5 of Our Favorite Filming Locations Around the World
PHOTO: Ancient temple in Petra, Jordan. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Few things capture the imagination better than a movie. But what about the magic behind the scenes? Let’s take a look at where some of cinema’s most memorable scenes were filmed.
“Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade”: Petra, Jordan
The ancient Jordanian city of Petra has been used in many movies due to its unique style that has been carved directly into the mountainside.
Some, like “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” are less memorable, while others, such as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” are etched in the memory forever. The latter’s story takes place in the U.S., Venice, Germany and the Middle East and, while the majority of the movie’s footage was filmed on set and located in the U.K. (including Tilbury’s Essex leg of the Thames and a Yorkshire quarry), the tale’s climax takes place in the “Canyon of the Crescent Moon,” whose exterior was played here by the mountainside city of Petra.
To summarize the story, Indy goes looking for his father (Sean Connery) who has gone missing looking for the Holy Grail. After finding his dad, Indiana (Harrison Ford) gets caught up in a Nazi race to find the very same object. The film, over two hours long, is a great piece of family entertainment and one of Indy’s best runouts.
“Ghostbusters”: New York, USA
Photo courtesy of On Location Vacations
Whatever your feelings on the 2016 reboot, no one can argue that the iconic 1984 version of “Ghostbusters” has stood the test of time and is one of the quintessential New York movies. Although there are many locations that were used across the city, the firehouse used as GBHQ is one of the most popular on a tourist’s “to see” list. The building itself is situated in Tribeca and is the Hook and Ladder 8 fire station, which is still very much in use. It was here that Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) would leap into action and save the city from paranormal attack.
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“Star Wars”: Matmata, Tunisia
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
Fancy a night at the homestead where Luke Skywalker grew up? You’ll find his home in Matmata in Tunisia where the Tunisian tourist board, keen to cash in, has turned the subterranean site that doubles as Skywalker’s hometown into a hotel.
The Hotel Sidi Driss is well worth a visit if you want to get your Jedi geek on. For example, Aunt Beru’s kitchen is still there, although all the movie props have long since gone. The desert cave dwellings, which are actually nomadic Berber homes, go back hundreds of years, giving a glimpse into how people brilliantly survive life in the desert — in this case the edge of the Sahara, where the days are ferociously hot and the nights bitter and cold.
Nevertheless, Hollywood came and conquered here and now the tourists are drawn to the original Skywalker residence (which was used once again in the prequels) to sit in the very same dining room that the Lars family used. For the record, the hotel also has a "Star Wars"-themed bar, complete with movie memorabilia and a "Star Wars" inspired menu.
“Casino”: Las Vegas, USA
One of the best films about Vegas, set in Vegas and filmed in Vegas, Martin Scorsese’s “Casino,” was released more than 20 years ago but remains an all-time classic. Diving headfirst into his favorite subject, the mob, Scorsese put together the always brilliant team of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, pairing them up with a never been better Sharon Stone and real-life poker fan James Woods, who has played many rounds of online poker since the movie was released.
Real life mobster Frank Cullotta, who served as a consultant for the film, now runs tours inspired by the movie which includes Main Street Station (where the opening car bomb scene was filmed), Oscar’s Steakhouse (it was here where a strung out Ginger, played by Stone, has a fight with her husband, De Niro) and Atomic Liquors (think Pesci, pen and neck) among others. As for the fictional Tangiers Casino itself, the exteriors are sadly no longer with us as the Landmark Hotel, which doubled as the Tangiers has since been demolished, along with Le Bistro Lounge, Riviera Hotel & Casino, where the interiors were filmed.
“Trainspotting”: London, United Kingdom
The cult '90s British movie “Trainspotting,” based on Irvine Welsh’s novel, tells the tale of heroin addict Mark Renton, played by Ewan McGregor of “Star Wars” fame whose career launched after this huge hit.
In the story, Mark, after numerous failed attempts to shake his habit, reboots his life by leaving his equally strung out friends in Edinburgh and relocating in London. Needless to say, this too fails as said friends find him and duly drag him back under. But, before then, having gone legitimate and getting a job as an Estate Agent, Mark accidentally ends up squatting in a London flat. Although not set there, you’ll find the flat in West London’s affluent Kensington, just a short walk left out of the tube station of the same name.
This blog originally appeared on On Location Vacations' website.
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