Classic Movies Set in France

On the Set of to Catch a Thief

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Travel to France, virtually, with these 10 movies set in locations from Paris to the French Riviera. They span years, and include real classic hits. 

01 of 06

Bonjour Tristesse

Jean Seberg in 'Bonjour Tristesse'
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The young French filmmaker, Jean-Luc Godard, was inspired by this film from a novel written by a very young of Françoise Sagan (she was 18 years old), and cast Jean Seberg, the main character as the American girl in Paris in his debut film, "A bout de soufé" (Out of Breath, 1960). Directed by Otto Preminger and released in 1954, it’s the story of the spoilt teenager Cecile (Jean Seberg), whose decadent life is threatened when her father (David Niven) introduced his new lover-(Deborah Kerr), a straitlaced, disapproving woman-into the household. It’s beautifully filmed and shows the Côte d’Azur along the Mediterranean, and Saint Tropez, perfectly.

02 of 06

Love in the Afternoon

Paris Gare de Lyon
Barthelemy Ruggeri/Paris Tourist Office

This romantic comedy, produced and directed by Billy Wilder in 1957 is much on the mind of UK TV watchers; there’s an ad for Galaxy chocolate in which a young Audrey Hepburn look-alike spots a handsome young man driving a car.

The original stars Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper as well as Maurice Chevalier. The plot is slightly different from the ad, concerning a middle-aged playboy (Gary Cooper), a private detective (Maurice Chevalier) and his daughter (Audrey Hepburn).

It was filmed in Paris at the Opera National Palais Garnier; the Ritz Hotel; Rue Malebranche; Gare de Lyon, and Chateau de Bitry, Yvelines and Studios de Boulogne-Billancourt, Hautes-de-Seine.

03 of 06

The Longest Day

Les Braves Monument at Omaha Beach Normandy France
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A film depicting the events of the D-Day Landings in Normandy of World War II from both the American and German viewpoints, from the book by Cornelius Ryan.

With a cast that includes Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Red Buttons, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Kenneth Moore, lots more top actors, and depicting such an event, this film has to be included.

04 of 06

French Kiss

Montmartre's Garden and Sacré-Coeur
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"French Kiss" is a 1995 American romantic comedy film directed by Lawrence Kasdan and starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. Written by Adam Brooks, the film is about a woman who flies to France to confront her straying fiancé and gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her to smuggle a stolen diamond necklace. It’s a delight to watch as Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline travel through the beautiful French countryside from Paris to Cannes.

"French Kiss" was filmed on location in Paris (George V Quatre Saisons; Louvre; American Embassy at 2 Ave Gabriel; Champs Élysées; Sacré Coeur, Montmartre; Grand Pharmacie de la Place Blanche; Palais de Chaillot; Places des Abbesses; Canadian Embassy, 35 Ave Montaigne; Rue Feutrier and rue Paul Albert; Rue des Rosiers; Eiffel Tower.) Also, at Paris Studios Cinema, Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine; La  Tour d’Aigues, Vaucluse; Meyrargues, Bouches-du-Rhone; Valbonne, Alpes-Maritimes and in Cannes.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

To Catch a Thief

To Catch A Thief
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Alfred Hitchcock really went to town with this seductive film, released in 1955, which starred Cary Grant as John Robie, a cat burglar who has retired from his profession but who fell for Francie (Grace Kelly), a socialite on the Riviera. Remember, look at the two driving along the Grand Corniche——between Nice and Monte Carlo-that it was here that Grace Kelly died in 1982 after crashing her car.

It was filmed on the French Riviera, in Monaco, the Hotel Carlton in Cannes, Tourrettes-sur-Loup, and Villefranche-sur-Mer.

06 of 06

An American Werewolf In Paris

Jim Morrison Grave
Jeff Keen/Creative Commons/CC BY 3.0

This sequel to the classic Werewolf in London sees a group of American tourists on a cultural trip around Paris. Andy (Tom Everett Scott) jumps after a mysterious beauty, Serafine (Julie Delpy) who is, in fact, a werewolf from the Eiffel Tower (which was used for the filming in a pretty dramatic way).

It’s shot all over Paris, but the tomb of Jim Morrison in Père Lachaise Cemetery is not the real one. Never mind, go and see it; it’s pretty iconic.

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