For nearly my entire life I’ve been on extremely familiar terms with John Robie’s (i.e., Cary Grant‘s) mountaintop home in To Catch A Thief. Yesterday Sasha Stone and her daughter Emma and I actually visited the place. It’s located on the main road leading up to the medieval village of Saint Jeannet, and it’s absolutely dead real — relatively unchanged from when Alfred Hitchcock shot his classic 1955 film — with only the addition of a driveway gate and a tall thick hedge in front.

Villa Robie – Tuesday, 5.10, 3:35 pm.

Villa Robie as glimpsed in To Catch a Thief.

The last time I came upon a real-life location with this kind of hot-damn impact was when I visited Oahu for the Pearl Harbor junket and stopped by Halona Blowhole beach — the site of the famous love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity.

We wandered around the winding, small-scale, centuries-old streets of Saint Jeannet for about 90 minutes and took several photos of the breathtaking rocky peak (i.e., the “Baou”) that towers above. Then we motored down to Tourrettes Sur Loup , another pleasant medieval village only much more touristy. It has nothing to do with Tourette syndrome, although we joked about that (as tens of thousands of previous visitors have also joked, no doubt).

Tourettes Sur Loup — Tuesday, 5.10, 5:40 pm.