Monte Carlo is a luxurious city situated on the French Riviera, where the Mediterranean sun reflects gently off the waters and gleams brightly off the highly-polished yachts docked in marinas.
Situated in Monaco, one of the smallest countries in the world, Monte Carlo is a hub for the rich and famous, as well as being an increasingly popular tourist resort. The city has long been known as a stylish destination for gaming, ever since the 19th century when a casino was planned to attract wealthy visitors.
Now home to the Monaco Grand Prix, Tennis Masters, and the world famous Casino du Monte Carlo, as well as a number of other prominent displays of architecture, it is little wonder that this decadent location has been a film set in a number of awesome (and not so awesome) movies.
The most recent to shoot in Monte Carlo was the film of the same name. Monte Carlo (2011) stars Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester. The film’s plot involves the young ladies going on a vacation to Paris, only to find that it is not everything they dreamed it would be. One of the girls is mistaken for a British heiress and is whisked off to stylish Monte Carlo city.
The cringe worthy romances and lack of comedic value in the Monte Carlo film does a great injustice to the sophistication of the destination itself. Incidentally, the city’s appearance in the mediocre film Ocean’s Twelve (we all know it wasn’t as good as the first) doesn’t do it any favors either.
In Ocean’s Twelve, the team of con-artists must recover tens of millions of dollars for a dodgy casino owner, and the filmmakers chose Monte Carlo as one of its many European locations, with several scenes shot in and around the casino.
Thankfully, not every film shot in Monte Carlo is a complete let down. Iron Man 2, the action movie based on the Marvel comic starring high profile actor Robert Downey Jr., brings us exhilarating scenes in which Vanko attacks Iron Man in the middle of the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. These dramatic moments see the hero and villain diving around in the streets of Condamine, Port Hercules and the Place du Casino, battling to the death in true Marvel style.
The most stylish guest Monte Carlo has ever welcomed is undoubtedly James Bond, who has paid several visits in his career as a 007 agent. In Never Say Never Again (1983), Sean Connery’s Bond plays a futuristic video game against Largo at a Charity Ball. The charity event is held at the beautiful and extravagant Casino du Monte Carlo. Other scenes depict the streets of the city, including an action-packed bike chase along the Riviera.
In GoldenEye (1995), Pierce Brosnan beats sexy but dangerous agent Xenia Onnatop in a game of Baccarat, and later has a drink with her at a private bar. These scenes were once again set and filmed at the city’s most well known casino, with other moments taking place in the Casino Square, Fort Antoine and Bay of Monte Carlo.
James Bond is perhaps Monte Carlo’s saving grace in terms of film appearances. There is nothing more suave than having Bond himself grace the tables, and his charm and mannerisms best fit the world that Monte Carlo has come to represent. Whether on film or not, this is a city of style!