As you watched, you thought, 'Someday I'm going to go there'. Now you can
What you'll find in this story: travel films, foreign films, international movies, best destinations, secret film locations, top movies, international lodging, travel tips
There's something about movies that can make you obsessed with a place. But not just any movie, and not just any place. As we drew up our list, we had some arguments--favorites like The English Patient and Casablanca didn't survive the cut--but mostly we had fun. We discovered new movies, and we learned how easy it is to make silver screen dreams come true.
25. Whale Rider, New Zealand, 2003
Keisha Castle-Hughes got an Oscar nod, but the real star was New Zealand. The film-which follows Pai, a Maori girl seeking acceptance in her tribe-provides an intimate look at Maori tradition, as well as breathtaking views of the little-visited Eastland region. Your Turn: Whale Rider was filmed in Whangara, 10 hours from Auckland by car. With just 30 full-time residents, the Maori village wasn't prepared for the hordes of fans. The land is private, so book a guided visit through the Gisborne Visitor Information Office, 20 miles south (011-64/6-868-6139, gisbornenz.com). For $33, Hone Taumaunu-one of the film's cultural advisers-leads a two-hour tour: Walk on the beach where Pai's namesake landed 1,000 years ago, see the house where the movie was shot, and learn about the Ngati Konohi people. Goway.com sells a Whale Rider package starting at $2,519. It includes flights from L.A., a 12-day car rental, 11 nights' hotel, tours, and shows (800/387-8850, goway.com).
Reel Life! My fiance and I saw Ocean's Eleven right before we left for the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We couldn't wait to see if the hotel really was that swank. It definitely didn't disappoint! --Mary Cannone, Kew Gardens, N.Y.
24. The Beach, Thailand, 2000
It's the story of backpackers searching for paradise-they think they find it, but utopia goes all Lord of the Flies on them before too long. Your Turn: Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) starts at backpacker central, Bangkok's Khao San Road. But the footage was shot on the island of Phuket. The characters stay at On On Hotel, a 1929 colonial inn (011-66/76-211-154, from $5). To find "The Beach," head to the island of Phi Phi Don, then take a $7 boat trip to uninhabited Phi Phi Leh. The cove of Ao Maya isn't cut off from the sea entirely-the filmmakers spackled over the gap with a digital cliff-but it is gorgeous, its waters teeming with fish...and tour boats. (The lagoon that inspired Alex Garland's novel is in the Gulf of Thailand, on the isle of Ko Mae Ko, in the Ang Thong Marine Park. Day tours leave from Ko Samui for $45.)
23. Topkapi, Istanbul, 1964
A gang of thieves--including Maximilian Schell and Melina Mercouri-scampers across Istanbul's rooftops as the Bosporus shimmers below. They skulk around the marble-and-mosaic Topkapi palace. They attend a grease-wrestling tournament. Do they get away with the crime? The ending, like Istanbul itself, is worth discovering. Your Turn: The palace, behind the 1,500-year-old Ayasofya, is a repository of Ottoman riches (011-90/212-512-0480, $8). The jewel-encrusted Topkapi Dagger-which the thieves covet-remains securely on display in its Treasury (another $7). Anyone looking to emulate Schell and the gang would be wise to watch another film set in Istanbul: Midnight Express. The prison that it made infamous, minutes east from the Palace, is now a luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. From January 3 to March 31, the rates drop from $320 to $210 (Tevkifhane Sokak No. 1, 011-90/212-638-8200, fourseasons.com).
22. A Little Romance, Paris, Verona, Venice, 1979
Long before Diane Lane was Unfaithful, she starred in A Little Romance, the story of two teens determined to seal their love with a kiss under Venice's Bridge of Sighs. Your Turn: Lauren (Lane) and Daniel (Thelonious Bernard) meet at the Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau, 30 miles southeast of Paris (April-October, $15, train from Gare de Lyon to Melun then a taxi, $25). Their first date begins outside the Louvre, at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Longchamp racetrack is in the Bois de Boulogne. Take an overnight train to Verona from the Gare de Paris-Bercy (raileurope.com, France/Italy rail pass $259). Juliet's house-and its famous balcony-is southeast of Piazza delle Erbe (Via Cappello 23, $4). The train from Verona to Venice takes an hour and a half (use your rail pass). Hop on vaporetto 1 or 82 down the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco ($6). At sunset, with the bells of the campanile tolling, hire a gondola to go to the Bridge of Sighs ($92 for 50 minutes). Make out like teenagers.
