C'était un Rendezvous
(It was a date)

Click on CC to get subtitles. (French or English)

In 2006, Claude Lelouche was interviewed about his short film from 1976 “C'était un rendez vous”, a notorious nine-minute speed through the streets of Paris shot on a camera strapped to the front of his Mercedes 450SEL.

The word “rendez-vous” is French for “meeting” or “meeting place”. In English, primarily because the word is French and it sounds so much better than meeting, it also has sexual connotations.

In 1976, ten years after his Academy Award winning feature film A Man And A Woman, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch, released a much shorter film depicting a Ferrari being driven at dawn, non-stop, at very high speeds, through the streets of Paris for a rendezvous. He titled it C’etait un Rendez-vous or It Was A Date. It quickly became known, simply, as Rendezvous.

The film was immediately both a sensational hit and the source of great controversy. It was also the source of myths. Who drove the car? It was said that the Paris Police had an open arrest warrant for the driver. Which F1 driver? Johnny Servos-Gavin? Jackie Ickx? Jean-Pierre Beltoise? All denied it was he… but never with great conviction. Which Ferrari? Most viewers settled for whatever was their favorite of the period. A 250 SWB or a 275 GTB.

Thirty years later, in 2006, Lelouch retraces the route and discusses the film. Hit the little cc button under the screen for English subtitles and be prepared to be enlightened.

A thank you to Hugh Ruthven of The Finish Line for bringing this to our attention.

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