Le Stuff’s Definitive Location Guide to Alfred Hitchcock’ s Classic Film
Series Post #8
It’s been a while since our favorite former jewel thief, John Robie, was last seen lounging on the beach in Cannes.
Not to worry though, the saga continues….
In Cannes, Robie receives a phone call from his old friend Bertani who has arranged a clandestine meeting at the Nice flower market with London insurance rep. H. H. Hughson. Hopefully Hughson can provide information that will help lead to the capture of the real thief.
And how will Hughson recognize Robie?
He’ll be flipping a coin, of course.
It’s interesting to note that the flower market scenes were not filmed on the cours saleya, the bustling pedestrian zone in old Nice where the market is still held today. Instead, in an attempt to avoid the massive crowds, Hitchcock (very effectively in my opinion) created his own flower market for the film on a street that runs along the periphery of the old town, the Boulevard Jean Jaures.
Cary Grant in Nice
I once heard a story about Cary Grant shopping in Nice during the filming of To Catch A Thief.
He and a companion were looking for just the right shirt for Grant to wear during a particular scene. As he was trying on various styles Grant told his friend that he very much enjoyed being in France.
“Really?” said the friend.
“Because the French are so respectful of my privacy and don’t give a damn about celebrity.” Grant responded.
“In France, unlike in the United States, I could live my life in blissful obscurity.”
Once the proper shirt had been selected and paid for, the pair made their way to the door only to discover that they couldn’t leave because an enormous crowd had gathered just outside the shop.
It seems word had spread that Cary Grant was inside.
Next stop, at home with John Robie and The Carlton in Cannes….
The Nice Flower Market
Simply a must if you’re in Nice.
Held every day of the week except Monday, the flower market takes place year round on the cours saleya in the ultra-charming old town. Spend your morning shopping, sipping wine at a cafe, or munching authentic socca from Chez Theresa (located in the middle of the market). Later, branch out and discover the rest of the old town (easily done in less than a day) or walk up to “Le Chateau” for a spectacular view of the city.
Unless you’re a real fanatic, don’t bother trying to find the location used for the market in the film. There’s not much to see.
Read the next post in this series here.