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A glimpse of Paris in films

A glimpse of Paris in films

The monuments, landscapes, outdoor and indoor locations of Paris have held a charm for over decades for generations of film makers and cinéphiles alike.


Eiffel Tower


It is no wonder then to see these famous monuments forming the backdrop of some notorious sequences from audio-visual arts. Other locations are easily recognised by those who are familiar with Paris. Here's a ready reckoner of glimpses of Paris seen through films in live action and CGI.


Eiffel Tower

The eponymous Eiffel Tower has been seen in countless films. Constructed for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, it was not dismantled immediately afterwards owing to its use as a weather and radio station. Its scientific use have long since become obsolete but Gustave Eiffel's tower continues to be a symbol of Paris and France.

Address: Eiffel Tower, Champs des Mars, 75015 Paris. Métro: Trocadéro (Line 6). RER C: Champs de Mars

Features in: 'Paris Qui Dort' (1923); 'Le Mystère de la Tour Eiffel' (1927); 'Eiffel Tower' (1929); 'The Man on the Eiffel Tower' (1949); 'The War of the Worlds' (1953); 'The Four Hundred Blows' (1959); 'The Great Race' (1965); 'The Aristocats' (1970); 'The American Friend' (1977); 'Sweet Movie' (1974); 'Condorman' (1981); 'James Bond 007: A View to Kill' (1985); 'Forget Paris' (1995); 'French Kiss' (1995), 'Mars Attacks!' (1996); 'Armageddon' (1998); 'Rex the Runt' (1998); 'Rugrats in Paris: The movie' (2000); 'Moulin Rouge' (2001); 'Looney Tunes: Back in Action' (2003); 'Le Divorce' (2003); 'Van Helsing' (2004); 'Angel-A' (2005); Yugoslavian film 'View from Eiffel Tower' (2005); Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' (2005); Tarsem Singh's 'The Fall' (2006); Ratatouille, (2007); 'Mr. Bean's Holiday' (2007); 'Rush Hour 3' (2007); 'Paris' (2008); 'An Education' (2009);....


Louvre Museum

One of the most important museums in the world and the biggest in Paris, Louvre was an ancient royal palace. Inaugurated in 1793, it served its various roles such as a place for artists till 1855. Some of the most famous works at Louvre are 'Vénus de Milo', Léonard de Vinci's 'Mona Lisa,' Raphaël's 'Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist', Murillo's 'Young Beggar' and 'Self Portrait with a thistle' by Dürer to name a few.

Address: Palais Royal Musée du Louvre, 75001 Paris. Metro: Palais Royal, Musée du Louvre (Line 1, 7)

Features in : French Kiss (1995), Ron Howard's 'Da Vinci Code' (2006) starring Tom Hanks; 'Visage' (2009) of Tsai Ming-liang;


Bridges of Paris

River Seine crosses 63 hectares of Paris surface area. River banks appeared in Paris in the beginning of 16th century with quai des Grands-Augustins made by Philippe le Bel. Pont-Neuf, built in 1578, was the first bridge of Paris. There are 37 bridges on the river Seine (includes 31 road bridges, 4 footbridges, 2 railway bridges and 32 illuminated bridges) among a total of 68 bridges and footbridges on the river Seine and its canals in Paris.

Paris bridges in films: Pont Alexandre III in Ronin (1984); Pont de Grenelle in Harrison Ford starrer 'Frantic' (1988); Pont Neuf in 'The Bourne Identity' (2002); 'Angel-A' (2005); Pont Bir Hakeim in Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' (2005); The Devil wears Prada (2006); Quai de Seine in 'Paris, je t'aime' (2006); Pont au double and Pont St. Michel in 'Ratatouille' (2007); Adèle BlancSec (2010); ...

Pont Royal

Commissioned by Louis XIV, Pont Royal was constructed in 1689 by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart in the French Baroque style. Listed as a historical monument in 1939, this is one of the few bridges in Paris that have retained their original appearance even though it was slightly restored in the 19th century.

Address: Quai des Tuileries/ Quai Voltaire, 75001 Paris. Metro: Assemblée Nationale (Line 12)

Features in : Luc Besson's recent film Adèle BlancSec (2010).

