This Special Edition post highlights 10 great cities and some of the most famous film locations past and present. These are all great cities made even more enjoyable when connecting film making and discovery travel together.
New York, New York
- Take a Harbor Cruise or the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty like Funny Girl, Barbara Streisand.
- Walk the streets of Little Italy and imagine the 1973 Mean Streets of Robert De Nero, Directed by Martin Scorsese.
- Imagine King Kong hanging from the top of the Empire State Building, then window shop at Tiffany & Co. (5th Avenue and 58th Street).
- On your way uptown, check out the tenements of West Side Story (West 109th Street).
- Step into the footsteps of the stars at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Better yet, catch a movie and check out the lavish interior.
- Check out the Shrine Auditorium, home of the Oscars.
- Stroll the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where Rudolph Valentino and many other early movie stars are buried. The cemetery doubles as a movie theater in the summer months.
- Check out one of the many tours of the stars and the studios. And then rent the classic Sunset Boulevard.
Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah
- This valley, now part of the Navajo tribal park was the set for numerous cowboy movies of the 20’s and 30’s. Stagecoach was filmed here.
- Visit during sunrise and/or sunset for the shades of pink and orange off the cliffs and canyons.
- Visit Goulding Trading Post, just west of the park. Its founder convinced John Ford to shoot movies here.
- The Center of Bollywood is in the Juhu district of Mumbai. Over 200 films are made here every year. Each includes the formula of song, dance and melodrama.
- Tours/trips to one of the big studios, KR or Filmistan, will let you see the process first hand.
- Take a taxi to the Park Hyatt Hotel for incredible views of Tokyo and was the set for Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson.
- Make a reservation at Gonpachi (at Nishi-Azabu) for dinner like Uma Thurman in Terantino’s Kill Bill.
- The New Otani Inn was SPECTRE Headquarters in Sean Connery’s You Only Live Twice.
Queenstown, New Zealand
- Frodo (Elijah Wood), Gandolf (Ian McKellen) and Saruman (Christopher Lee) hailed from Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings series.
- See the beauty of Lake Wakatipu, home of Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchett.
- The Southern Alps where many of the scenes were shot for the much of the Lord of the Rings films.
- The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s were featured in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code movies.
- And who can forget Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck in Fellini’s Roma and Roman Holiday?
- The birth of the 1960s New Wave started when Jean-Paul Belmonde roamed the bars of St. Germain and the Champs Elysees in the film Breathless.
- Nicole Kidman and Ewen McGregor fell in love at the Moulin Rouge, a favorite movie of ours.
- You still can have coffee and a meal at the cafe made famous by Audrey Tautou in the now classic Amelie.
Prague, Czech Republic
- Wesley Snipes chased Vampires through the streets of old town in Blade II.
- Tom Cruise watches a car explode from the Charles Bridge in Mission Impossible.
- The same Charles Bridge was filmed during a rain storm with Barbra Streisand in Yentl.
- Tom Hulce played Mozart, was wed and buried at the Church of Saint Giles in Amadeus.
- Walk the street of Nothing Hill where Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant fell in love.
- Grab a bite at the cafe or the excellent Restaurant at the Tate Modern like Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones Diary.
- Cross the Thames to St. Barthomew-the-Great, Smithfield where Joseph Finnes prayed in Shakespeare in Love.
- Harry Potter fans will want to visit the reptile house at the zoo and platform 9-3/4, filmed on real life platform 4 at the massive Kings Cross Station.
Note: We have visited all of these cites and most of these locations over the years. We rekindled many great memories while conducting research for this post. J&J