Reel Life! I fell in love with the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich., the first time I saw Somewhere in Time, the beautiful love story filmed there. I've been several times-each year it hosts a Somewhere in Time weekend-and it's a lovely place to vacation. -Judy Korke, Chicago, Ill.
21. South Pacific, French Polynesia, 1958
South Pacific's previous incarnations won two Pulitzers (in 1948 for fiction and in 1950 for drama), and the movie was a monster hit. But its most lasting achievement was the image rehabilitation of the Pacific, site of some of World War II's nastiest battles. Your Turn: James A. Michener wrote the book on which the movie was based while stationed in Vanuatu, but the script describes the setting generically as "two islands in the South Pacific." A few clues-a French-born male lead and a U.S. military base in sight of a spectacular mountain-sound like French Polynesia, although most of the film was shot in the North Pacific, in Hawaii. From Kauai's main town of Lihue, take Highway 56 north about 40 miles to Lumahai Beach--it's where Mitzi Gaynor tried to wash that man right out of her hair. Beware of riptides. For $101, Hawaii Movie Tours leads five-hour trips to famous locations from South Pacific and other movies shot on the island, such as Six Days, Seven Nights (800/628-8432, hawaiimovietour.com).
20. In the Mood for Love, Hong Kong, 2000
And what a mood it is: Director Wong Kar-wai's 1962 Hong Kong is all dramatic shadows, swinging hips, lingering glances, and stunning clothes. After discovering their spouses are having an affair, two neighbors, Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) turn to the only people they can-each other. Your Turn: The retro-chic Hong Kong of 1962 doesn't exist, which is why the exteriors were shot in Bangkok. Compare the two cities yourself: Escapes Unlimited is selling a package that goes to Hong Kong and Bangkok; it includes round-trip air on Cathay Pacific from L.A. or San Francisco, two nights in Hong Kong, and three nights in Bangkok (800/243-7227, escapesltd.com, $899, valid through March 31). Even better, there's an optional $499 add-on to Cambodia, so you can end your trip at Angkor Wat, just like in the movie. While in Hong Kong, be sure to stop at the trapped-in-amber Goldfinch Restaurant, in Causeway Bay. It still feels like the '60s inside, which is why Wong Kar-wai shot restaurant scenes there (13-15 Lan Fong Rd., 011-852/2577-7981).
19. Auntie Mame, New York City, 1958
The quintessential New York movie: Not because you see the city-the film is mostly set in Mame's ritzy Beekman Place apartment-but because Mame is the quintessential New Yorker. A socialite pressed into a sort of social work, caring for Patrick, her orphaned nephew, Mame (Rosalind Russell) is an irrepressible bon vivant-and what every New Yorker aspires to be. Did we mention that apartment? Your Turn: "Live, live, live!" is Mame's philosophy. "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" So stop worrying about money and start having fun. During the Depression, Mame sells roller skates at Macy's, but Bergdorf Goodman is a better bet for department-store glamour (754 Fifth Ave., 212/753-7300). Savor caviar-"fishberry jam," in Patrick's words-at Petrossian (182 W. 58th St., 212/245-2214, prix fixe pretheater dinner $31, caviar is a $10 supplement). Have a nightcap at Top of the Tower, on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower Hotel, near Beekman Place, where Mame lived. What to order? "Anything, darling," says Mame. "Just make it a double" (49th St. and First Ave., 212/980-4796, martini $10).
Reel Life! I loved Only You, with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. If you don't want to go to Italy after seeing this movie, you don't have a pulse! --Kimberly Carmen-Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa.
18. Easy Rider, The southwestern U.S., 1969
Freedom is a state of mind in this counterculture classic. Hippies Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper, who directed) set off on a motorcycle trip from L.A. to Louisiana. They're joined along the way by an alcoholic southern lawyer (Jack Nicholson). Your Turn: First, rent a Harley-Davidson from EagleRider (800/501-8687, eaglerider.com, Sportsters for $75 a day, valid motorcycle license required). The duo camps in Bellemont, Ariz., 12 miles west of Flagstaff. The Pine Breeze Inn-they're denied a room-has closed, but you can camp on the property. Down the road, the Route 66 Roadhouse Bar & Grill is packed with Harley memorabilia (928/774-5080). They ride through Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Utah's Monument Valley. In New Orleans, the boys celebrate Mardi Gras on the corner of Bourbon and Toulouse. Afterward, walk through St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, where Billy, Wyatt, and friends drop acid.