Pont des Arts/ Passerelle des Arts

Having the distinction of being the first iron bridge of Paris, Pont des Arts owes its name to Louvre (the then Palais des Arts) in whose vicinity it was built between 1801-1804. The bridge was damaged by a barge in 1979 following which its existence was put into question. Finally, it was reconstructed. It was inaugurated in 1984 by Jacques Chirac, the then Mayor of Paris who later became the President of France from 1995-2007.

Address: Quai Malaquais/ Quai du Louvre, 75006 Paris. Metro: Pont Neuf (Line 7)

Features in: 'The Devil wears Prada' (2006); ....



Railway Stations of Paris

There are 5 principal railway stations in Paris that connect the city to a national and an international train network between major Western European cities- Gare St. Lazare, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare Montparnasse and Gare du Nord.

Paris railway station that feature in films: Gare d'Orsay in Bernard Bertolucci's 'The Conformist' (1970); Gare de l'Est in Josiane Balasko's 'Client' (2008); Gare d'Austerlitz in Stéphen Frears's 'Chéri' (2009); A whole lot of stations- Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, La Chapelle in 'Amélie' (2001); ....

Gare du Nord

Opened in 1846, Gare du Nord has far expanded from its original size to become one of the busiest train stations in Europe today handling over 180 million travellers per year.* This is also an area rich in population from the Indian sub-continent with many restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment pertaining to the diaspora. The surrounding area of Gare du Nord- La Chapelle is sometimes dubbed as the Indian Quarter of Paris.

Address: Metro Gare du Nord (Line 4, 5);

Features in : 'Amélie' (2001); 'The Bourne Identity' (2002), 'Ocean's Twelve' (2004), Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' (2005), Franco-British co-production 'Les Poupées Russes' (2005), 'Mr. Bean's Holiday' (2007); 'The Bourne Ultimatum' (2007);....


Paris Restaurants

The restaurants and cafés of the culinary capital of the world invariably make it to the films.

Paris restaurants to feature in films are 'Blue Sky' bar and pub in Ronin (1984); 'La Tour d'Argent' as Gusteau's in 'Ratatouille' (2007);.....


Founded in 1893 by Maxime Gaillard, the mythical restaurant with its art nouveau decor is currently owned by Pierre Cardin. A fashionable place, it has been frequented by the rich and the famous such as Aristotle Onassis, Marcel Proust, Edward VII, Maria Callas, Jean Cocteau, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, John Travolta, Brigitte Bardot, Porfirio Rubirosa, Barbra Streisand, Max Ophuls, Barbara Hutton, Jeanne Moreau etc.

Address: 3, rue Royale, 75008 Paris. Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 65 27 94. Metro: Concorde (line 1,8,12)

Features in: Alexander Korda's 'The Girl from Maxim's' (1933); Jean Renoir's 'Grand Illusion' (1937); Peter 0'Toole starrer 'The Night of the Generals' (1967); Stephen Frears's Michelle Pfeiffer starrer 'Chéri' (2009);...



Other tourist hot spots of Paris in Films:

Moulin Rouge
© Moulin Rouge (r) J.Habas

Montmartre features in Amélie (2001); 'Angel-A' (2005);...

Place Vendome in Josiane Balasko's 'Client' (2008);

Palais-Royal in Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie starrer 'The Tourist' (2011);....

Champs Elysées in the 'French Kiss' (1995),

Moulin Rouge in 'Paris' (2008);...

Museum of Natural History in 'Adèle Blancsec' (2010);....

Avenue Montaigne in 'The Devil wears Prada' (2006); ....

Montmartre in 'The Four Hundred Blows' (1959); 'Amélie' (2001); 'Moulin Rouge' (2001)

Place de la Concorde in 'The Devil wears Prada' (2006); ....


*As per a report in Le Monde online edition of July 2nd, 2009.



- One sees a 'Gusteau's Restaurant' in the film 'Ratatouille' (2007). The restaurant is an allusion to the famous 'La Tour d'Argent' restaurant that offers excellent view od the river Seine and Notre Dame and is known for its fine dining.

-Despite a geo-centric title, Nicole Kidman starer 'Moulin Rouge' (2001) was shot not shot in Paris. It was shot in New South Wales and Sydney in Australia and Madrid in Spain.

- Eiffel Tower has features in a number of films, viedo games, novels etc. where it has been constructed or destroyed by human or under construction, destroyed etc.


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