prostitute in an upscale brothel. Since she only turns tricks during her husband's business hours, she is given the moniker Belle de Jour, "beauty of the day".

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AllJustADream: It's unclear what really happens and what just takes place in Séverine's overactive fantasy life.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Séverine is turned on by sex with her clients but has no interests in her affectionate husband.
* AllWomenAreLustful: Séverine at least clearly wants some rough sex.
* ATasteOfTheLash: Severine fantasizes about being tied up and flogged on the back by two low class sorts in livery.
* BandOfBrothels: Séverine's "colleagues".
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Séverine and her fellow prostitutes.
* BookEnds: Starts with a carriage, ends with a carriage.
* CovertPervert: Séverine, the well-dressed, respectable housewife, who longs to be abused and humiliated, and goes to work as a prostitute.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Bunuel deliberately used Deneuve's appearance as a blond ice queen to emphasize the contrast between her straight-laced persona and her real inner self.
* EroticFilm: Based on the erotic novel by Joseph Kessel.
* {{Fetish}}: Séverine's is to be tied up and sexually abused by strangers.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Pierre reflecting upon a wheelchair. At the end of the movie, he's paraplegic.
* GainaxEnding: Not even Luis Bunuel [[ShrugOfGod himself was entirely sure what it meant.]] The sound of the carriage bells, which in other scenes are associated with her sexual fantasies, implies that she is imagining the last scene.
* HighClassCallGirl: Séverine becomes a prostitute in a discriminating, boutique brothel.
* ILoveTheDead / IncestSubtext: The freakiest scene in the movie involves Séverine randomly meeting a stranger--not in her brothel, but when she's out and about--who invites her back to the mansion. The stranger has her dress up in a see-through robe, and then has her ''lie in a coffin''. The stranger then calls her his ''daughter'', before masturbating next to the coffin that contains a surprised Séverine.
* ImagineSpot: Some scenes are clearly Séverine's erotic fantasies, like the two scenes where her husband ties her up and sexually humiliates her, and the scene where she and Henri crawl under a table together while Pierre and Henri's wife idly chat. How much of the rest of the film is reality, and how much is Séverine's fantasies, is unclear.
* IndulgentFantasySegue: At least two scenes, the two scenes where Pierre is humiliating Séverine, are revealed to be her fantasies.
* TheMafia: Marcel and another client are part of it.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Marcel attempts this on Séverine's husband. Doesn't work, and he gets killed in the process.
* NaughtyByNight: Inverted. Séverine is naughty by ''day'' (hence the title), because that's when her husband is at work.
* NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Séverine's first job.
* RiddleForTheAges: One customer shows up with a small lacquered box, the contents of which cause a prostitute to recoil in shock. We'll never know what's in it.
* SexlessMarriage: Pierre is handsome, and clearly in love with Séverine, and wants to be intimate with her. She isn't interested.
* SingleIssuePsychology: One brief scene implies that Séverine was sexually abused as a child, but this is never followed up.
* StalkerWithACrush: Marcel becomes this after paying for sex with Séverine.
* ToplessnessFromTheBack: Catherine Deneuve, bringing the sexy.

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