Le Stuff’s Definitive Location Guide to Alfred Hitchcock’s Classic Film
Series Post #13
“Have you ever seen any place in the world more beautiful?”
Francie Stevens (Grace Kelly’s character) in To Catch A Thief
It would have been impossible for Grace Kelly to predict what the future held for her as she gazed out over the sun-drenched Cote D’Azur, arms stretched wide, and delivered her line.
She was sitting next to Cary Grant in a light blue Alpine Sports Roadster with cameras, crew, and surely, the ever-present Alfred Hitchcock mere steps away. Below them, down the steep, barren slope, past the expensive villas dotting the hillside, the principality of Monaco lay spread out against the blue Mediterranean.
Kelly would soon marry Monaco’s Prince Ranier and help turn the tiny principality into a wildly popular international tourist destination. She would give up her successful acting career, raise a family, and quietly endure the monotony and boredom of life as a princess. Ultimately, she would die in a tragic car accident in the hills above her idyllic home.
Bittersweet yes, but the picnic scene is hopeful, light-hearted, and symbolic of better things to come. This was post-war France, after all, and the country was still struggling desperately to recover from the devastation caused by the second world war. Hitchcock created a celluloid setting in which viewers, for a short time at least, could forget about mundane troubles and revel in the fantasy of exceptional wealth, glamour, and limitless wit. The picnic scene, with its playful dialogue and stunning scenery, deftly captures that spirit.
The location of the picnic scene is here at 1009 D53, 06240 Beausoleil, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France. A building now sits toward the rear of the site, but it’s still possible to walk to the edge of the slope where the Alpine Sports Roadster was parked. The view of Monaco is spectacular. There are picnic tables in the shade. It is the perfect spot for a simple lunch of chicken and beer.