I watched a lot of old movies while I was working on The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The book takes place in 1931, just about the time that sound film was first introduced to the cinema. One of my favorite movies from this time period is a French film called Under the Roofs of Paris. Click here to learn about this movie.
At one point in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo tells Isabelle that he had once seen a movie called Safety Last. It’s a very funny movie made in 1928 starring an actor named Harold Lloyd. If you’d like to learn more about this movie, click here.
I also watched a movie that was made a few decades later about a twelve year old boy who runs away from home and lives on his own for a few nights in Paris. The boy reminded me of Hugo. If you are an adult or an older kid, I strongly recommend you see this incredible movie. It’s called The 400 Blows, by the director Francois Truffaut (you might also like his movies Small Change and The Wild Child). Remember, these movies are in French, so you’ll have to read the subtitles if you don’t speak French, but don’t worry because it’s easy to read subtitles.
Another movie that was very important to The Invention of Hugo Cabret was Zero for Conduct by Jean Vigo. It’s about rebellion at a boy’s boarding school in France in the 1930’s. It’s like a dream about childhood and was also a favorite of Francois Truffaut’s. If you’d like to learn more about this movie, click here.
And of course I watched a lot of movies by Georges Méliès when I was researching The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Click here to watch his most famous movie, A Trip to the Moon.
By the way, if you ever have any questions about any movie in the world, here is a website that can probably answer your questions. Just click here.