The only To Catch A Thief location that has given me fits is the staircase leading down to Bertani’s restaurant. I had reached the frustrating conclusion that it was destroyed forever when the port was renovated in the 1970’s.
Well, not so fast.
Grant and Hitchcok below “Bertani’s Steps” in Monaco.
Enter Luca, a devoted Le Stuff reader from Turin, Italy.
Luca and I had exchanged a few Emails regarding TCAT’s picnic site (which he correctly located) when he told me that he had also found Bertani’s steps.
I was skeptical.
I soon learned, though, never to underestimate a man on a mission.
Luca had indeed located the steps and the process by which he discovered them is a veritable lesson in tenacity.
How did he do it?
First, he studied the scene in which Cary Grant (aka John Robie) gets off the bus in Monaco (pictured below) before descending the steps down to the restaurant. I had always focused on the balustrade, hoping it might be the visual clue that would lead to the actual location. Luca honed in on a house with three windows on the left side of the screen, seen here at 0:30.
He then began scouring the Internet in search of the house: a photograph, film, anything that might provide a clue.
He found what he was looking for while watching the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix on Youtube.
There it was, the house with three windows, in plain view at the end of a sharp curve on the Route de la Piscine (see it here at 12:40).
Buoyed by the discovery, Luca continued his quest, eventually coming up with his piece de resistance, the stairs themselves.
To Catch A Thief was filmed in 1954, only three years before the 57 Grand Prix. The port was not renovated until the 1970’s, so the double staircase seen here (bottom right of the screen) is, indeed, the actual location used by Hitchcock in 1954.
Here, built on roughly the same spot as the original at 1 Route de la Piscine, is the new staircase today.
Thank you Luca.
p.s. The mystery of Bertani’s Restaurant remains unsolved. Was there an actual restaurant at the foot of the steps?