On the trail of film shoots!
In Pays de la Loire, discover the sites that have been home to film shoots. Cyrano de Bergerac, Michel Vaillant, The Man in the Iron Mask, Donkey Skin, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday… You're really at the heart of the adventure here!
The Plantagenet City: an ideal site for period films
You almost expect to see a horse-drawn carriage or a musketeer appear, sword in hand. With its timber-framed buildings bearing the veneer of time, its maze of little paved streets and its elegant private mansions, the Plantagenet City of Le Mans teleports you to another era. It's no surprise to find out that in the 90s Jean-Paul Rappeneau took over the place to shoot Cyrano de Bergerac, played by Gérard Depardieu. Leonardo Di Caprio himself took up residence in the city for The Man in the Iron Mask, as did Daniel Auteuil for On Guard or Lorànt Deutsch in the title role of Jean de la Fontaine, Le Défi.
Nantes: the city of Jacques Demy
Not far from here, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans racetrack, which can be visited all year round, hosted Steve McQueen in the 70s for the film Le Mans. Al Pacino also put on the driver's suit to play Bobby Deerfield in front of Sydney Pollack's camera, while Luc Besson filmed the adaptation of the Michel Vaillant comic there. Further south, Nantes remains indissociable from film maker Jacques Demy, who filmed Lola and A Room in Town there. On the other side of the Loire, the picturesque fishing village of Trentemoult was the setting for The White Queen by Jean-Loup Hubert, who also filmed The Grand Highway in Rouan, with Anémone and Richard Bohringer. Jacques Tati, meanwhile, chose the sand and the Hôtel de la Plage at the seaside resort of Saint-Marc-sur-Mer to film Monsieur Hulot's Holiday.
When The Old Guard scoured the Vendée
In the Vendée, The Old Guard, played in 1959 by the boisterous Jean Gabin, Pierre Fresnay and Noël-Noël, gave us a joke a minute in the charming municipalities of Apremont, La Chapelle-Palluau and La-Chaize-le-Vicomte, as well as at the football stadium in Coëx! Much closer to home, Lulu in the Nude cut loose in La Roche-sur-Yon, Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and Les Sables-d'Olonne, while Nicholas on Holiday was set on the island of Noirmoutier, where Claude Sautet also once filmed César and Rosalie. In Maine-et-Loire, the majestic château at Plessis-Bourré was the setting for the adventures of Donkey Skin and The Princess of Montpensier, a film by Bertrand Tavernier which also puts Angers centre stage. The little villages of Bouchemaine and Martigné-Briand were also the locations for the film Ceasefire in 2015, with Romain Duris. Finally, La Mayenne was most notably chosen for the hit comedy La Famille Bélier: the action took place in a farm building in Lassay-les-Châteaux. Lights, camera, action!