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Films Featuring the French Riviera

Whether you’re a James Bond fanatic or a love the Golden Oldies, you’re very likely to have seen a scene from a film featuring the delights of the French Riviera. If you’re looking to buy property in Nice and fancy seeing some of where you’ll be living without having to purchase a plane ticket, simply load up Netflix and watch one of these:

To Catch a Thief

This Hitchcock masterpiece features Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in a thriller where a reformed cat burglar is suspected of stealing a large amount of jewellery. In order to prove his innocence he must chase down the copy cat, involving plenty of fast paced action and romance. There is footage of Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Eze, as a thief would of course be far more likely to attempt a heist at some of the most notoriously expensive locations in the world!



This action film stars Robert de Niro and a cracking car chase scene, as a freelance former agent for the US Intelligence services tries to track down a mysterious package. There is footage of the old port in Nice, the village of La Turbie, and Cannes. A Ronin (Japanese) is the word for a Samurai without a master, and in this film the Ronin are the freelancing super agents.


Two of the James Bond franchise films are set on the French Riviera; GoldenEye and Diamonds Are Forever, featuring Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery respectively. GoldenEye has a brilliant driving scene in which Bond races his Aston along the mountain roads north of Grasse against a young woman in a red Ferrari. He arrives at the Casino de Monte Carlo and much of the film is spent in and around Monaco.


Diamonds Are Forever sees Bond head to Las Vegas following a diamond smuggling investigation. Although the majority of the film is set in America, there are a couple of scenes involving footage from Juan-les-Pins and Antibes. Don’t argue that there isn’t enough footage of the French Riviera; just take this excuse to have a Bond fest!


Ocean’s Twelve

Ocean’s Twelve is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Ocean’s Eleven, starring George Clooney (swoon), Brad Pitt and Matt Damon as they try and pull off another incredible heist. Much of the film is shot in America but there is footage of Monaco and Cap Martin that make this film worth a look for location, not just yummy men in suits.



Swordfish is yet another crime thriller with John Travolta, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, telling the story of a secret renegade counter-terrorist who gets the world’s greatest hacker to steal billions from the US government. The film has scenes shot in Nice and in Monte Carlo. It’s also full of cool dialogue and action.


The Transporter

The Transporter, starring Jason Statham, is of course an action film, and follows the story of an ex-Special Forces operator who lives on the French Riviera, as a mercenary transporter who moves ‘goods’ (sometimes humans) to wherever they need to go without asking any questions. Inevitably, one day he breaks his rules and looks inside the bag… It may be a typical Statham action fest but with scenes from Nice, Cannes and St Tropez, you can’t really miss this one. Plus you all want to know what’s in the bag now.


Bedtime Story

This comedy is set on the French Riviera, in Beaumont-sur-Mer, starring David Niven and Marlon Brando. You may have seen Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which was the remake of this classic, telling the tale of two gigolos who compete to be the best in their chosen profession, with the victor winning a small Riviera resort as King of the Mountain. Incidentally, Niven clearly loved this area so much that he purchased a villa on Cap Ferrat! 



The Last Time I Saw Paris

Rounding off with a Golden Oldie from the 50s, this romance sees Charles (Van Johnson), an army Lieutenant return to Paris after its liberation where he marries Helen (Elizabeth Taylor), his love affair from during the war. They are happy together until he begins writing his novel: suffering rejections from numerous publishing companies he begins to drink heavily causing his relationship with Helen to fall apart. This is a real romance film and features scenes in Cannes and Monaco, despite being set in Paris.