17. "Crocodile" Dundee, Australia, 1986
Kangaroos, the Opera House, Outback pubs serving Foster's... Australians grumble about the clich}s in this vehicle for comedian Paul Hogan, but there's no arguing that the blockbuster did wonders for the country's profile. Americans saw Australians the way we used to see ourselves-pioneering, unflappable, and at ease in the wilderness. Your Turn: When you get to Darwin, in the Northern Territory, hook up with Adventure Tours for a guided foray into the bush. For $525 including meals, transportation, and tented camping, you get a six-day Top End Safari through the terrain covered by Mick Dundee (Hogan), including Kakadu National Park (011-61/8-8309-2277, adventuretours.com.au). The pub scenes were filmed at the Federal McKinlay Hotel, 1,100 miles away in McKinlay, Queensland. The hotel-which in Australia usually denotes a bar, not lodging-has been renamed Crocodile Dundee's Walkabout Creek Hotel. Fortunately, the joint is nowhere near as rowdy as depicted on-screen (Middleton St., 011-61/7-4746-8424).
Reel Life! Summer Lovers captivated me during the summer of '83. I was hooked on Greece. Two years later, I toured Mykonos and Santorini, but never got to the village of Ia, Santorini, where the movie was filmed. Almost 20 years later, I rented a villa just four houses away from the one in the movie. --Jack B. Fowler, Orlando, Fla.
16. The Indiana Jones films, The world, 1981, 1984, 1989
In producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg's homage to 1930s serials, Indiana Jones is a professor who uses his wits, a pistol, and a bullwhip in pursuit of artifacts. Part science geek and part action hero, Jones was into adventure travel before it was trendy. Your Turn: The shooting locales rarely jibe with reality-especially in Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which the "South American jungle" is Kauai, and "Egypt" is Tunisia. In Temple of Doom, Indy (Harrison Ford) goes on a car chase through "Shanghai." The scenes were filmed in Macao, a former Portuguese colony turned Asian Vegas; it's an $18 ferry ride from Hong Kong. After our heroes bail out of a plane aboard a raft over "the Himalayas," they shoot the rapids of the American River in Placerville, Calif. Tributary Whitewater Tours charges $88 to $104 to raft the Middle Fork (800/672-3846, whitewatertours.com). "India" footage was shot in the Kandy area of Sri Lanka. Intrepid has land-only independent tours that visit Kandy, an elephant orphanage, and a tea plantation, starting at $512 (866/847-8192, intrepidtravel.com). In Last Crusade, a teenage Indy (River Phoenix) foils thieves while on a Boy Scout horseback trek in Arches National Park (866/646-0388, nationalparkreservations.com, 90-minute horseback rides $35). The chase happens aboard the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad (888/286-2737, cumbrestoltec.com, from $55). The Grail's resting place in the movie is an ancient temple carved from a cliffside in Petra, Jordan. Adventure Center runs a $760, 10-day Lawrence's Arabia trip through Jordan to Petra out of Amman (800/228-8747, adventurecenter.com). Of course, actual archaeology tends to involve a lot more digging. The Archaeological Institute of America publishes lists of digs around the world (617/353-9361, archaeological.org).
15. Summertime, Venice, 1955
Armored in a fierce independence that disguises her loneliness, Jane Hudson (Katharine Hepburn) travels to Venice, where she falls in love with a dashing Italian shopkeeper (Rossano Brazzi). Director David Lean was heard to remark during the shooting, "I want Venice to be the star of this picture!" Is it ever. The story also has some good lessons about leaving your guidebook and camera in the hotel and throwing yourself fully into a destination--just, please, not into the canals. Your Turn: The Pensione Fiorini in reality is called the Pensione Accademia, a hotel occupying the 17th-century Villa Maravege, at the confluence of two canals (011-39/041-521-0188, pensioneaccademia.it, $160). The spot where Kate fell in is the small square in front of the church of Santa Barnaba. Due to high pollution levels, we strongly recommend against a swim; Hepburn picked up a nasty chronic eye infection during filming. But you can re-create the romantic day trip to Burano, a village-size version of Venice in the northern end of the lagoon, where each house is painted a different, super-saturated color (take vaporetto LN from Venice's Fondamente Nuove stop, $4.30).
