Ah the South of France! The light, the warmth, the glamour! If you are missing the Cote D’Azur or just need some inspiration before you go, then try these Movies set in the South of France:
Priceless (2006) (Hors de Prix)
If you need some South of France glamour then you must watch Priceless. Starring Audrey Tatou, it tells the tale of a con artist who charms her way into a luxurious lifestyle of luxury hotels and a beautiful wardrobe of clothes.
Set across the South of France from Monaco to Biarritz this is a wonderfully witty film (ignore the bad reviews) that brings glamour and humour onto your screens.
To Catch a Thief
Possibly the most famous movie set in the South of France. Cary Grant leads as the reformed cat burglar that needs to catch a new thief in order to convince people he has retired whilst falling in love with Grace Kelly.
The 1952 Hitchcock Classic was set along the Cote D’Azur with plenty of action in vieux Nice, shots of the Negresco and across to Cannes. Grant’s ‘pad’ is a beautiful farmhouse set high up in the Provence hillsides.
See this map for all of the ‘To Catch a Thief’ South of France locations.
Never Say Never Again
The Sean Connery remake of Thunderball criss-crosses the globe from London to the Bahamas, with a key action sequence set in the narrow streets of Villefranche Sur Mer, just outside Nice. Largo’s yacht is also filmed in the bay off Villefranche so you’ll see a good slice of the South of France.
The baddie’s fortress, ‘Palmeyra’ is actually the old fort in Antibes, in the South of France standing at the North end of the harbour..
(for other bond movies in the South of France watch also Goldeneye & Diamonds are Forever)
Under the Cherry Moon
Shot entirely in the Black & White, Prince’s follow up the smash hit Purple Rain was overlooked by many. This wonderfully funny movie set entirely in the South of France with two playboys Christopher Tracey and Tricky (Prince & The Time’s Jerome Benton) seducing beautiful elderly ladies to fund their lifestyle.
Many of the locations aren’t officially stated but you can see the Villa Rothschild, Nice Ville, The Carlton in Cannes, The Hippodrome in Nice and wonderful aerial shots of the Cote D’Azur coast.
The soundtrack is pretty cool, too. You might have heard of Parade?
A cool action movie from director John Frankenheimer (French Connection II) set mainly in Paris with action spreading down to the South of France. Expect to see shots of Nice, the Cannes coastline, and interiors from the Majestic Barriere on the Croisette.
One of the greatest car chases in cinematic history is shot in the narrow streets of Villefranche Sur Mer, the same location for Never Say Never Again a decade before.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Yet another film about con men (or women!) The fictitious town of ‘Beaumont-sur-Mer’ is actually Beaulieu-sur-Mer, East of Nice.
And God Created Woman
Famous for launching Brigitte Bardot, this South of France movie was set in and around St Tropez with most of the action taking place on the beautiful waterfront.
The now legendary movie is worth a watch to see St. Tropez as it was back in the day, although much still remains of its charm if you visit today.
Meg Ryan flies to france to confront her wandering Fiancé only to meet Kevin Kline’s french crook. After time in Paris, the two head to Cannes, checking in at the Carlton
Grace of Monaco
This movie was panned by critics but I love it! Nicole Kidman stars as the movie star turned Princess and her life in Monaco as she struggles with marriage and her own identity.
Beautifully shot, this movie uses Monaco as its base with wider stories playing in beautiful Italian villages
Magic in the Moonlight
This is the only one I haven’t yet seen but it stars Colin Firth so it can’t be all bad, can it? This Woody Allen movie follows the tale of an Englishman brought into uncover a possible swindle – with hilarious consequences.
This movie will take you to some beautiful South of France locations including L’Opèra in Nice, Villa Eilenroc Antibes and Villa La Renardière, Mouans-Sartoux.
From the movie stills this looks beautifully shot and one that will be lighting up our television very soon.
For your Consideration
Rust & Bone (De rouille et d’os)
I have yet to see this and I believe it is not an easy watch. But it is set in the South of France – including Antibes and Nice.
Le Grand Bleu doesn’t really count as most of it is filmed in Greece and Sicily. It gets mention here not only because it is one of my favourite movies but also because the Dolphin sanctuary, a key part of the story, is Marinelend in Biot, between Cannes and Nice.
Manon Des Sources, Jean de Florette – these fabulous movies (and stories) are set in the South of France but more in the mountains and towards Provence. Beautiful for the light and charming story but you won’t get much of the Cote D’Azur!
Transporter 1 & 2
A far cry from the class of ‘To Catch a Thief’ – Transporter 1 & 2 sees Jason Statham punch and kick his way across the South of France. Notable locations include Cassis, near Marseilles which acted as a key plot location in Transporter 2. (More info)
This TV series focuses on the Mayor of Marseilles (Gérard Depardieu) as he battles his protégé for control of the city.
Expect great drama, skullduggery, South of France sunshine and a fair dose of French naughtiness.
Riviera (Sky TV)
Riviera is the latest blockbuster TV series from Sky TV. Set exclusively in the South of France this cinematic TV series focuses on the exploits of a wealthy family and its questionable associations with the underworld.
In real life, the family home is Chateau Diter , named after the french businessman that had it built a decade ago. Set up in the hills of Grasse, behind Canned you can rent the place if you have a spare million or two!
The series itself combines opulent glamour with gripping thriller taking you around Nice, Cannes and up to Monte Carlo. We loved the series and highly recommend watching.
I’m Still Standing – Elton John
Elton’s Love Letter to the South of France. This music video shot on and around the Cannes Croisette also includes plenty of time outside the Carlton and a fleeting glimpse of the Negresco.
Thanks for Reading 🙂