Eiffel Tower in popular culture

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The Eiffel Tower has appeared frequently in works of fiction because of its iconic nature. Movie critic Roger Ebert has noted in his online column that no matter where in Paris a film scene is set the Eiffel Tower will be visible in the background.[1]

Major plot element[edit]

In some cases the tower is the key plot element or a significant plot element.

  • 1949 In The Man on the Eiffel Tower, the tower plays a central role, and the climax involves a climbing chase that predates the Mount Rushmore scene in North by Northwest.
  • 1951 In The Lavender Hill Mob, models of the tower are central to the plot, and the climax takes place on the real tower.
  • 1960 In Zazie dans le Métro a chase scene takes place on the stairs and crossbars of the tower.
  • 1980 John Denis' novel The Hostage Tower (based on an idea by Alistair Maclean) features an audacious scheme to capture the tower and use the threat of its destruction to extort millions from the French government. The story was adapted into a telemovie of the same name.
  • 1985 The James Bond film A View to a Kill contains a scene in the tower, including scenes in the Jules Verne restaurant there (filmed elsewhere), a fight on the stairway, and a BASE jump off the top of the tower as Bond (played for the last time by Roger Moore) chased a masked assassin who had just killed the French detective that Bond was meeting with (the killer was later revealed as May Day, played by Grace Jones). The video for the title song feature the members of Duran Duran as assassins and spies in or around the tower. [2]
  • 1987 An episode of The Real Ghostbusters entitled "The Ghostbusters in Paris" had the tower become haunted, causing a French government official to go to New York and enlist the help of the Ghostbusters. They later realize that Eiffel developed the tower to trap ghosts, making the Eiffel Tower the world's largest "ghost containment unit". By story's end, the ghosts were transmitted to the Ghostbuster's Primary Containment Unit back in New York, essentially de-haunting the Tower.
  • 1995 In the third season finale of Highlander: The Series, "Finale part 2", Duncan MacLeod defeats the Immortal Kalas atop the tower.
  • 2003 In Le Divorce the tower's elevators, stairways and various levels are seen extensively as one character pursues another near the end of the film. The tower is featured on the movie promo poster and is also mentioned in a purported tour guide for the tower audible in the soundtrack.
  • 2007 Featured in Rush Hour 3 as the climax battle. Portions of the fight was actual footage of the famous landmark, whilst other sequences were replicated built sets.
  • 2007 The plot of the mystery Murder on the Eiffel Tower: A Victor Legris Mystery by Claude Izner involves a murder on the tower, during the Paris Exposition of 1889.[2]
  • 2013 The Eiffel Tower is featured and parodied in the Kickstarter-funded low-budget animated feature film, Dick Figures: The Movie, based on and apart of the animated web series, Dick Figures. The very top of the tower is where the second piece of the ancient sword the main characters set out to retrieve is.

Destruction of the tower[edit]

In a notable subtype, the action of all or part of the work centers around the real or threatened destruction of the tower.