Reel Life! I saw Two for the Road (1967) when I was in high school, and it became my dream to have a romantic journey across France. Finally, six years ago, my niece and I drove through the Riviera, Provence, Camargue, the Rh"ne Valley, Lake Geneva, Burgundy, the Loire Valley, and ended in Paris. --Laura Stern, New York, N.Y.
14. Swingers, Los Angeles, 1996
A fledgling comedian named Mike (Jon Favreau) leaves his girlfriend in New York to search for stardom in L.A. His friends-Trent (Vince Vaughn), Rob (Ron Livingston), Sue (Patrick Van Horn), and Charles (Alex Desert)-thrust him headfirst into the singles scene, and Mike struggles. The clever script (written by Favreau) makes the most of spirited stops in classic Hollywood haunts. The movie cost $250,000 to make, but Miramax bought it for $5 million. "You're so money," indeed. Your Turn: The title refers to the rebirth of the 1940s swing-dancing scene in L.A. At its epicenter was the neighborhood of Los Feliz. Mike and his buddies dance at The Derby, which hosts a swing night every Sunday (4500 Los Feliz Blvd., 323/663-8979, the-derby.com, $10, lessons at 6 p.m. and a live band at 8:30 p.m.). About a mile away is the Dresden Room, where you can catch lounge singers Marty and Elayne, who spoof themselves in the film, and try a Blood & Sand, the signature cocktail (1760 N. Vermont Ave., 323/665-4294, thedresden.com, drink $7). The boys also play the nine-hole pitch-and-putt at the Los Feliz Golf Course (3207 Los Feliz Blvd., 323/663-7758, weekdays $4). The Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop, where the film starts and ends, has moved; in its place you'll find The 101 Coffee Shop (6145 Franklin Ave., 323/467-1175, chorizo and eggs $6.25).
13. Roman Holiday, Rome, 1953
Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) doesn't tell Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) that she's playing hooky from royal life; he doesn't tell her that he's a journalist taking notes on the sly. Of course, they end up falling in love-with each other, and Rome. Your Turn: Joe gives his address as Via Margutta 51, and that's where his apartment scenes were shot. You can still glimpse the glassed-in balcony on the top floor. Ann puffs her first cigarette at an outdoor caf} on Piazza della Rotonda. That cafe is now a shop, but there are plenty of other outdoor tables on the piazza. To really follow in the couple's tracks, you'll want to rent a Vespa. They start at $12 per hour, from Bici & Baci (011-39/06-482-8443, bicibaci.com) or Happy Rent (011-39/06-481-8185, happyrent.com). Begin at the TrinitÆ dei Monti church at the top of the Spanish Steps, and make your way to the Colosseum-for the first time in decades, you can wander around inside just as they do in the film (011-39/06-3996-7700, $8). A few blocks south of the Campidoglio, on Piazza Bocca della VeritÆ, is the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, which preserves on its portico a monstrous stone face that is known as the Mouth of Truth (011-39/06-678-1419, free). As Joe explains, if you stick your hand into the mouth and tell a lie, it'll bite off your fingers. Peck pulled down his sleeve so it looked as if his hand really did get chopped off. Hepburn fell for it, and her scream in the film is real.
12. The Endless Summer, California, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, 1966
In his first-of-its-kind documentary, director Bruce Brown followed surfers Robert August and Mike Hynson in their quest for the perfect wave-a yearlong journey to a dozen locations around the world. As dramatic as the surfing is, what lingers long after is the can-do, must-travel spirit. Your Turn: Shot in eight countries, the movie begins and ends in California. Start at Malibu Beach with lessons from Malibu Longboards (818/990-7633, malibulongboards.com). A private 90-minute session costs $125 and includes surfboard, wet suit, and free video. Catch waves or get your money back. More-experienced boarders will want to head north to Steamer Lane, a surf spot in Santa Cruz. It's where Brown filmed Henry, a bodysurfing seal. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum (Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, W. Cliff Dr., 831/420-6289, donations accepted) is in a lighthouse with spectacular views of Monterey Bay; afterward, go to Taqueria Vallarta, a favorite of the surfing set (608 Soquel Ave., 831/457-8226, burrito $5.50). The Darling House is the only B&B right on the water, overlooking Steamer Lane (314 W. Cliff Dr., 831/458-1958, darlinghouse.com, from $95). Brown and company did find the perfect wave-six to seven hours south of Durban, South Africa, at Cape St. Francis. Time your visit so you can check out the Mr. Price Pro competition, held each July on North Beach (aspworldtour.com).
