Monaco is the capital of glam, glitz, casinos and partying like a celebrity. With casinos, azure blue sea views, Michelin starred restaurants and icons like Princess Grace of Monaco, it’s no surprise it’s also a top location choice for feature films.
From Princess Grace biopics to a musical tragedy, all human life is in these ten movies set in Monaco.
The best movies set in Monaco
Also known as L’Arnacoeur, Heartbreaker stars Vanessa Paradis and Romain Duris in a romantic comedy. Most of the story takes place in Monaco and centres on a team of ‘heartbreakers’, who are drafted in to break up bad romances. Since its release, the movie has grossed more than £26.5 million and won the Globes de Cristal Award for Best Film.
Une Chance sur Deux, 1998.
Again starring Vanessa Paradis, this action comedy is set mostly in Monaco. Directed by Patrice Leconte, it follows Alice (Paradis) on her release from prison when she finds out her mother has died but that she has two fathers. The two potential dads now live in Monaco and are played by French actors Alain Delon and Jean Paul Belmondo.
The second Bond movie to hail from Monaco, GoldenEye was Pierce Brosnan’s first venture into 007 territory. The first Bond movie in six years, GoldenEye was a suitably glamorous return for the super spy. It heavily features the stunning Monte Carlo Casino, and sparkling views around the Harbour.
Never Say Never Again, 1983
While GoldenEye is Brosnan’s debut as 007, Never Say Never Again was Connery’s swansong. One last outing as Bond sees Connery sent to chill out at a health spa He almost retires before he can save the world by stopping a terrorist group called Spectre from detonating warheads. Check out the fantastic tango scene between Connery and Kim Basinger for a slice of Monaco/Bond glamour.
Monte Carlo or Bust! 1969
Starring all kinds of legendary actors, from Tony Curtis to Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Monte Carlo or Bust is based on the Monte Carlo Rally that first took place in 1911. It is a French/Italian/British co-production and very much a comedy movie, known in the US as Those Daring Young Men In Their Jaunty Jalopies. Think slapstick comedy with a fantastic 1920s vibe, and plenty of beautiful Monaco scenery to enjoy.
Monte Carlo Baby, 1952
This film is notable for an early performance by Audrey Hepburn, who plays a rich, spoiled actor. According to Hepburn experts, she was ‘discovered’ while filming this movie, and selected for the lead in Gigi. This led to her stratospherically successful Hollywood career. Monte Carlo Baby is an Anglo/French comedy, which was produced in both languages. The French version is called Nous irons a Monte Carlo.
To Catch a Thief, 1955.
From Audrey Hepburn to Cary Grant, Monaco attracts the biggest and most legendary movie stars. This film follows ex-con John Robie (Cary Grant) as he is set up as the number one suspect for multiple jewellery heists. Robie tracks down the thief who is framing him, which leads him to Princess Grace of Monaco herself. It’s an Alfred Hitchcock classic, and exudes glamour while twisting through a risky love story.
The Red Shoes, 1948
This stunning movie directed by Powell and Pressburger is a visual treat. It’s a tragic story taking in betrayal, love, ballet and art. Depicting a young dancer (played by Moira Shearer) as she falls into insanity, the film shows her plight through a performance of a ballet set to Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale of ‘The Red Shoes’. In the fairy tale a young girl is condemned to dance forever after she covets the red shoes. In this film, the protagonist is trapped in an endless dance both mentally and physically.
The Story of a Cheat (1936)
This classic is a blackly comic tale of a loser who wins when he’s dishonest. Directed by Sacha Guitry, the story follows a boy who survives a tragedy that killed his whole family, but only through his own dishonesty. He grows up and vows to become rich, so hits the casinos in Monaco (where else?). However, he only wins when he cheats, but loses heavily when he tries to be fair. Its innovative storytelling, caustic humour, dark storyline and skilled direction inspired major stars including Francois Truffaut and Orson Welles.
Experienced lawyer and international corporate consultant, Mary-Rose McLean is Head of Corporate, Legal and Yachting Services at Moores Rowland, Monaco. Mary-Rose has been based in Monaco since 2007, and she specialises in leadership, consultancy and managing international transactions for high net worth clients.