Sunday 20 Jan, 2008

Where did they film that?

Watched the fantastic action thriller Ronin again last night. Not only does it feature the greatest actor of all-time (Robert De Niro) and the greatest car chase of all-time, but it also shows off the greatness of Paris, where much of the film is set.

The opening shot focuses on Sacre-Coeur, there’s a key scene in a tunnel below Pont Alexandre III and, of course, the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the background in several scenes.

In fact, on the DVD commentary, director John Frankenheimer says
that Paris officials were so eager to have an American movie filmed there in the late 1990s that they went out of their way to accommodate the director. They even waived a local law preventing the firing of guns, for example. The result is an edge-of-your-seat ride through the
streets of Paris.

The location that really fascinated me, though, was the steps down Montmartre (see photo) that lead to a bar where the characters meet at the beginning and end of the film. But where did they film that?

Luckily, I came across The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations.
This fascinating site bills itself as “the ultimate travel guide to
film sites around the world.” You can search by movie title, actors and
directors and even some cities. You can find famous sites from The Sound of Music, Lawrence of Arabia and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, just to name a few.

But, most importantly, it answered my question about Ronin.

According to the site, the steep flight of steps that De Niro descends at the beginning of film is rue Drevet, and the bar is actually a TexMex restaurant called Blue Sky on rue des Trois Frères.

It’s a minor site, to be sure, but I’ll still be sure to seek out Blue Sky next month when we head to the City of Light for EF’s Paris Orientation. (No chance of re-creating that car chase, though.)

What obscure movie sites would you want to seek out on your travels?