Le Stuff’s Definitive Location Guide to Alfred Hitchcock’ s Classic Film
Series Post #5
At the end of post # 4 the police were fast approaching Robie’s villa just outside the village of St Jeannet.
The police enter the house and ask the former jewel thief to accompany them to the station for questioning. He agrees, but asks if they will first allow him to change into something a bit more formal. While changing in his bedroom he fools the police into thinking he has escaped by car. And so begins the famous chase scene that takes viewers through some of the most picturesque villages in the south of France (apparently this was was also one of the first cinematic sequences filmed from a helicopter).
The first town we see is Le Bar sur Loup. Le Bar is a picturesque, working class village that looks pretty much the same today as it does in the movie, with its dramatic, fourteenth century chateau dominating the town center. Notice the old railroad bridge at the edge of town.It was destroyed during World War 2 but was used for many years to bring tourists into the mountains from Nice.
The old railroad bridge near Le Bar sur Loup
The second town along the chase route is Gourdon.
The shot is filmed north to south so that the viewer looks across the Loup Valley and beyond to the Mediterranean. Le Bar sur Loup can be seen in the distance. Gourdon has always been a beautiful village and remains so today. Visitors may find it interesting to see how many homes have been built in the valley since “To Catch A Thief” was filmed.
The third and final village featured in the chase scene is Tourrettes sur Loup. Tourrettes is located about twenty minutes east of Le Bar sur Loup on D2210. The “pan” from the helicopter gives viewers a real sense of the town’s dramatic location. The chase ends at the eastern edge of the village near a building that now houses one of my favorite restaurants, “Le Relais des Coches.”
The building which is now “Le Relais des Coches”
Le Bar sur Loup
The best rooms and restaurant in Le Bar sur Loup can be found in the newly renovated fourteenth century chateau. L’Hostellerie du Chateau offers exceptional meals and comfortable, tastefully decorated rooms at an affordable price.
L’Hostellerie du Chateau
For another great dining experience in Le Bar sur Loup try La Jarrerie, located across the street from the old railroad bridge.
Listed below are three of my favorite 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
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.
Tel. 04 93 09 68 60
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.
Tourrettes sur Loup
Ferme des Courmettes
Situated at 800 meters in the nature reserve of the Domaine des Courmettes, this organic goat farm offers tours, accompanied by poetry if requested, spectacular views, and many different kinds of delicious cheeses for sale.
Tourrettes sur Loup 06140
tel/fax 04 93 59 39 93
e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Cafe du Midi
For simple, fulfilling, Brasserie style food, stop in at this cafe on the main drag, directly across the street from the boules pitch. Comfortable and friendly, this local hangout is a good first choice for casual dining.
1 Place de la Liberation
Tourrettes sur Loup 06140
tel. 04 93 59 34 81
Under new ownership, Le Relais des Coches is better than ever.
Located at the eastern edge of town.
06140 Tourrettes sur Loup
tel. 04 93 24 30 24
fax. 04 93 59 34 22
Terrace dining at Le Relais des Coches
Auberge de Tourrettes
Small, comfortable, clean, and affordable, this charming hotel with six rooms and two suites is a delight. Large modern bathrooms, comfortable double beds, TV, WIFI Internet access, and a shockingly good restaurant make this my number one choice in Tourrettes.