11. From Here to Eternity, Hawaii, 1953
Doomed lovers, cruel officers, deadly knife fights, and a brooding Montgomery Clift-not exactly standard 1950s Hollywood fare for an army story taking place in the last days before Pearl Harbor. And yet, the film won eight Oscars and produced one of the most famous love scenes in silver screen history. Your Turn: To do it right, first meet your own personal Burt Lancaster or Deborah Kerr for a tryst on a bench at Kuhio Beach--along Kalakaua Avenue, starting at Uluniu Avenue-with Diamondhead in the background. Then head east out of Waikiki on the H1, past Hanauma Bay, and park in the lot for the Halona Blowhole. Climb over the low wall on the south side of the parking lot, and scramble down the rocks into tiny, protected Halona Cove. Lie in the surf. You can take it from there.
Reel Life! As a tour operator for Contiki, I was showing international visitors every part of America while desperately dreaming of visiting Europe. During my travels, I came down with a bizarre allergic reaction and was forced to stay in bed for two weeks. While watching Sabrina, I vowed that I'd go to Europe when I got healthy. Less than six months later, my fiance and I were roaming the streets of Paris, and now I'm making plans to see the rest of the world. --Kim Button, Jacksonville, Fla.
10. Y Tu Mamá También, Mexico , 2001
Julio (Gael García Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) are horny teenagers from Mexico City who invite Tenoch's cousin's wife, Luisa (Maribel VerdS), to an imaginary beach. What follows is one of the sexiest, slyest road-trip movies ever made. The moral? All road trips, like all adolescences, have to end sometime. Your Turn: Director Alfonso Cuarón filmed in both Huatulco and Puerto Escondido (despite the movie's dismissal of the latter as a haven for "yuppie backpackers and wannabe surfers"). The trio's car gets stuck in the sand near Playa Cacaluta, just south of Santa Cruz Huatulco, and Chuy, the fisherman, takes them to nearby Playa La Entrega, or Boca del Cielo, as it's called in the movie. San Bernabé--Chuy's hometown, which is soon to be bulldozed for a luxury resort-doesn't exist; the palapa-bar scenes set there were actually filmed along Puerto Escondido's main drag, Avenida P}rez Gasga. (Puerto Escondido is a two-hour drive from Santa Cruz Huatulco.) Both Aerom}xico and Mexicana have flights into Huatulco from the U.S. (via Mexico City; Mexicana also flies to Puerto Escondido) starting at about $600 in December. Stay in Santa Cruz Huatulco. One of the biggest lodging bargains is beautiful Mision de los Arcos, just off the main square (011-52/958-587-0165, misiondelosarcos.com, from $26 double or $75 for a family suite sleeping up to six).
9. Moonraker, France, Venice, Brazil, Guatemala, Outer space, 1979
Though 007 has traveled to some 30 countries (by our rough count), in his early pictures he rarely got his passport stamped more than twice. Moonraker, the goofiest film in the series, has Bond (Roger Moore) hitting seven countries on three continents-and beyond. Your Turn: Bad guy Drax's estate is the Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau (see A Little Romance, number 22). Drax's space-shuttle plant was the Centre Pompidou in Paris (cnac-gp.fr, $9). Bond destroys untold riches in glass at the Venini emporium on Venice's Piazzetta Leoncini (011-39/041-522-4045, venini.com) and escapes assassins via a tricked-out gondola (again, see A Little Romance). In Rio, he tussles with metal-mouthed Jaws atop the cable car to P9o de AÂScar, or Sugarloaf Mountain (bondinho.com.br, $11). He needs all of five minutes to walk the 4,500 miles from IguazS Falls (cataratasdoiguacu.com.br, h2foz.com.br, $5) to Guatemala's pyramids of Tikal, Drax's jungle hideout (terra.com.gt/turismogt). The rest of the film takes place in space-which Richard Branson hopes to make a vacation destination by 2007 with Virgin Galactic. Serious Ian Fleming fans, by the way, book with DMD Holidays, a Dutch travel agency that arranges Bond-themed trips (011-31/6-5168-9620, onthetracksof007.com).