  • 1965 In The Great Race Jack Lemmon's character Professor Fate misfires a cannon, which causes the tower's collapse at the end of the film.
  • 1981 In the original version of The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, a prediction of World War III includes the tower collapsing when Paris is destroyed.
  • 1992 In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode ""Tower of Power", Krang has a giant electromagnet, and wants to use it to pull the Technodrome from its Dimension X asteroid location by using the Eiffel Tower as an antenna. The Eiffel Tower begins to be pulled loose from its foundations and towards the dimensional portal. At the last minute, Donatello destroys the generator and the Eiffel Tower falls down to the ground undamaged.
  • 1992 In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Rust Never Sleeps", Bebop and Rocksteady blast metals with Krangs "oxidizer rocket". The "oxidizer rocket" was originally planned by Krang to use to send the Technodrome to Earth, and when it failed, Krang thinks that it can be used by threatening to rust metal if the people don't surrender to Krang and Shredder. Even the Eiffel Tower gets blasted, and begins to collapse from rust. In the end, Donatello reverses Krang's device to turn the metals back to normal.
  • 1993 In the book The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg, the tower is bent/drooped over from some unknown event. The tower is mentioned as being repaired/rebuilt to its normal shape later on.
  • 1995 In the real-time strategy game of Command & Conquer, the tower is one of four selectable targets for the Global Defense Initiative's hijacked Ion Cannon weapon, during the ending sequence of the Brotherhood of Nod campaign.
  • 1996 The tower appears in the Paris level in the PlayStation game Twisted Metal 2. The tower can be blown up using a remote bomb and falls as a bridge to other buildings.
  • 1999 In the French Sentai amateur series France Five, the destruction of the tower in the main objective of the evil empire Lexos, as it generates a barrier around the planet that keeps it from sending armies en masse.
  • 2002 In the 2002 one-shot comic book The Authority: Kev, the tower is as a missile to destroy an alien flagship.
  • 2004 In Godzilla: Final Wars, Kamacuras attacks the tower.
  • 2004 In Team America: World Police, a rocket blows up the tower, and it crushes the Arc de Triomphe.
  • 2008 The History Channel's Life After People features the collapse of the tower around 200 years after the disappearance of humans, due to corrosion.
  • 2008 In Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon, the tower (named the "Belleville Tower") is the site of a massive battle against oceanographer Henri Crosteau, who is in a giant squid-shaped robot and nearly destroys it in the process. The tower can also be destroyed by the player during free roam.
  • 2009 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra depicts the tower being destroyed by a rapidly expanding cloud of metal-eating nanomachines.
  • 2010 In Emergency 2012: Quest for Peace, a mission begins with a cutscene involving a French news broadcast depicting the tower having collapsed to the side atop several buildings due to massive thunderstorms.
  • 2011 In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a mission ends with a convoy stopping short of the damaged Eiffel Tower. An airstrike is called and the Tower topples into the river.

Destruction of the city, or the world[edit]

In another notable sub-type, the tower and its destruction is used as a symbol of the real or threatened destruction of the city, or the world.

  • 1953 In The War of the Worlds, most (if not all) of Paris is destroyed by the Martian attack. The tower can be seen in ruin at the end of the film depicting the death of the Martians.
  • 1980 In Superman II, the tower (and the rest of Paris) are almost blown up by a terrorist nuclear bomb, and Lois Lane almost plunges to her death under its elevator. In the original 1977 script, one of the 3 supervillains, Non, was to destroy the tower with his heat vision.
  • 1996 The tower can be seen on TV in Independence Day (film), as the UFO lands on the tip of the structure.
  • 1996 In Mars Attacks!, the tower is melted/destroyed by Martians.
  • 1996 In Command & Conquer: Red Alert if the player fails to stop a series of nuclear missiles from reaching Europe during the Allied campaign, a cutscene will play, showing a missile landing in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the foreground and detonating, creating an enormous mushroom cloud, and the Eiffel Tower can be seen melting before the heat of the blast.
  • 1997 In The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror VIII" the tower was used in the segment "The HΩmega Man" by the French government as a nuclear launch site to detonate a missile on Springfield.
  • 1998 The tower, along with Paris, is destroyed by a meteorite in Armageddon.
  • In posters promoting the 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow, the tower is depicted frozen in another ice age, with snow almost covering the base. It does not appear in the film itself.
  • In the 2005 Hallmark film Supernova, lightning bolts from a supernova fry the Eiffel Tower.
  • 2005 The film Category 7: The End of the World opens with the Eiffel Tower. The tower is later destroyed along with numerous other landmarks.
  • 2007 28 Weeks Later ends with people infected with the fictional Rage Virus heading towards the Eiffel Tower.
  • 2007 The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite reveals the Eiffel Tower to be in reality a spaceship, piloted by a zombified version of Gustave Eiffel. Later, in the nearly world ending finale, the Eiffel Tower falls out of the sky destroying the Umbrella Academy's base.
  • In the 2008 film The Day the Earth Stopped, the top of the tower is destroyed by a giant robot.
  • 2009 The game cover of Resistance: Retribution features the Eiffel Tower and sections of Paris invaded by the Chimera.
  • 2009 The animated movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, features the tower being toppled by a large-sized sandwich causing chaos in Paris.
  • In the book Horton Hears a Who!, a building called the "Eiffelburg Tower" stands as the ladder of hope for the Whos as their dust speck world is about to be thrown into a stew. The mayor of Whoville carries a child named JoJo to the top of the tower to make himself heard, and he says, "Yop", revealing that Whos exist all the time.
  • 2011 In the video game Battlefield 3, a nuclear bomb detonates in the city, destroying most of Paris, and killing 80,000 people.

