Top 10 Most Inspiring Travel Films
Which films inspired you to travel? Here are FacingTheStreet.com’s top picks. Share yours!
From the top of an Austrian alp to the gritty streets of Buenos Aires, movies have the power to transport us to the other side of the planet far more quickly (and cheaply) than an airplane. Here are 10 of my favourite armchair travel flicks.
1. Before Sunrise
OK, Celine and Jesse were the 20-somethings I really wanted to be. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke spend one glorious night wandering the atmospheric summer streets of Vienna in one of the most believable, wistful, strangers-on-a-train romances ever.
Casinos! Jewels! Villas! Cary Grant! The only thing distressing about this Hitchcock thriller, set on the Riviera, is the scarily prescient scene of Grace Kelly speeding along a winding mountain road in her convertible.
3. The Sound of Music
Schmaltzy? Yep. Corny? Absolutely. The film that co-star Christopher Plummer once dismissed as “the sound of mucus” has its fair share of critics. But when I first saw it at age five, I put Salzburg on my bucket list. (More than four decades later, it’s still there. I can also remember all the lyrics to “Edelweiss.”)
4. The Motorcycle Diaries
Long before he became a t-shirt icon, Che Guevara took a fabulous trip across South America in his 20s with his buddy Alberto Granado. It’s all here in this 2004 movie: genteelly decaying Buenos Aires, misty Machu Picchu, dusty Andean villages, busy Caracas.
I’ve recommended this movie to countless people, almost all of whom have responded with something like, “A movie about a Japanese mortician? Really?” I admit that it doesn’t sound promising, but this Oscar-winner features achingly beautiful cinematography—whether the camera is trained on a snow-capped mountain range or a workaday bathhouse. And the ideas it raises will stay with you long after it ends.
6. Pride and Prejudice
OK, so it’s a TV mini-series, not a movie. Regardless of the format, this 1995 production had millions of viewers dreaming of getaways in the English countryside — even if no hotelier could guarantee that Colin Firth would be lurking by their pond.
I loved this epic when it first came out. Decades later, I haven’t forgotten the sweeping vistas of dusty plains and chaotic cities, interspersed with scenes in dim interiors cooled by lazily turning ceiling fans. Like Salzburg, India is still on my bucket list.
9. Annie Hall
Really, I could have picked any of Woody Allen’s Manhattan movies. They all have that great combination of jazz, angst and delis. This just happens to be the one I saw first.
Did all of us broke 20-somethings dream of being rich, navel-gazing young preppies in Spain while watching this 1994 Whit Stillman flick? Or did we just revel in watching yuppies suffer amid glorious backdrops?
I know it was all shot on a Hollywood back lot. It still made me want to join the French Foreign Legion.