Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut

Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut
Genre historical drama, soap opera
Created by Claude-Henri Grignon
Written by Claude-Henri Grignon
Country of origin Canada
No. of episodes 495
Original network Radio-Canada
Original release 1956 – 1970

Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut is a Canadian television drama series, which aired on Radio-Canada from 1956 to 1970.[1] One of the longest-running programs in the history of Canadian television, the series produced 495 episodes during its 14-year run[2] and was one of the first influential téléromans.[3]

Written by Claude-Henri Grignon as an adaptation of his 1933 novel Un Homme et son péché[4] and initially set in the 1880s, the series starred Jean-Pierre Masson as Séraphin Poudrier, the wealthy but miserly mayor of the village of Sainte-Adèle, Quebec, and Andrée Champagne as Donalda Laloge-Poudrier, the young daughter of a village resident who is given in marriage to Séraphin as payment for a family debt even though she remains in love with her suitor Alexis Labranche (Gabriel Gascon). With a vast ensemble cast of extended family and other villagers, the series also delved much more deeply than the novel into the dramatic interactions of the larger community, depicting the early settlement of Quebec's Laurentides region[5] and evolving from the novel's satirical portrait of Séraphin's moral values into a complex soap opera.[2][6] Among others, the show's ensemble cast included Geneviève Bujold, Jean LeClerc, Yves Corbeil, Paul Dupuis and Juliette Béliveau.

Several real historical figures, including Antoine Labelle, Honoré Mercier and Arthur Buies, are depicted in the series.

The series ended production of new episodes in 1970, although it continued to air in daytime repeats on both Radio-Canada and Télé-Québec for many years. Many episodes are currently available on Radio-Canada's video on demand website TOU.TV.


  1. "Museum examines Quebecois love affair with soaps". Montreal Gazette, February 23, 1997.
  2. 1 2 "Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en haut" at Télé-Québec.
  3. "Neither silly nor serious". Montreal Gazette, December 13, 2003.
  4. "Legend of Seraphin the miser is part of Laurentian heritage". Montreal Gazette, June 2, 1990.
  5. "Can a poor pioneer housewife find happiness in Ottawa?". The Globe and Mail, October 16, 1984.
  6. "Quebec soaps tune into life". Montreal Gazette, February 6,2003.

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