Embodiment of Paris[edit]

In others, the tower is used as an embodiment of Paris, the symbol of the city, to set the scene for a film or other work centered on the city.

  • 1923 René Clair's Paris qui dort starts, ends and has many scenes on the tower.
  • 1939 In Ninotchka an involved flirtation takes place around a discussion of finding the Eiffel Tower around the 26 minute time point.
  • 1958 At the beginning of François Truffaut's The 400 Blows, the tower is seen between Parisian apartment blocks.
  • 1964 In Paris When It Sizzles, Richard's movie within the movie is called "The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower" and several key scenes take place there.
  • 1976 In Marathon Man, the tower can be seen outside of Doc's hotel room while he is on assignment in Paris.
  • 1995 In French Kiss, Kate misses seeing the tower several times while she wanders around Paris, but later spends several minutes rapturously watching it while on the train to Cannes (from which line it is not possible to see the tower).
  • 1995 In Forget Paris, Miki and Ellen are shown in front of the tower numerous times throughout the film.
  • 2003 In The Real World Paris television show on the US MTV network, the tower is seen.
  • 2010 In From Paris With Love, John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as CIA agents have breakfast on the Eiffel Tower. They are also seen inside one of its elevators as it rises.

Symbol of Paris[edit]

In yet others, as a symbol of the city in a more peripheral way.

Familiar visual element[edit]

Other uses, to establish the tower simply as a well known visual element.

  • 1994 In the French film Un indien dans la ville (aka Little Indian, Big City) 13-year-old Mimi-Siku (Ludwig Briand) who has been raised by a Native South American tribe, climbs partway up the tower in tribal costume. (The film was remade in English in 1997 as Jungle 2 Jungle, but the venue is changed to New York City and Mimi-Siku climbs the Statue of Liberty.)
  • 1995 In La Haine, the main protagonists lament the fact that they cannot switch the lights of the tower off like people can in the movies. The lights switch off just after they have given up and turned their backs on the tower.
  • 2001 In Moulin Rouge!, the villain's pistol is thrown from Montmartre and it symbolically bounces off the tower.

Other appearances[edit]

