Famous Film Locations in ParisJuly 1, 2014 9:00 am
Paris is the backdrop to many an iconic moment; from personal postcards, family photos even to Hollywood blockbusters. To celebrate the Paris we’ve seen on our screens, we’re exploring some of the most recognised locations around the city. Discover where stolen kisses were captured, great fights have erupted, even daily routines carried out– we will share with you the Paris caught on film to bring the city even more to life.
Take a look at some of our favourite films and the heart rendering, nail biting moments that make us fondly think of Paris…
Amélie is the most ‘Parisian’ of French films. Set in the Montmartre district, its protagonist Audrey Tautou leads a comical life in contemporary Paris. Waitressing at the Café des 2 Moulins, her life takes an unexpected turn which leads her to aid the happiness of others and help them fulfill their dreams, while Amélie herself remains shy and reclusive. The story tours Paris and together the spectator is taken through the streets of Paris like a local and you’ll really get a true sense of the city through this film. Why not go for a coffee at the café she worked at, Café des 2 Moulins, or take a stroll down Rues des Trois Frères and look out for number 56, the apartment where Amélie lived. The grocer below you’ll recognise as her ‘local’ shop, Maison Collignon, too.
Midnight in Paris
One of the more recent films set in Paris, Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen and praised as one of Allen’s best, follows the life of a screenwriter and his fiancée – and their diverging lives. As Gill (Owen Wilson), the protagonist, travels back in time at midnight, you can explore both the past and present Paris through the 1920s and the 1890s. Some of the iconic moments from the film that you’ll recognise around Paris are the Rodin Museum, the Moulin Rouge, the Church of St Etienne du Mont, rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève (where Gill gets shuttled back into the future via the Peugot!) and the quaint alley of Left Bank shops down Rue Galande.
James Bond: A View to Kill
This classic Bond film (1985) is the fourteenth in the series, starring Roger Moore, Grace Jones and Christopher Walken. Set in and around London, mainly, it also ventures out to Paris, where Bond luxuriously dines with private detective Aubergine in the exclusive top floor restaurant of the Eiffel Tower. Another one of the most iconic moments in the film is when Bond leaps onto a boat off the Pont Alexandre III, to escape a dramatic car chase. Also, the villain Zorin’s estate lies just outside Paris at the Chateau Chantilly, where Bond goes to challenge his nemesis. You might also recognise this chateau from Formans’ Dangerous Liaisons, too.
This American rom-com is a feel-good film featuring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline as Kate (Ryan) a Canadian in the midst of a failed engagement, and Luc (Kline) a petty thief she encounters on her way out to Paris. In a tangle of emotions, deception and false hope, the two become companions and later on, romantic partners – over a series of ups and downs! The film was set completely in France, with the majority of the scenes in Paris so you’ll be able to look out for the recognisable Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, the Louvre Museum and the Champs Élysées – among many others!
Although not exclusively filmed in Paris, but elsewhere around Europe too, the amnesiac Bourne – who has awoken with no memory of his past life as he was drowned in the Mediterranean Sea – takes on the name of Jason Bourne and is embroiled in a complicated drama where his life is at stake. Film buffs may want to visit the apartment where Bourne makes ‘home’ at “104 rue du Jardin” – although the apartment is actually located on 104 Avenue Kléber, at rue de Longchamp, just north of Trocadéro. Pay a visit to the Treadstone safehouse at 2 Place du Marche Sainte-Catherine, above La Marché, in the relaxing square in the Marais district to witness the doorway into their HQ.
A dream-team of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, The Tourist received mixed reviews by the critics although was nominated for three Golden Globes. A mix of both action and comedy, this film sees Elise (Jolie) being followed by the French Police and Scotland Yard in a hunt for her ex-lover. Much of the initial film is set in Paris before relocating to Venice, but you can follow the paths Elise took down Place Boieldieu, Opéra Comique and Galerie Vivienne, and if you want even board a train at the Gare de Lyon. Look out for her apartment in Place des Victoires, too, for a true sense of the film’s varied locations.
Julie and Julia
This culinary comedy-drama is another feel-good film for the family. Following the lives of Julia Child, an esteemed chef, and Julia Powell, an aspiring author with a cookery blog, Powerll aims to cook all of the recipes of Child’s book in just one year. The tale contrasts and intertwines the two women’s lives in New York and in Paris, where Child attended the Le Cordon Bleu cookery school to start writing her book aimed at American housewives. Follow Streep’s life in Paris as she shops for groceries at Rue Mouffetard, a picture-perfect street market; E. Dehillerin for classic culinary equipment in a building that (really!) dates back to 1820 on 18–20 rue Coquillière and Le Grand Véfour, Victor Hugo’s original restaurant.
Explore Paris like you’ve never done before – or never even thought of. If you are looking for a unique Paris tour and places to go off the beaten track to take some time out of sightseeing, follow our guide to the famous film scenes and recreate your very own holiday Hollywood movie!