Reel Life! My husband and I went to Tuscany last spring after we watched Under the Tuscan Sun. The countryside was even more beautiful in person. --Joanna Marston, Warren, N.J.
8. When Harry Met Sally, New York City , 1989
Woody Allen's Manhattan is a citadel of neuroses, and Martin Scorsese's is all mean streets. But Rob Reiner's New York City (as written by Nora Ephron) is altogether more livable, even as it captures how easy it is to feel lonely when you're surrounded by 8 million people. Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) hate each other and then fall in love-an apt metaphor for many people's reaction to the city itself. Your Turn: Sally and her girlfriends have lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant within Central Park (212/517-2233, tuna club $19). Harry and Sally take a stroll through Central Park with autumn foliage ablaze-it usually happens in mid-October-winding up at the Temple of Dendur, inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Ave., 212/570-3828, metmuseum.org, suggested donation $12). Harry realizes that he loves Sally beneath the Washington Square Park Arch in Greenwich Village. And, of course, Sally memorably fakes an orgasm at Katz's Delicatessen on the Lower East Side. If you want to have what Sally had, order a turkey sandwich (and be picky about it). If you want to fit in, order pastrami (205 E. Houston St., 212/254-2246, turkey sandwich $11.95, pastrami $12.45).
7. The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand , 2001, 2002, 2003
Each Christmastime, from 2001 to 2003, New Zealand's big gift was a three-hour ad touting its landscapes: the rolling farmlands of Matamata (Hobbiton), the volcanic crags of Whakapapa Ski Field (Mordor), the peaks of the Remarkables (the Misty Mountains). When the first film was released, the New Zealand tourism folks rerecorded their voice-mail message so that callers were greeted by, "G'day, and welcome to Middle-earth!" Your Turn: The New Zealand Tourism Web site has a huge section dedicated to the Rings, including driving itineraries and links to tour companies that run Tolkien-themed quests (purenz.com). Pick up The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook by Ian Brodie (HarperCollins, $25), which comes with GPS coordinates for pinpointing locations and websites for local tourism info and hotels. Exploring Middle-earth on your own is a snap, especially if you've got an RV. Rumble down New Zealand's back roads in a campervan, starting at $998 for a week, airfare from L.A. included, with Sunspots International (800/334-5623, sunspotsintl.com). Spend a bit extra but get more RV choices with Escapes Unlimited (800/243-7227, escapesltd.com).
Reel Life! My wife and I kept remarking about the beautiful scenery in Waking Ned Devine. While in London, we decided to spend a weekend on the Isle of Man, where it was filmed. It was a perfect ending to our trip. --Warren Machell, Liverpool, N.Y.
6. Out of Africa, Kenya, 1985
In the epic biopic of writer Karen Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen), Meryl Streep charms all of British East Africa (now Kenya)-the colonial boys' club, wily locals, even Robert Redford. In one stroke, the fantasy of communing with Africa was no longer the province of macho hunter-gatherers like Ernest Hemingway. And the year after Out of Africa won the Best Picture Oscar, tourism supplanted agriculture as Kenya's top industry. Your Turn: Since it's illegal to handle wild animals in Kenya, director Sydney Pollack set up his camera in the bush and waited for herds to wander into view. That's pretty much what you do on safari. A good place for one is Masai Mara National Reserve, near the border of Tanzania, where the cast and crew lived in canvas tents during filming. Priced from $1,995, 2Afrika's nine-day Swinging Safari (866/462-2374, 2afrika.com) is one of the cheapest ways to get there. It includes air from New York to Nairobi; transportation, hotels, and meals throughout Kenya; and a three-night stay, with guided game drives, at Masai Mara. On your trip's last day, spend $65 for a tour that takes in a giraffe habitat as well as the Karen Blixen Museum, in her former home (336 Karen Rd., 011-254/20-882-779, museums.or.ke, $2.50).
