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Movies you didn’t know were filmed in the French Riviera !

a vase with flowers in front of a store window

The French Riviera is more than just a vacation spot with its seas, beautiful beaches and towns. It’s also a celebrated film location, famous worldwide. From car chases along cliffside roads to romantic scenes on sun-drenched beaches, the French Riviera offers filmmakers a backdrop that’s hard to match. This region has become a character in its own, gracing the silver screen in iconic films and hosting the famous Cannes Film Festival. It’s a place where the magic of cinema meets the beauty of the Mediterranean landscape, making it the ultimate destination for film enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Nice, Monaco, Saint-Tropez through films.

The French Riviera’s reputation as a prime location for film shoots is not without reason. Over the years, several films have showcased the beauty and versatility of this region, cementing its status as a cinematic paradise. These films not only highlight the scenic beauty of the French Riviera but also contribute to its mystique and allure. From classic romances to modern comedies, the range of genres reflects the versatility of the Côte d’Azur as a film location. Each movie listed here has played a part in showcasing the region’s unique charm, bringing to life the stories set against its breathtaking landscapes and luxurious locales.

 “AND GOD CREATED… WOMAN” (Roger Vadim, 1956)

And God Created… Woman” directed by Roger Vadim, marked a pivotal moment in film history, catapulting Brigitte Bardot to international stardom and forever linking her image with the sun-soaked shores of Saint-Tropez. This film is often credited with turning Saint-Tropez into the epitome of French Riviera glamour. 


“BAY OF ANGELS” (Jacques Demy, 1963)

“Bay of Angels” directed by Jacques Demy and starring Jeanne Moreau, is a riveting exploration of love and luck set against the glittering backdrop of the Côte d’Azur’s casinos. The film takes audiences on a journey through Nice, Monaco, Cannes, and other locales, capturing the seductive allure of the region’s luxury and decadence.


“GOLDENEYE” (Martin Campbell, 1995)

“GoldenEye,” directed by Martin Campbell in 1995, with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. This action movie has everything you’d expect from a Bond film, including a memorable scene set in the glamorous Casino of Monte Carlo. Brosnan, stepping into the shoes of the world’s most famous spy for the first time, takes on a mission that’s full of suspense and high-speed chases. The casino scene stands out as a classic Bond moment, showing off the world of Monte Carlo.

“DAY FOR NIGHT” (François Truffaut, 1973)

Day for Night” directed by François Truffaut, is a film about making films, offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the joys and challenges of cinema production. Shot in the Studios de la Victorine in Nice, this movie is a love letter to the art of filmmaking, blending reality and fiction in a way that only Truffaut could. 


THE BIG BLUE” (Luc Besson, 1988)

The Big Blue” with Jean Reno, directed by Luc Besson, is a visually  film that explores the depths of both the ocean and human connections. This iconic film stands out for its underwater cinematography, much of which takes place against the backdrop of the Côte d’Azur, including scenes at the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.

OCEAN’S 12″ (Steven Soderbergh, 2004)

Ocean’s 12” directed by Steven Soderbergh. is a film that brings together a dream cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Vincent Cassel and Julia Roberts.
Released in 2004, the movie captured the essence of Monaco, especially the Casino, over several days of shooting, boosting Monaco’s image internationally.

“NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN” (Irvin Kershner, 1983 )

Directed by Irvin Kershner in 1983, “Never Say Never Againstars Sean Connery in an intriguing adventure where he is on the chase of a terrorist organization. Bond’s quest plunges him into a world filled with danger, spy action, and huge risks, in a race against the clock to stop a huge disaster.



Brice de Nice,” directed by James Huth, is a French comedy that brought to life the character of Brice, a self-proclaimed surfing champion with a heart of gold and a head full of dreams, portrayed with impeccable comedic timing by the famous Jean Dujardin. Brice’s signature bright yellow t-shirt, his endless quest for the perfect wave in the wave-less waters of Nice, and his unique brand of humor, have left an indelible mark on French comedy.


The Gendarme of Saint-Tropez” is a French comedy classic that shines a humorous light on the town of Saint-Tropez through the eyes of a gendarme, played by the incomparable Louis de Funès, a very famous french actor. This film captures the essence of the 1960s French Riviera, blending beautiful landscapes with the comedic mishaps of its protagonist as he tries to maintain order in this jet-set destination.The gendarmerie building itself has become a tourist attraction, drawing fans eager to connect with the film’s iconic setting.


French Riviera through the best films

The Ultimate Film Location

Beyond the iconic films highlighted earlier, the region’s stunning landscapes, luxurious resorts, and lovely cities have attracted filmmakers seeking the perfect setting to bring their cinematic visions to life. The French Riviera’s natural beauty and atmospheric towns have lent themselves to a variety of genres, from thrillers and dramas to comedies and romance, each capturing the beauty of this locale in unique ways.

Among the numerous cult films shot on the Côte d’Azur, several stand out for their memorable use of the region’s scenery, further cementing the Riviera’s status in cinematic history. For instance, “Grace of Monaco” (2014) delves into the life of Grace Kell, who herself starred in “To Catch a Thief,” one of the Riviera’s most celebrated cinematic showcases. 

