1. The Longest Day
Almost 12 million seats sold in France alone. Over $50 million revenue around the world. Some of the scenes of “The Longest Day”, released in 1962 on the silver screen, were shot on Île de Ré, in Saint Clément des Baleines (La Conche Beach) and in Rivedoux.
2. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
6.3 million seats sold in France, over $384 million revenue around the world. Steven Spielberg began shooting in 1980 in Charente-Maritime, in La Rochelle’s submarine base. In the film: the underground caverns involving the Nazi submarine.
3. Brotherhood of the Wolf
5.1 million seats sold in France and 7.4 million around the world. The 2001-released Brotherhood of the Wolf was shot in Dordogne and in Gironde: Château de Puyguilhem, Château de Jumilhac and the village, Château de Biron and Château de Roquetaillade.
5.5 million seats sold for this comedy released in 2006. Shot on the Atlantic Coast in Gironde and Arcachon Bay: Arès, Camping de la Dune in Pyla-sur-Mer, La Teste de Buch, as well as in the Landes in Biscarosse, it was followed up by two sequels with each attracting over 3 million cinema-goers.
5. Little White Lies
This French comedy-drama, written and directed by Guillaume Canet was released in 2010. 5.4 million cinema-goers watched with emotion the adventures of the friends at Cap Ferret on Arcachon Bay. “Nous finirons ensemble”, the sequel of the opus released in 2019 takes place in the same location.
6. Happiness Is in the Field
No less than 6 César Awards for this film directed by Étienne Chatiliez in 1995. Some of the shooting took place in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, and was seen by almost 5 million cinema-goers in France.
7. Brice de Nice
Hossegor in the Landes, is where James Huth’s film, released in 2005, takes place. The famous character created by Jean Dujardin attracted 4.4 million spectators in cinemas and was followed by a sequel in 2016.
8. A Very Long Engagement
4.4 million viewers for this film starring Audrey Tautou, where the scenes of trenches from the First World War were shot in Montmorillon near Poitiers. Over 20 hectares of land was worked on to set up 200 metres of trenches filled with water and mud, shell holes, uprooted trees, etc. Constructions which were then recovered at the end of shooting.
9. Les Misérables
The most accurate version of Victor Hugo’s novel, directed by Robert Hossein, hit the screens in 1982. Some scenes were shot in Bordeaux and others in Dordogne: Sarlat, Monpazier, Saint-Cyprien and Sireuil. Almost 4 million spectators saw it in cinemas.
10. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
The Château de Beynac in Dordogne and the Palace of Justice in Poitiers were used as décor for this film written and directed by Luc Besson, released in 1999. Almost 3 million spectators in France and 5.5 million in Europe, superproduction of course!
A great box-office hit (2.1 million spectators) for this 2006-released French film directed by Pierre Salvadori. Scenes starring Gad Elmaleh and Audrey Tautou were shot in the prestigious Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz as well as in the town.
12. La Reine Margot
This film, adapted from the novel “La Reine Margot” by Alexandre Dumas père, directed by Patrice Chéreau, was released in 1994. It went on to win 5 César Awards. Some scenes were shot in Bordeaux: rue de la Tour du Pin, rue Saint Éloi. Almost 2 million seats sold.