To Catch A Thief: Take 1

Le Stuff’s Definitive Location Guide to Alfred Hitchcock’ s Classic Film

Series Post #3


The Movie Begins:
A woman screams as she discovers her jewelry has been stolen.
In a panic she runs onto her hotel room balcony where we, the viewers, are treated to an expansive shot of Nice’s world famous seafront boulevard, the Promenade des Anglais.


And so begins Alfred Hitchcock’s light hearted thriller “To Catch A Thief”.

A rash of daring jewel thefts has the entire Riviera in an uproar.
An emergency meeting is held at the
Commissaire de Police in downtown Nice where several officers are quickly dispatched to question former jewel thief John Robie, the obvious suspect, at his villa in the hills above the Riviera.
As the officers leave Nice they are shown driving up a hill with a sweeping view of the city and the Mediterranean in the background.  The “hill” is actually Mont Boron, which today is an exclusive suburb of Nice (Sir Elton John owns a villa there).

The Approach:
Having left Nice far behind, the officers climb a twisting mountain road as they approach Robie’s villa (seen in the distance).  The “villa” in this scene is actually the village of Gourdon, not the house used later in close-up shots (it’s a good 45 minutes east of Gourdon).


Trip Notes:

For those in search of a great Riviera driving itinerary, I suggest following our intrepid officers.  Head out of Nice on the D6007 (up Mont Boron) in the direction of Villefranche sur Mer.  Driving along the spectacular Moyenne Corniche you’ll soon arrive in the village of Eze (featured later in the film). Eze is a stunning hilltop town with plenty of shops and gorgeous views.  After Eze continue east to the Roman village of La Turbie (on the Grande Corniche) for an unforgettable view of Monaco (La Turbie is also featured briefly in the film).

To reach Gourdon from Nice you’ll need to head in the opposite direction toward the town of Vence.  In Vence turn west onto D2210.  This spectacular road will eventually lead you to the Route de Gourdon (D3) which will take you straight to the village.

Restaurants in Gourdon
Auberge de Gourdon:
Comfortable and affordable, this restaurant/bar/tabac below the main village has a friendly atmosphere and a lively clientele.  In warm weather try to get a table outside.
Price range – 25 euros
Route de Caussols
Gourdon  06620
Tel. 04 93 09 69 69
Fax.  04 93 77 55 92
Open only for lunch
Le Vieux Four:
This relatively new establishment near the village entrance has garnered rave reviews since opening in January of 2006.
Price range – 30 to 60 euros.
Rue Basse
Gourdon  06620
Tel. 04 93 09 68 60
Taverne Provencal:
A small restaurant with ample outdoor seating that offers tasty, simple food with great views across the valley to the Mediterranean.
Located on the Grand Rue in the middle of the village.

Auberge de Gourdon

More to follow….

Read the next post in this series here.

6 responses

  1. I’ve been curious about the location that was the restaurant on the water where Robie went to see Bertani. The location was gorgeous and I wondered what was really there. It showed a kitchen, offices, indoor facilities, etc, which looked real.

    • I wrote a bit about the location of Bertani’s in To Catch A Thief: Take 4. Apparently there was an actual restaurant there years ago but it has been gone for some time. The location is on the western side of Port Hercules in Monaco. All of the scenes inside the “restaurant” were filmed on a set in Hollywood. Interestingly enough, I’ve been asked to act as a consultant for a German television show that’s producing a 25 minute travel series on film locations. We’ll be checking out the exact location of Bertani’s in about a month so please check back-I should have more information.
      Thanks very much for your question!

  2. Pingback: To Catch A Thief: Prelude « Le Stuff

  3. Do you know when exactly the film was shot in Monaco? Was it March 1955, when Grace and Cary would have been there for Cannes as well, and when Grace met Rainier?

    • Hi Shawn,
      “To Catch A Thief” was first released in the U.S. in August of 1955. The majority of the film (including the re-takes, Hollywood studio shots, and Monaco scenes) was shot in 1954. The 1955 Cannes Film Festival ran from April 26 to May 10, so surely all of the filming had been done long before then. Hope this helps and thanks for the question!

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