It wasn't a bikini but Madonna's actual lingerie that grabbed everyone's attention when she showed off her bod in a Gaultier bra at Cannes in 1991. Though Madonna would probably do something like this just for funzies, at Cannes she did it to promote the film Truth or Dare.
Bikinis shouldn't get all of the attention. In 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen promoted his film Borat by parading around Cannes in a teeny weeny mankini.
Aside from the films, celebs love to visit the Riviera during Cannes to soak up serious sun. Grace Kelly kicked things off back in 1955, making way for beauties like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian to charter yachts to Cannes.
Kanye West brought his short film Cruel Summer to Cannes in 2012. He also brought Kim Kardashian. Needless to say, Kimye's kissing and groping at after parties got more press than Cruel Summer.
That same year another celeb couple, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, brought the heat to Cannes. Each actor was there to promote their own film, Cosmopolis and On the Road respectively. They supported each other at both screenings and all over the festival.
Natalie Portman was a Cannes juror in 2008, which allowed us to see her visit many premieres in a variety of outfits, including a flouncy purple Lanvin gown and a stunning, origami-esque Givenchy dress.
Cate Blanchett honored late designer Alexander McQueen in 2010 when she wore his gown on the red carpet at Cannes. She was the first star to wear a McQueen gown on the red carpet following his death.
In 1987, Princess Diana graced Cannes in an icy blue gown by Catherine Walker.
Timeless beauty icon Brigitte Bardot did everyone a favor when she "introduced" the bikini to the world at Cannes in 1953 while enjoying a leisurely, bikini-clad sunning with actor Kirk Douglas. He was quoted as saying he'd "never seen one of those before."
In 1954, Simone Silva performed one of the first stunts of the Cannes Film Festival when she dropped her bikini top and flashed photographers trying to snap pictures of actor Robert Mitchum. Oops?
Above all, Cannes is really about one thing: the films. Some films soar while others flop majestically, meaning that walk-outs and audible disapproval are not uncommon in theatres at Cannes. In 1976, In The Realm of the Senses was met with unfavorable responses because it was one of the first films to actually show a sex scene. Times have changed. Gasper Noe's Irreversible spawned walk-outs back in 2002, and this year he's returning to Cannes with Love, which promises to be even raunchier.
It's surprising to consider, but the classic film Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro was met with boos when it premiered at Cannes. The film went on to receive four Oscar nominations and will forever be remembered as one of the most iconic films in history.
When it comes to walk-outs, Lars von Trier's Antichrist takes the cake. One scene in particular in the film caused multiple walk-outs, but also led actress Charlotte Gainsbourg to win a best actress award at Cannes. The film wasn't so lucky, winning a fake "anti-award" from the Cannes jury. Go figure.
Directors Spike Lee and Vincent Gallo were both quoted as saying less than kind things about critics who gave their films negative reviews at Cannes. After Roger Ebert trashed Vincent Gallo's film The Brown Bunny, Gallo called Ebert a "fat pig," to which Ebert replied, "One day I'll be thin; Vincent Gallo will always be the director of The Brown Bunny." Gallo never presented another film at Cannes.