5. Before Sunrise, Vienna, 1995
On his last night meandering around Europe, a 20-something American named Jesse (Ethan Hawke) convinces Celine, a French grad student (Julie Delpy), to explore Vienna with him. They open up to each other as only travelers can-especially travelers who may never meet again. Your Turn: Most of it was shot after dark, when Vienna's caf}s, parks, and cobblestone alleys take on an added romantic glow. To re-create the couple's first kiss, take the tram to the Prater amusement park and ride the 213-foot-high, 107-year-old Riesenrad Ferris wheel at sunset (prater.at, $9). Celine gets her palm read at Kleines Caf} (Franziskanerplatz 3, no phone), a coffeehouse near St. Stephen's Cathedral. On the left bank of the Danube, the Friedhof der Namenlosen ("cemetery of the nameless") is the scene of another poignant moment. But it wouldn't really be in the spirit of the film to follow others' footsteps; the movie is about the magic of getting off the train and exploring. That magic can happen anywhere-on the banks of the Seine in Paris, for example, where much of Before Sunset, the 2004 sequel to Before Sunrise, takes place.
Reel Life! I was 16 when I saw Black Orpheus, a movie set in Brazil. It was impossible not to be moved by the film's beauty while being rendered spellbound by its music. Many years later, I purchased the soundtrack, and shortly after, I boarded a plane to Rio de Janeiro, looking to recapture the sights and sounds of a place I first experienced on celluloid 30 years before. --Carolyn Holmes, New York, N.Y.
4. Amélie, Paris , 2001
A doe-eyed waitress, Amélie (Audrey Tautou), anonymously rights small wrongs. A man named Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) looks under photo booths for answers. A garden gnome travels the world. Amélie is more than a misfits' romance, it's director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's love letter to his Parisian neighborhood, Montmartre. Your Turn: You may very well arrive in Paris via one of the two train stations--Gare de l'Est and Gare du Nord--where many of Amélie's scenes are set. These neighboring stations lie at the southeast corner of Montmartre. To get there, grab Métro line 12 to the Abbesses station-where Am}lie glimpses Nino for the first time-or to Lamarck-Caulaincourt, where Am}lie drops off the blind man after describing to him everything in the shop windows along rue Lepic. Amélie works in Café des Deux Moulins (15 rue Lepic, 011-33/1-42-54-90-50; Amélie's favorite, crème brulée, is $6.30), across the street from the director's own house. She lives above Le Marche de la Butte, an épicerie and fruit stand (56 rue des Trois Frères). The film also makes use of the area's major tourist attraction: Amélie leads Nino on a chase through the steep, stair-stepped park below Sacre Coeur. To get to Paris, consider Go-Today.com's air/hotel vacation packages-they often put you up in a modest Montmartre hotel starting at $399 for six nights.
3. Lost in Translation, Tokyo, 2003
Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) has come to Tokyo with her husband, who's there on business; Bob (Bill Murray) is an actor doing an ad for Suntory whiskey. Paralyzed by ennui, they talk about escape, but once they break out of their self-imposed asylum-the exquisite Park Hyatt-they find that a jolt of electric Tokyo is exactly what the doctor ordered. Your Turn: A majority of the filming took place in two of Tokyo's most vibrant neighborhoods-Shinjuku and Shibuya. Bob's first views of the city are the neon-lit buildings at the entrance to Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku's entertainment district. (Charlotte's giant elephants and dinosaurs are outside Shibuya Station's Hachiko exit.) Staying at the Park Hyatt probably isn't an option at $470-plus a night, but you can enjoy your own Suntory times at its New York Bar (3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, 011-81/3-5322-1234, $18 cover after 8 p.m.). Jugan-ji temple, where Charlotte listens to monks chant, is within walking distance of the Park Hyatt (Honcho 2-26, Nakano-ku). Charlotte and Bob sing at Karaoke Kan in the K&F Building (30-8 Utagawacho, Shibuya-ku). Follow Charlotte to Kyoto on the Shinkansen, or bullet train (jreast.co.jp, $125 each way), and visit the Heian Jingu Shrine and Nanzen-ji Temple (take bus 5 from Kyoto Station to either). Their good-bye is in Plaza Dori, near the west entrance to Shinjuku Station. Kintetsu International offers flights to Tokyo starting at $500 from L.A., $600 from New York. Discounted hotels are available, too (212/259-9648, kintetsu.com). Wherever you end up staying, tune into TV Asahi at 11:15 p.m. on Wednesdays for Matthew's Best Hit TV, the kooky talk show that Bob appears on so he can spend more time with Charlotte.
Reel Life! One of my favorite movies, which inspired a trip to Scotland, is I Know Where I'm Going! A film from the '40s, set in the Hebrides Isles of Scotland, it highlights Gaelic culture, traditions, language, and music. Today, you can visit almost all of the film locations and you'll find that little has changed. --Audrey Smerkanich, Flemington, N.J.
