Paris is one giantantic film set – a paradise for cinema-makers

Fancy feeling like you’re in a movie? We were so happy to be asked by TheLocal.fr, a fantastic resource for French news in English, to share where the most famous movie scenes in the French capital were set.

Here’s a map and list of the TOP TEN most popular and requested movie locations Set in Paris to visit at your leisure:

1.  The church steps from Midnight in Paris

midnight-in-paris_287701-1

© Sony Pictures 

Midnight in Paris Poster

This is currently THE film that is inspiring people to come to Paris as it perfectly shows off the beauty of the city.  In the film, Gil (Owen Wilson) sits on steps, waiting for the vintage Peugeot to whisk him back to the lost generation of writers’ era. Everyone hunting down the steps ends up looking all over Montmartre, because as everyone knows the second rule of physics states that Paris + Steps = Montmartre. They actually are located just behind the Pantheon, on the left-side of Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-mont. Once you’ve taken a good look at the wonderful facade of the church where all the students from Henri IV high school (the most prestigious high school of France) go to eat their lunch, just walk down and take the time to recreate the most magical moment of the movie.

STARRING: Owen Wilson, Abbie Cornish, Albert Finney

DIRECTOR:  WOODY ALLEN

YEAR: 2006

WATCH TRAILER

recreate

Re-create your #magicmoviemoment.

Sit on the steps at the stroke of midnight and you’re unlikely to be the only one waiting for that vintage car at midnight

 

2.  AMÉLIe

cafe80162_210546475681307_159991337403488_462570_1234371411_n

© UGC-Fox Distribution (UFD)

AmélieThe quirky Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) is the darling of Paris cinema and the movie proved to be a huge hit abroad.  She calls Montmartre her home and this film showcases how the area, though a part of Paris, has a village-like feel to it.   To really enter the movie atmosphere, stop and have a drink where Amélie worked at the exact café that the production took over for filming. To really bring the magical ambiance of the movie to your trip, remember to see the world like it’s crazy talented director Jean-Pierre Jeunet does – forget slow table service and just sit and appreciate the raw beauty of life.

STARRING: AUDREY TAUTOU, MATHIEU KASSOVITZ

DIRECTOR:  JEAN-PIERRE JEUNET

YEAR: 2001

WATCH TRAILER

amelie-cafe

© UGC-Fox Distribution (UFD)

Don’t forget to sneak a peak at the bathroom which has memorabilia from the movie lining the walls.

 

3.  PONT DES ARTS bridge

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 14.10.12

 © Summit Entertainment

Now You See MeFor a Hollywood movie filming in Paris, there has to be a scene on a bridge over the Seine and none is used more than Pont des Arts, now known as Lover’s Bridge.   The only film that depicts the love lock phenomemn is in the closing scene of Now You See Me where Mark Ruffalo approaches French actress Mélanie Laurent on the bridge, saying Bonjour and they decide to lock away one more secret.   The last shot follows the key as it dives into the Seine river and settles on the river bed amongst all the other keys.   

STARRING: JESSE EISENBERG, MARK RUFFALO, MÉLANIE LAURENT

DIRECTOR:  LOUIS LETERRIER 

YEAR: 2013

WATCH TRAILER

an-american-girl-in-paris-part-deux-04-1024

© HBO

This is also the romantic bridge where Carrie & Big finally get together in the very last episode of Sex & the City…

because bien sûr it took a trip to the City of Love

 

4.  Shakespeare & co

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 14.25.29

© Warner Bros (France)

Before SunsetPreviously the haunt of the Lost Generation, you’ll find photos adorning the walls of legendary characters such as Ernest Hemingway at Shakespeare & Co.  Before Sunset is the movie that had people flocking to this quaint English-language bookstore on Paris’s Rive Gauche and they still do in droves – on weekends, it is not unusual to see a long line of people waiting just to get in. 

Art imitating life, Ethan Hawke plays an author giving a book signing here.  Just like in the movie, check out Shakespeare & Co’s upcoming events as they attract great authors and the store also acts as a meeting for the ex-pat community.

STARRING:  ETHAN HAWKE, JULIE DELPY

DIRECTOR:  RICHARD LINKLATER 

YEAR: 2004

WATCH TRAILER

Shakespeare and Co

 © Warner Bros (France)

 The ‘couple’ stroll to a café around the corner however director’s like to chop and change Paris to fit their plot – you won’t find the café on this side of the river, its in the 10th arrondissement.

 

5.  inception bridge

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 14.21.26

 © Warner Bros

InceptionPont Bir Hakeim is often simply referred to as the Inception bridge.   It was in this movie that director Christopher Nolan used the column features on the bridge to striking effect.  He created mirror images to give the impression that the bridge went on for eternity which matched perfectly the dream-sequence which had the characters’ bend the realms of reality.

