Watching a movie filmed in Paris in a Parisian movie theater is one of my recommendations to enjoy Paris to its fullest. In any movie filmed in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is always visible in the background because of its iconic nature, whether the tower is a significant plot element or it’s the symbol of Paris, whether the film is centered on the city or Paris is only a mention.
The Eiffel Tower has frequently been featured not only in movies, but also in TV shows and video games. The following list covers many of the Eiffel Tower’s stunning appearances in 21st Century’s pop culture.
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There was one “French Kiss” filmed in 1995, but this one that I am recommending here is a new movie filmed in 2015. It was a pleasant surprise to come across this movie. The film was completely shot in Paris and the film maker is very creative.
The story is centered on Ethan (Tyler Ritter), an American in Paris on a business trip. Margaux (Margot Luciarte) is a beautiful and mischievous young Parisian woman who admires Ethan from afar. Ethan is obsessed with work. Margaux tricks him into following her brilliant world of wonder and adventure, showing him the beauty of the city through her eyes.
The two finally meet in front of the Eiffel Tower.
BioShock Infinite (2013)
“It wasn’t really Paris, it was more… it was more the world as I want to see it.”
Elizabeth is a fictional character, a young woman and A.I. companion in BioShock Infinite, a first-person shooter video game, the third installment in the BioShock franchise. The game is set in the year 1912 in a sky city (named Columbia).
Elizabeth is locked in a tower to prevent her from leaving Columbia because she has the powers to make and exploit “Tears”, which are rips to other universes.
Elizabeth has a romantic obsession with Paris and she mentions Paris frequently throughout the game.
In her tower, Elizabeth was exposed to Parisian art, architecture, literature, and fashion via books or by peeking through Tears.
Elizabeth opens up a Tear to an alternate version of Paris in 1983, similar to the one in the painting in her tower.
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, Episode 2 (2014)
Burial at Sea is a two-episode expansion to BioShock Infinite. At the beginning of Episode 2, Elizabeth experiences a romantic dream where she is living in Paris circa 1912.
The Smurfs 2 (2013)
The Smurfs 2 is a 2013 American 3D family comedy film and a sequel to the 2011 film The Smurfs. The Eiffel Tower plays a vital role in the plot.
The Saboteur (2009)
The Saboteur is a neo-noir open world third person action-adventure video game set during World War II in German-occupied France. The Eiffel tower plays a vital role in the plot.
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
The Eiffel tower plays a vital role in Rush Hour 3, which is a 2007 American martial arts/buddy action comedy film and the third film in the Rush Hour series, starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
“The Eiffel Tower can be seen from ANY window in Paris!”
— “Hollywood Rule Book”, Vanity Fair
Civilization IV (2005)
Civilization IV (also known as Civilization 4 or Civ4) is a turn-based strategy computer game and the fourth installment of the Civilization series. The Eiffel Tower can be built as a World Wonder.
Le Divorce (2003)
Le Divorce is a 2003 Merchant Ivory Productions film. The Eiffel Tower’s elevators, stairways and various levels are seen extensively near the end of the film Le Divorce. An expensive red Hermes bag is also thrown off the Eiffel Tower at one point in the film.
While watching the Eiffel Tower in pop culture isn’t the same as seeing it for real, its presence in movies, TV shows and video games is no doubt a great supplement to the enjoyment.