  • 1944 In WWII, a fighter plane is reliably reported as flying through the archway of the tower during combat.[3]
Looking down from the first level at one of the feet of the tower.
  • 1993 In a Bill Nye the Science Guy episode titled "Magnetism", Bill Nye mentions two examples of "very tall metal towers" and the first one is the Eiffel Tower. The tower is shown onscreen when he mentions it.
  • 1996 - In the 1996 PlayStation game Twisted Metal 2 Players are able blow up the Eiffel Tower using a Remote Bomb
  • 1997 - Current Programs on the Fashion TV channel are headed by an animated Eiffel Tower logo complete with lighting display, accompanied by the words "MichelAdam Presents".
  • 1998 The tower is stolen by Rex the Runt and his associates in order to replace Blackpool Tower after it is destroyed by an explosion at Bob's International Hiccup Centre following Doctor Dog's takeover of the facility. After the Eiffel Tower is put into place at Blackpool Beach, the Union Jack is flown from its top and Bad Bob comments that "no one will even notice the difference." However it caused an uproar with the French representative in the EU, who said in French that Rex and his friends should be Guillotined for their crimes.
  • 1999 The Bloodhound Gang's singe The Bad Touch music video, the Eiffel Tower can be seen in many shots.
  • 2000 In Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, the babies are atop the tower while using the giant Reptar invention.
  • 2000 In the real-time strategy game of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Soviet forces turn the tower into a giant, extremely long ranged, incredibly powerful, and rapid firing tesla coil capable of destroying all French forces in the area and a major portion of the city. For copyright reasons, it is called the "Paris Tower" in the game, and has a radical change in design, however enough of the original design remains for the tower to be recognized.
  • 2000 The Eiffel Tower makes a couple of appearances in Max Steel; in overhead shots of the city, the building the European N-Tek base is located under, and the scene where an hour-long EMP is almost used.
  • 2001 In The Royal Tenenbaums, the tower appears reflected on the window in a brief scene of Margot Tenenbaum (Gwyneth Paltrow) with her French lover.
  • 2001-2002 In Beyblade, The Eiffel tower is the arena to two battles in episode 33 and 34 of season 1.
  • 2003 The tower is seen in the Paris map of Midnight Club.
  • 2003 In The Core, the tower is seen when the Earth's electromagnetic field repairs itself.
  • 2003 The tower features in Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
  • 2003 The Deathray Davies song "The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower"
  • 2004 In Van Helsing, the tower is under construction.
  • 2004 In Onimusha 3: Demon Siege, the tower is turned into a stronghold time-portal built by Genma Head-Scientist Guildenstein.
  • 2004 The tower flies and moves around Paris in the puppet version of Without a Paddle, in a scene that starts only after the credits end.
  • 2004 The Tower is the end location for a near fatal terrorist attack in the video game Shadow Ops: Red Mercury'
  • 2004 The tower is seen in Eurotrip, and mentioned when a protagonist asks whether they should "check out the huge line at the Eiffel Tower".
  • 2005 The tower features in A View from the Eiffel Tower by Montenegrin director Nikola Vukčević.
  • 2005 In Evil Genius, the tower can be shrunk and stolen.
  • 2005 The tower can be built as a World Wonder in Civilization IV.
  • 2005 In Munich the tower can be seen in the background.
  • 2006 In the game Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, part of the French Resistance level requires the player to destroy German anti-aircraft guns on and around the tower.
  • 2005 In the BBC documentary End Days, when the accelerator of particles is destroyed, natural disaster hit Europe. The Eiffel Tower is seen on television when the hole reaches Europe.
  • 2007 In Mr. Bean's Holiday, Mr. Bean goes past the tower in a taxi.
  • 2008 In Impact, The Tower was seen when comets flying all over The Tower and A News Broadcaster standing right in front of the Tower.
  • 2008 In NYC: Tornado Terror, After destroying New York City, the tornado moves east towards Paris. A small tornado forms right in front of the tower and the green electricity that previously appeared in New York appears on the Tower briefly.
  • 2009 in video games The tower plays a vital role in the plot of The Saboteur.
  • 2010 In The Suite Life On Deck, Cody and Bailey break up on the Tower, and Zack and Woody skydive onto it.
  • 2010 In Phineas and Ferb: Summer Belongs to You!, Phineas and Isabella walk near the tower while Isbaella is singing "City of Love". Later, Ferb and Vanessa are on the tower. When Ferb decides to get her a flower, Vanessa has left from her dad, Dr. Doofenshritz.
  • 2010 In a 2010 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno the host mentioned in his monologue that there's been a string of art thefts in Paris. He then showed a doctored news report from Paris with the Eiffel Tower being stolen via helicopter in the background.
  • 2013 In the trailer for The Smurfs 2, the Tower is seen numerous times.
  • 2013 The tower is the inspiration for Prism Tower, located within Lumoise City in Pokémon X and Y.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 40 Things That Only Happen in the Movies[dead link] Ebert's comment was meant in jest, but scenes in movies such as The Longest Day with gratuitous use of the Tower in the background lend credence to the joke.
  2. ^ Izner, Claude (2007). Murder on the Eiffel Tower: a Victor Legris Mystery. City: Gallic Books. ISBN 1-906040-01-X. 
  3. ^ http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?169598-US-P51-Ace-Bill-Overstreet
  4. ^ [1] video

4.^ Tickets for Eiffel Tower