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Monaco has provided the backdrop for numerous films. The Principality also offers a stage for comic books.

Ever since cinema was born, the Principality has attracted lots of directors – more than 300 films have been set in Monaco. Back in 1905, Georges Méliès, one of the inventors of cinema, came up with An Adventurous Automobile Trip (also known as Paris to Monte Carlo), a silent film recounting a road trip by Belgian King Léopold II… In the 1960s, the Principality hosted up to ten film shoots per year.

While Erich von Stroheim completely rebuilt Place du Casino at the studios in Hollywood for his 1922 film Foolish Wives, the biggest directors preferred to shoot in Monaco itself. The Casino and the Hôtel de Paris, symbolising luxury and glamour, were the preferred sets in the Principality.

In his musical comedy Monte-Carlo (1930), Lubitsch used these locations to explore the enthusiasm for gambling, while films such as The Story of a Cheat (Sacha Guitry, 1937), Priceless (2006) and Heartbreaker (2010) made them the setting for large parts of their stories. These iconic places can also be found in popular films from the James Bond series (GoldenEye with Pierce Brosnan and Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery) as well as spy films and thrillers like Ocean’s Twelve, starring Brad Pitt.

© DR
© DR

Another of Monaco’s unique features which is often seen on screen is the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Shot in 1966, Grand Prix depicts the battle on the track between James Garner (who did his own driving) and Yves Montand. Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Juan Manuel Fangio, and Denny Hulme (who won the championship that year) can also be spotted in the film…

In Weekend of a Champion, it was Roman Polanski’s turn to delve behind the scenes of the Grand Prix, as he followed champion Jackie Stewart for a weekend, from his hotel to the start line. Popular cinema has also shone a spotlight on the street circuit, such as Disney’s Herbie Goes to Monte-Carlo (1977) and Iron Man 2 (2010).

But, of course, one of Monaco’s most enduring links with cinema is Princess Grace. Who can forget the scene from To Catch a Thief, starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, overlooking Monaco?

The place where, a year after filming, the actress would meet her future husband, Prince Rainier III.

© DR
© DR

Monaco also features in another artform: comics. The Principality can be found in the first Monegasque manga series, created by Shibuya Productions: Blitz. Created with world champion Garry Kasparov, the book immerses readers in a chess tournament taking place at the Casino de Monte-Carlo.

Other well-known comics are also set in the Principality, including a volume in the Michel Vaillant series, Panic in Monaco.

Finally, Albert I, the Explorer Prince, by Philippe Thirault, Christian Clot and Sandro, tells the story of the exceptional life of Prince Albert I.

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