Light, cameras, action! Cannes is more than just the home to its renowned Film Festival. It also serves as a backdrop to the movies from the world's greatest directors, who come to the city with camera in hand to immortalize its beautiful light.
InCannes, in every palm tree and in every rock along the turquoise bay surrounded by Art Deco buildings, you can find traces of unforgettable scenes from legendary films. Henri Verneuil's classic Melodie en sous-sol (1963), featuring Alain Delon and Jean Gabin, echoes in the game rooms of Palm Beach.
Not far away sits l'Ecrin Beach, where, in 2013, director Joel Hopkins told the anthology of a game of beach volleyball between Louise Bourgoin and Laurent Lafitte in Duo d'escrocs. And on Goeland Beach, Jacques Audiard filmed the most touching scene of De Rouille et d'os (2012), when Stéphanie (played by Marion Cotillard), takes her first swim since her accident.
The red carpet and the steps of Palais des Festivals are haunted by Alain Chabat’s witty comebacks in La Cité de la peur (1993) by Alain Berberian, or Michel Piccoli and Marcello Mastroianni's characters in in Cent et une nuits de Simon Cinema by Agnes Varda (1995). Meanwhile, the Majestic Barrière shines like a diamond in La Femme fatale from Brian Palma (2002) with Rebacca Romijn and Antonio Banderas, and in Ronin from Johhn Frankenheimer (1998) with Robert De Niro.
James Bond, Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant...
A few blocks away, an imposing gingerbread-color fortress dominates the tiny island of Sainte-Marguerite. It was there that the most terrifying scenes from Masque de Fer (Allan Dwan) were filmed in 1929 with Douglas Fairbanks and Marguerite De La Motte. The outskirts of the city, too, have had their fair share of the spotlight - buzzing with high-octane car chases in Golden Eye, the seventeenth installment in the James Bond saga (1994).
But without a doubt, the most legendary film site in Cannes is the Hotel Carlton. The building's interior served as the setting for Grosse Fatigue by Michel Blanc with Carole Bouquet (1994). On the beach just out front, Lawrence Kasdan filmed Meg Ryan walking in on her boyfriend in the middle of an affair in French Kiss (1995).
It was here, within this gold- and velvet-draped palace, that Alfred Hitchcock chose as the main location for the intrigue between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief (1954). The hotel hosted the full film team during shooting, and still has close links with the movie: the Grace Kelly suite on the seventh floor (300 sq. meters) borrows its design choices from the movie.
Legend goes that it was during promotion for the film at the Cannes Festival in 1955 that Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier during a photo report for Paris Match magazine.
Discover these famous sites on the Cannes Tourism Office's guided tour, "Cannes and Cinema: A Tandem Glamor," available in French and in English. Every Friday at 2:30 PM from October through May, or at 9:15 AM from June to September. Entrance fee: six euros. Free for children under 16.