Villa HippoCampo

Silver Screen

Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Silver Screen

Any James Bond enthusiast who has seen Never Say Never Again will probably recognize the narrow streets of Villefranche-sur-Mer, where the motorbike chase occurs. But this is not the only movie or famous scene shot here. In fact, there is a long list of globally famous movies that were filmed right on the streets of Villefranche-sur-Mer, and when you stay at Villa Hippocampo, you can take the scenic route and try to recognize the exact places where these movies were filmed.


Never Say Never Again

As we said, one of the Sean Connery classics, Never Say Never Again, has some of its more dramatic scenes filmed in Villefranche-sur-Mer. The motorcycle chase scene and the scene where James Bond hangs out the window are shot on the narrow Villefranache-sur-Mer streets. However, you can see the beautiful Villefranche Bay, where Largo’s yacht is anchored. An added plus: Largo’s fortress “Palmyra” features scenes from the exterior of the Fort Carre in Antibes.



Another spy classic, Ronin, featuring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno, has some iconic scenes filmed on the narrow streets of Villefranche-sur-Mer. You can even note the beautiful seaside promenade at the movie’s beginning, very close to the iconic La Mere Germaine restaurant. This movie is also full of adrenaline-inducing car chase scenes, some of which occur on some of Villefranche-sur-Mer’s narrow streets.


The Bucket List

Lovable but unfortunately terminally ill, Edward and Carter form an unexpected friendship, skip the cancer ward, and take off on a road trip to experience most of their bucket list items before they die. One of the places they visit that is very beautifully presented is Villefranche-sur-Mer. The beautiful exteriors of this fantastic little French town perfectly reflect the beauty of the Cote d’Azur, and you can see them riding a motorcycle passing right beside the Chapelle Saint-Pierre.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Another timeless classic, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, has scenes filmed in Villefranche-sur-Mer, more notably the train station and the harbor. However, there are also so many scenes shot all over the Cote d’Azur, like Antibes, Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, and the iconic Villa Ephrussie de Rothschild at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

To Catch a Thief

You can watch Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in the iconic 1955 Alfred Hitchcock movie To Catch a Thief. The movie follows the protagonists as they traipse along the French Riviera and is full of thriller, comedy, and suspense elements, and the most inevitable, falling in love. This movie has so many amazing scenes; you can even recognize some of the scenery filmed in Monaco and Villefranche-sur-Mer.

The Transporter

An action-filled movie, Transporter takes place all over the Cote d’Azur, and Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the locations. There are scenes from many of the timeless towns on the French Riviera, and Villefranche-sur-Mer’s narrow streets and beautiful backgrounds are heavily featured in the movie.

Mr. Bean’s Holiday

The proverbially English Mr. Bean wins a trip to Cannes, and in a true Mr. Bean style, he encounters countless mishaps and adventures. He discovers France along the way, the peaceful old villages, the perfect landscapes, and the sea. One of the most notable scenes in the movie is the glorious shot of the Bay of Villefranche and Cap Ferrat, filmed from the well-known lookout at Avenue Olivula and Chemin de Saint Michel. The lookout is 380 meters above sea level, offering one of the most majestic views of the bay, the surrounding villages, and the Mediterranean in the background.

An Affair to Remember

A Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr classic, An Affair to Remember, features incredible shots from all over Villefranche-sur-Mer. The movie features public pathways, viewpoints, and much more, and the Welcome Hotel in the center of the town features a signed photo of the actors. Also, you can probably recognize the beautiful vista of the couple overlooking the Bay of Villefranche or the Promenade des Marinieres.


W.E. is a historical drama that tells the story of two women separated by over 60 years. While most of the movie is filmed in England, some recognizable scenes are shot in Villefranche-sur-Mer. The screenshots feature the narrow streets like Rue de l’Eglise and the beautiful port.

The Jewel of the Nile

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner star in this action-adventure romantic comedy, and while the movie starts in Cannes, the action soon moves to Villefranche-sur-Mer. About 20 minutes of the movie takes place in the Bay of Villefranche, where their yacht is anchored, and later, Jack and Joan mount a motorbike outside the Welcome Hotel on Quai de L’Amiral Courbet.

We must note that the Welcome Hotel was the home to artist Jean Cocteau, and the building has many of his works. However, the reception area houses a signed photo of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. The Welcome Hotel also has a signed photo from Cary Grant, and Deborah Kerr made during the filming of An Affair to Remember.

Overall, you will see the fantastic scenery from Villefranche-sur-Mer in more than 50 movies. For example, much of the movie Killers is filmed in Villefranche-sur-Mer, doubling as Nice. Also, you can see incredible Villefranche-sur-Mer scenes in That Riviera Touch, Maximum Risk, The Red Shoes, Johny English, etc.

Addition: If you’ve seen the U2 video for Electrical Storm, you may recognize Rue Obscure, one of the hidden gems in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Also, the Rolling Stones recorded the 1972 album Exile on Main St in the Villa Nellcote in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

So, now, when you stay at Villa Hippocampo in Villefranche-sur-Mer, you can go exploring the town and try to recognize some of the streets, the harbor, or the view of the Bay of Villefranche that are forever immortalized in film.