2. A Room With a View, Florence and England, 1985
Enchanted April, Summertime, Under the Tuscan Sun... There's a subgenre of literature and film concerning stuffy Brits and/or brash Yanks who come to Italy and are seduced, learning to live and to love and to let down their hair. A Room With a View beats the pants off all of them-even more remarkable when you consider that two thirds of it takes place in England. It's in Florence that Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) meets the brooding George Emerson (Julian Sands). George falls in love at first sight, but it takes Lucy the rest of the film to realize she loves him back. At one point, Reverend Beebe (Simon Callow) laughs off George's certainty about how fate-and a chance encounter in the Italian Art section of London's National Gallery-brought the two destined lovers to the same English town months after their first stolen kiss in Tuscany: "You talk of coincidence and fate! You're naturally drawn to things Italian, as are we and all our friends." George smiles. "It is fate," he replies. "But call it Italy if it pleases you, Vicar." Your Turn: First, the bad news: You can't book that room with that view. For one thing, the Pensione Bertolini had already disappeared by the time E. M. Forster returned to Florence several years after writing the novel. The hotel in the movie was made up of three locations: interiors from the Villa Maiano (closed to the public), off the road between Florence and Fiesole; the terrace of a private apartment where a fake wall with a window was built expressly to film the titular view; and the Pensione Quisisana, a back room of which was used for the room without a view at the beginning of the film. It's now the Hotel degli Orafi and charges more than $400 for a double Doesn't matter. We've found better rooms with spiffy views. Fifth- and sixth-floor rooms at Hotel Medici have panoramas across the historic center to the Duomo, two blocks away (Via dei Medici 6, 011-39/055-284-818, hotelmedici.it, from $50 without private bath, $80 with bath). The Hotel Ritz is right on the river and is the closest you'll get-on a budget-to the view from the novel: across the river to San Miniato al Monte, on the hill above the Oltrarno (Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia 24, 011-39/055-234-0650, hotelritz.net, from $135). Hotel Silla is on a leafy square along the Arno, with views to the historic center-albeit several blocks upriver from the view in the film (Via de' Renai 5, 011-39/055-234-2888, hotelsilla.it, from $184). Loggiato dei Serviti is a Renaissance palazzo overlooking the loggias of Piazza SS. Annunziata; Eleanor Lavish and Charlotte Bartlett pause under its portico while exploring the city (3 Piazza SS. Annunziata, 011-39/055-289-592, loggiatodeiservitihotel.it, from $252).
1. The Sound of Music, Salzburg, Austria , 1965
They're a pair of classics, inextricably tied together for three generations and counting. Salzburg and The Sound of Music are so strongly associated with each other that the fact that Mozart was born in town is an afterthought for many visitors. (Mozart!) The film created a charming vision not only of Salzburg but of the entire Alps region, inspiring countless travelers to find out just how alive those hills really are. Featuring a radiant young Julie Andrews, seven adorable kids, a hunky captain (Christopher Plummer) who refuses to bow to the Nazis, and sing-along standards such as "Do-Re-Mi" and "Edelweiss," the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is truly one of our favorite things. Nearly all exteriors were filmed in and around the gorgeous baroque city, with its old-world blend of castles, gardens, cathedrals, and open squares. It's enough to make you want to break into song. Your Turn: Salzburg Panorama Tours (011-43/6628-83211, panoramatours.com, $41) carts tourists around in a bus, and Bob's Specia Tours (011-43/6628-49511, bobstours.com, $43) uses a van, but both blast the movie's soundtrack and invite everyone to sing while visiting Mirabell Gardens (where Maria and the kids frolic during "Do-Re-Mi") and Mondsee Cathedral (site of the wedding). As an alternative to a tour, many of the locations-Mirabell Gardens, Residence Square (where Maria sings "I Have Confidence," with the Hohensalzburg Fortress high on a hill above), St. Peter's Cemetery (where the family hides from the Nazis)-are easy to find on foot in Salzburg's old town. Most Austrians haven't seen The Sound of Music, and those who have chuckle at the liberties Hollywood took. For something more authentic but still related to the film, watch a puppet show at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre (Schwarzstrasse 24, 011-43/6628-72406, marionetten.at, $17-$43) or ride a cable car to the top of Untersberg, the dramatic peak at 6-7000, trappfamily.com, doubles from $198, carriage ride $5).