[[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 Buñuel]]. It was based on Joseph Kessel's eponymous erotic novel. Released in 1967, it starred then-débutante Creator/CatherineDeneuve.

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".

!!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.
* 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.
* ATasteOfTheLash: Severine fantasizes about being tied up and flogged on the back by two low class sorts in livery.
* ToplessnessFromTheBack: Catherine Deneuve, bringing the sexy.