Another notable mention is “La Piscine” (1969), a seductive thriller revolving around a love triangle that unfolds in a luxurious Riviera villa, highlighting the region’s sinister charm. 

The comedic genius of “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” (2007) showcases Mr. Bean’s misadventures across France, culminating in a memorable sequence at the Cannes Film Festival

These films, with others, illustrate the French Riviera as a film location. Whether serving as a glamorous haven or a playground for comedy, the French Riviera continues to inspire filmmakers and audiences, proving that its cinematic allure is as timeless as the stories it helps to tell.


The Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival stands as a beacon of global cinema, drawing the world’s attention to the French Riviera each year. Renowned for its red carpets, prestigious screenings, and the coveted Palme d’Or award, the festival transforms Cannes into the epicenter of the film industry for two weeks every May. But its significance extends far beyond the glamour and prestige. 

The Cannes Film Festival is pivotal in highlighting the French Riviera’s rich cinematic heritage and its enduring allure as a film location. It serves as a platform where filmmakers, from emerging talents to established directors, can showcase their work to an international audience, offering opportunities for collaboration, distribution, and recognition. The festival’s backdrop of the Côte d’Azur’s breathtaking scenery further underscores the region’s magnetic pull on the cinematic world.

Moreover, Cannes has become synonymous with cinematic excellence, with the festival often setting trends and shaping the industry for the year ahead. It not only celebrates films shot in the region but also those from around the globe, fostering a cultural exchange and reinforcing the universal language of cinema. The festival’s impact on the local economy and the global film industry is immense, proving that the Cannes Film Festival is more than just an event; it’s a vital institution that sustains and enriches the cinematic world.

By hosting the festival, the French Riviera reaffirms its status as a cradle of cinema, where the past, present, and future of filmmaking converge against a backdrop of unparalleled natural beauty. 


“Musée de la Gendarmerie & du Cinéma Saint-Tropez”

Nestled in the heart of Saint-Tropez, “Musée de la Gendarmerie & du Cinéma Saint-Tropez” offers a unique insight into the intertwined history of cinema and this iconic town on the French Riviera. Dedicated to celebrating the region’s rich cinematic heritage and the legendary “Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez” series, the museum stands as a cultural landmark, attracting film enthusiasts and tourists alike to explore its exhibits.

Housed in the actual building that served as the setting for the famous gendarmerie in the beloved film series starring Louis de Funès, the museum goes beyond its comedic roots to showcase a broader narrative. It delves into the history of Saint-Tropez as a muse for filmmakers, highlighting how its scenic beauty, vibrant culture, and unique light have captivated directors and actors from around the world. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in a wealth of memorabilia, including original costumes, props, photographs, and behind-the-scenes footage, offering a tangible connection to the movies that have been filmed in the area. The museum not only pays homage to the classic comedy series but also features exhibits on other films that have utilized Saint-Tropez and its surroundings as a backdrop, illustrating the diversity of stories that the region has helped to tell.

The Gendarmerie & Cinema Museum in Saint-Tropez serves an essential role in preserving and celebrating the cinematic legacy of the Côte d’Azur. It underscores the profound impact that film has had on the perception and fame of Saint-Tropez, transforming it from a quaint fishing village into a global symbol of glamour, luxury, and artistic inspiration. By visiting the museum, one gains a deeper appreciation for the enduring relationship between this picturesque locale and the world of cinema.


Fashion Stars of the French Riviera

The French Riviera, known for its beautiful blue waters, sunny weather, and fancy lifestyle, has always been where movies and fashion come together. This place has made a big impact on what’s trendy, thanks to its famous film settings and the fashion sense of movie stars and style leaders.

Long ago, during Hollywood’s golden years, stars like Grace Kelly and Brigitte Bardot shot movies here and became fashion icons. Their chic and classy style on the streets of Cannes, Nice, and Saint-Tropez caught everyone’s eye and started new fashion trends.

The Cannes Film Festival is especially important for fashion. It’s where celebrities show off amazing outfits on the red carpet, blending movie glam with high fashion. This event shows how movies and fashion help each other out, with designers showing off their work to the whole world, often inspired by the Riviera’s classic beauty.

The French Riviera also makes a great backdrop for fashion photoshoots, helping it become known as a top spot for fashion. Its beautiful scenery, fancy lifestyle, and special light make it perfect for capturing the look of high-end fashion, mixing the art of storytelling with style.

Beyond just the celebrity and movie world, the French Riviera influences everyday fashion too, like beach clothes and the cool, relaxed look perfect for the seaside. Designers keep getting inspired by the area’s colors, textures, and laid-back yet fancy vibe, making clothes that remind you of this lovely place.

Basically, the French Riviera is a place where movies and fashion come together. It’s like where the cool scenes from films meet the creativity of fashion. This mix not only makes the area’s culture richer but also keeps influencing fashion all over the world. It shows that the French Riviera is as famous for fashion as it is for movies.