STARRING: LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ELLEN PAGE

DIRECTOR:  CHRISTOPHER NOLAN

YEAR: 2010

WATCH TRAILER

tumblr_mz7rf6m4GD1sjujgfo4_1280

Parks & Recreations, © Deedle-Dee Productions

Like in Parks & Recreations, this bridge is worth going out of your way for, if only for the photos standing in the middle under the iconic columns

 

6.  Saint sulpice

P1000718_Paris_VI_Eglise_Saint-Sulpice_reductwk1 © Wikipedia

The da Vinci Code

Church Saint Sulpice is second only to Notre Dame as the largest bridge in Paris yet it tucked away on a quiet street in Saint Germain.   It was the Da Vinci Code book and then movie that brought this Church into its rightful status as a ‘must-see’ location.

Understandably, the Church and Da Vinci Code didn’t quiet see eye-to-eye which ruled out filming inside the Church.  But you’d never know as the Church’s interiors were painstakingly recreated in a studio so they look exactly like the real thing.

STARRING: TOM HANKS, AUDREY TAUTOU

DIRECTOR:  RON HOWARD

YEAR: 2006

WATCH TRAILER

2912-cracking-da-vinci-code-s-crafty-vfx_0

© Warner Bros

You’d be forgiven for not knowing that all interior shots of Saint Sulpice church were re-created in studio

 

7.  quai de montebello

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 1.35.38 PM

 © Stanley Donen Films

charade__1963__fan_poster_by_crqsf-d5k5vpz

A highly regarded cinema classic, Charade starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant immortalised Paris on the big screen.   As they leisurely stroll among the river banks, right in the shadow of Notre Dame, they remark about how following in the footsteps of An American in Paris when Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire danced at this same locaiton.  However, An American in Paris was all done in studio but the recreation was so faithfully done, you’d be forgiven for not knowing.   Audrey and Cary enjoy the famous Berthillion’s ice-cream which you can taste on Isle-St-Louis just around the corner.

STARRING: AUDREY HEPBURN, CARY GRANT

DIRECTOR:  STANLEY DONEN

YEAR: 1963

WATCH TRAILER

10-gene-kelly-theredlist-1

An American in Paris, 1951  © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

A romantic stroll along the Seine river banks will leave you in good company…following in the footsteps of An American in Paris and Charade

 

8.  La Tour d’Argent

ob_ca29a844f723a8309bed4c978cdda99b_gusteau2-jpg

© Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures

Ratatouille

Brad Bird and his production team had the hard job of coming to Paris to research the Disney-Pixar movie: this meant they had to dine at all the best Parisian restaurants for three meals a deal.   The resulting Gusteau’s restaurant was an amalgamation of all the great restaurants they visited on their trip.  However, it was La Tour d’Argent (the Silver Tower) which left the biggest impression.  The locaiton of Paris’s most expensive restaurant down by the river banks, close to Notre Dame with a view of the Eiffel Tower, is what they choose to recreate for Gusteaus.   Being a Disney-Pixar movie, they added the flashy neon sign which La Tour d’Argent has no current plans to immitate.  

STARRING: Brad Garrett, Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt

DIRECTOR:  Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

YEAR: 2007

WATCH TRAILER

Tour_dArgent_crop_blur_900_wiki_Img_2171

 © Wikipedia

The restaurant that was the inspriation behind Ratatouille.  With a long waiting list and heafty price tag, you may want to hold off on a visit to this fine establishment and instead visit their incredible wine next door.

Screenshot 2015-06-05 16.50.31

With its price list, you’d expect it to be covered in gold.  The Disney version is a little bit prettier from the outside and they added a nice square with a fountain.

 

9.  place de la concorde

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 17.58.58

© 20th Century Fox

The Devil Wears PradaThe Devil Wears Prada is largely set in New York, though as the movie is all about the fashion world, a trip to Paris was always going to be on the cards.  If you like fashion, stroll down the nearby Avenue Montaigne just as Andy (Anne Hathaway) does in the film.  It is right in the heart of Paris at Place de la Concorde that Andy decides this the cut-throat industry is not for her and she symbolically throws her phone into one of the stunning Tritan and Water Nymph fountains here.

STARRING: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier

DIRECTOR:  David Frankel

YEAR: 2006

WATCH TRAILER

IMG_9037A

Like this group of film students, recreate this scene with your phone…just skip the actual throwing it in part!

 

10.  trocodero

Jardins_du_Trocadéro_1986-152

 © Wikipedia

Project2

Rush Hour 3 takes you on a high-octane journey around Paris, climaxing with a huge fight scene at the Eiffel Tower, notably Jules Verne restaurant.   The duo Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan escape by grabbing hold of a huge French flag and using this to parachute into the water basin across the bridge.  The basin with fountains is part of the Trocodero.  Head up to the Plantard de Trocodero and you’ll get an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower.

STARRING: CHRIS TUCKER, JACKIE CHAN

DIRECTOR:  Brett Ratner

YEAR: 2007

WATCH TRAILER

rushhour3trivia

© New Line Cinema

Possibly not the best one to recreate on your own.  Perhaps safer to…

Wake up early (or sleep late) to beat the crowds and grab a cool trompe d’oiel picture where you are flying over the Eiffel Tower:

Screenshot 2015-06-07 10.22.14