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To Catch a Thief Beach Scene in the South of France

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:

Top Films From The South Of France

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Priceless - Set in the South of France with Audrey Tatou

Priceless (Hors de Prix)

If you need some South of France glamour then you must 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. Priceless also appears in my best dressed list of Top Fashion Films.

watch Priceless. Starring Audrey Tatou, it tells the tale of a con artist who charms her way into a luxurious lifestyle of extravagant hotels and a beautiful wardrobe of clothes.

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; all 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.

To Catch a Thief - the original south of france movie
And God Created Woman Poster

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 just to see St. Tropez as it was back in the day, although much still remains of its charm if you visit today.

Never Say Never Again

The Sean Connery remake of Thunderball crisscrosses the globe from London to the Bahamas, with a key action sequence set in the narrow streets of Villefranche Sur Mer, just outside Nice. (It is also where the Stones recorded Exile on Main Street, but you don’t see that!)

Largo’s yacht is also filmed in the bay off Villefranche so you’ll see a good slice of the South of France.

The Sean Connery remake of Thunderball crisscrosses the globe from London to the Bahamas, with a key action sequence set in the narrow streets of Villefranche Sur Mer, just outside Nice. (It is also where the Stones recorded Exile on Main Street, but you don’t see that!)

Largo’s yacht is also filmed in the bay off Villefranche so you’ll see a good slice of the South of France.

Never Say Never Again
Under the Cherry Moon

Under the Cherry Moon

Shot entirely in the black & white, Prince’s follow up the smash hit Purple Rain was overlooked by many. Under the Cherry Moon This wonderfully funny movie set and filmed almost 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, as well as wonderful aerial shots of the Cote D’Azur coastline.

The soundtrack is pretty cool, too. You might have heard of Parade?

Le Grand Bleu (Big Blue)

One of my all time favourite films. This Luc Besson classic tells the tale of two friends competing to be the greatest free divers in the world.

Though not really a French movie, so doesn’t really count as most of it is filmed in Greece and Sicily… It gets a 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 Marineland in Biot, between Cannes and Nice.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

Yet another film about con men (and women) – what is it about the South of France? The fictitious town of ‘Beaumont-sur-Mer’ is actually Beaulieu-sur-Mer, East of Nice.

This film is an absolute hoot, one I have seen way too many times. Well worth for the scenery and wonderful performances from Michael Caine and Steve Martin.

Ronin (1998)

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.

Absolutely Fabulous the Movie

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Like many British movies, the action very quickly moves from London to the South of France (where it is always sunnier). Not only is this a great film, but you also get to see a lot of the Cote D’Azur including the Hotel du Cap in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

French Kiss

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

French Kiss Movie Poster
Grace of Monaco Movie Poster

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

Starring Colin Firth this Woody Allen movie is set in the South of France, telling the story of an Englishman coming invited to his friends villa to uncover a potential con artist (in the South of France, Again!) with potentially romantic 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.

Magic in the Moonlight movie poster
Rust & Bone

Rust and Bone

Rust and Bone tells the story of two broken individuals who find solace and strength in each other’s company. Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a struggling single father who moves to Antibes, a town on the French Riviera, with his young son to live with his sister.

He finds work as a bouncer and eventually becomes involved in underground street fighting to make ends meet.

Meeting up with Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard), a beautiful killer whale trainer at a marine park (in Biot, also featured in the Big Blue.)

The couple set out on a tumultuous relationship. Not the most relaxing of movies but worth watching for the acting and the locations.

Year of the Jellyfish (L’année des méduses)

This 1984 French movie featuring a young Valerie Kaprisky (later appearing with Richard Gere in Breathless) tells the story of beautiful young Chris who has falls for her mother’s lover and tries to attract his attention. Mubi explains it as, “A young Valerie Kaprisky, along with many other beautiful people, prance around semi-nude on the French Riviera.” I haven’t seen this one yet so I cannot comment!

See also: Movies featuring Chateau Marmont (Los Angeles)

Some other South of France Movies for Consideration

The South of France, on the Small Screen

Riviera - Sky

Riviera (Sky TV)

Riviera is the 2017 TV series from Sky. 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 in the hills of Grasse, behind Cannes, 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 again, I highly recommend.

See here for my Riviera Sky Atlantic TV Series Review.

Marseille (Netflix)

Starring Gerard Depardieu, this two season series focuses on the power struggles of the Mayor (Gerard) as he tries to elevate the city, and himself. His protégé has other ideas which leads to an engaging power struggle between the men.

Expect plenty of shots of sun drenched Marseille and the Cote D’Azur.

Marseille Netflix


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.

Let Me Know Your French Film Recommendations…

What have I missed? What South of France movies do you love? Please let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for Reading  🙂


I am Jay, the founder of Wine, Travel and Song. UK based, I set this blog up in 2016 to share my passion for food & drink, travel and music - Wine, Travel & Song. In these posts I share some of my passions in the hope that it may inspire you to go there, eat that or listen to this. In return I hope you will comment and share recommendations of where to go, what to eat and what to listen to!

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