To Catch A Thief: Take 7

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

Series Post #9

Following the hectic flower market scene in Nice viewers are treated to a wide shot of John Robie’s luxurious cliff side villa.

But, you may be asking yourself, is that really the villa?

No, its not.


The village of Gourdon

For this particular scene, instead of filming the actual house in St Jeannet, Hitchcock used a wide, long distance shot of the village of Gourdon to simulate the villa.  One can only assume he felt the tiny hamlet added the proper dramatic effect which, of course it does.

The ensuing scenes on Robie’s veranda with insurance agent H.H. Hughson (John Williams) were obviously shot in the studio, but the background is absolutely correct (showing the village of St Jeannet).

It’s interesting to note that there’s one line during the exchange between Hughson and Robie that was understandably changed for the German version of the film.  In the original script, when telling Hughson about his housekeeper Germaine, Robie slyly remarks “she strangled a German general once, without a sound”.  The line was revised for the German release to “she once caught a lion escaped from the circus with her bare hands”.


Le Chat

Next stop, The Carlton in Cannes….

Trip Notes

The Drive to Gourdon
The drive up to the village of Gourdon from Pre du Lac on D3 is spectacular!  If you’re in the area and looking for a dramatic diversion, this is about as good as it gets.

Read the next post in this series here

 

 

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11 Comments

Filed under To Catch A Thief

11 responses to “To Catch A Thief: Take 7

  1. Bad Driver

    I’ve made that drive to Gourdon (once I got the car going forward), and it is indeed spectacular.

  2. Foussard

    Gourdon is a beautiful village perched ever so precariously on the edge of a cliff. The Eagle’s Nest (Le Nid D’Aigle) restaurant, dangling from the rocks, is aptly named. Visit for lunch after you’ve toured the chateau and gardens. You’ll be rewarded for your effort with good food, a surprisingly good art collection in the chateau and breathtaking views.

    Well done Le Stuff!

  3. Pingback: To Catch A Thief: Take 6 « Le Stuff

  4. Pingback: Movie Locales, Part 1: Himeji Castle & “You Only Live Twice,” “Shogun” « LetsJapan

  5. Margie

    I watched the film again today with your blog on my computer in front of me. I got to the end of this post and was lost when I couldn’t find the next episode. I hope you are going to continue this.

    I was sorry to read that the scene you describe when Hughson and Robey were having lunch on the veranda were filmed in a Hollywood studio. I loved that villa and couldn’t get enough of it in the film.

    • Hi Margie,

      Thanks so much for your comment.
      I will admit to being very lazy recently about finishing the “To Catch A Thief” series on Le Stuff. Your comment provides some extra motivation for me to get back on it.

      I had lunch recently with Brigitte Auber in the south of France and she was, as always, kind enough to respond to my many questions about the film. In fact, I’m going to have to amend a few posts based on her information. I also helped a German film crew with a travel show and it forced me to locate a couple of spots that I previously had not found (the picnic scene and the actual balcony used in the first scene), so there’s still a lot to write about!

      Many thanks and please check back soon!

  6. JERRY VANDERBERRY

    I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THIS MOVIE AND WHERE IT WAS FILMED. YOUR BLOG IS GREAT AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR NEW EPISODES.I AM PLANNING TO VISIT THE COTE D’AZUR AND PROVENCE IN MAY 2012 AND YOUR WRITING IS VERY HELPFUL. THANKS, JERRY

  7. Mary Amanda

    I’m here! …..again (Monaco for a few days) . And now I know EXACTLY where these scenes were filmed. Thanks for posting this. Tomorrow will be one fun end to a very long search.
    best,
    Mary Amanda

  8. Michael Lehnert

    Thanks for your wonderful blog. Even though it’s occasionally offline, I hope you keep it live, available and curated. Thanks to the Take 7 entry, I discovered the village of Gourdon, and will be going there next spring to early summer. :-)

    BTW, German website Classic Driver ran a beautiful La Dolce Vita spread on cars and style for specific locations. They should have included a New Mini for you guys’ sake ;-P

    http://www.classicdriver.com/de/magazine/3900.asp?id=7483

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