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Eiffel Tower in Le Divorce

The Eiffel Tower’s 8 Stunning Appearances in Pop Culture

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.

French Kiss (2015)

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.

French Kiss (2015), Ethan and Margaux in front of the Eiffel Tower
French Kiss (2015), Ethan and Margaux in front of the Eiffel Tower that’s lit up in yellow in the background at night

BioShock Infinite (2013)

“It wasn’t really Paris, it was more… it was more the world as I want to see it.”
―Elizabeth

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.

BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth's tower room
BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth’s tower room, painting of Eiffel Tower

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, Elizabeth on a typical Paris street at night
BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth on a typical Paris street at night with the Eiffel Tower lit up in yellow in the background

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.

A typical view of Eiffel Tower and Pont d'Iéna in late spring
A typical view of Eiffel Tower and Pont d’Iéna in late spring from the right bank of River Seine

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.

Fireworks set off on the top of the Eiffel Tower
Fireworks set off on the top of the Eiffel Tower at night.
Panoramic view of Paris
Panoramic view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background

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.

Panoramic view of Paris in black and white
Panoramic view of Paris in black and white, with the Eiffel Tower and lights lit up in yellow

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.

Panoramic view of Paris at sunset
Panoramic view of Paris at sunset with the Eiffel tower in the background

“The Eiffel Tower can be seen from ANY window in Paris!”
— “Hollywood Rule Book”, Vanity Fair

Eiffel Tower lit up at night with the Plaza Athénée, Paris by its side
Eiffel Tower lit up at night in yellow with the Plaza Athénée, Paris by its side in the view and red flowers in the foreground

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.

Model of the Eiffel Tower as a World Wonder in Civilization IV
Model of the Eiffel Tower as a World Wonder in Civilization IV
The Eiffel Tower from the Jardins du Trocadéro
The Eiffel Tower from the Jardins du Trocadéro, as a World Wonder built in Civilization IV

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.

Looking upwards from the base of the Eiffel Tower
Looking upwards from the base of the Eiffel Tower against a blue sky and white clouds, a red Hermes bag thrown off the tower

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.

See Also

Eiffel Tower Scenes in Movies (images)
The Eiffel Tower turns 125: the tower on film
The Eiffel Tower – on the Screen

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Published by

Min Min

Min Min

There are different kinds of artists. Some are more focused and others are more all-encompassing. I would count myself as the art-everywhere type of artist. To me, art is a way of looking at things, of applying creativity in my life.I am a frequent traveler who truly appreciates every tiny beauty of life and have traveled extensively around the world. Different cities inspire me in different ways.My passion is Paris which I have visited more than once, living as a Parisian. I have walked big streets and small alleys in Paris, and every inch of the city has given me inspiration.When I first arrived in Paris it was as though all my senses were heightened, then as I became familiar with the city I learned to see subtleties that I missed at first.

5 thoughts on “The Eiffel Tower’s 8 Stunning Appearances in Pop Culture”

  1. I like the story behind ”French kiss” movie, I will have to see it!

    It’s true, very fine way to get (or stay) in touch with Paris spirit it to see its appearances in movies and in pop culture in general.

    I loved the animated optimistic movie Ratatouille about the charming little rat who is in love with cooking, and his devise – Everyone can cook 🙂

    I would also recommend a lovely story about a friendship between two very different but equally sensitive people that is also filmed in Paris, it’s called ”Mr Morgan’s last love”. Eiffel’s tower makes effective appearance in this movie as well 

  2. The “old lady” in all her splendor.
    In some interviews, some actors and realisators are actually thinking that she is taking part in their movies as a real actress.
    I agree. A French movie without her, is not a French movie. It’s like croissants without butter = they are not croissants!

  3. Ah, *sigh* the Eiffel Tower, the statue that made me jump of my bus seat and run towards it as if trying to catch myself in the open, grayish thin air. Everyone draws inspiration from the timeless beauty itself and tries to capture it through the lens of a virtual reality. From all of these films I’ve only seen French Kiss from 1995.
    As they say Paris is always a great idea with the Eiffel Tower taking center stage.

  4. Finding the Eiffel Tower as the center element of the panorama of a movie scene is always pleasant. As you say, the Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of the pop-culture, so we find it not only in movies, but in video games, comics, series, etc. That increases our desire to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower with our own eyes. So that is why when heading to Paris, the first thought that comes to our minds is this magic icon, and when we get off the plane the first place we want to go is to the Eiffel Tower.

    1. When I got off the plane, I didn’t go to the Eiffel Tower. I just “lived” like a Parisian and suddenly I saw it and realized it’s so close yet so far. It’s not an “attraction” to visit when you get off the plane; it’s always there accompanying you once you’re in Paris.

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