From the National Geographic book Journeys of a Lifetime
New York, New York
Sail past the Statue of Liberty like Funny Girl Barbra Streisand, and walk the mean streets of De Niro’s Little Italy. Avoid King Kong atop the Empire State Building, then window-shop at Tiffany & Co. (5th Avenue and 58th Street) on your way uptown to the tenements of West Side Story (West 109th Street), where Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer were star-crossed lovers, and finish at the Cotton Club in Harlem. www.easynewyorkcity.com/movielocations.htm
You can literally step in the footsteps of the stars outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Inside, the interior is lavishly decorated in an oriental theme—the perfect place to see a movie in style. Visit Shrine Auditorium, home of the Oscars. Rudolph Valentino and many other stars of the early cinema are buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Once a week throughout the summer, the cemetery becomes an outdoor movie theater. Take a blanket and a picnic for a truly unique evening. www.seeing-stars.com, www.cinespia.org
Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah
When you drive into Monument Valley, you feel as though you are stepping onto the set of a cowboy movie. Today the land is part of the Navajo tribal park, but in the 1920s and 1930s, it was a favorite of director John Ford who made many westerns here, beginning with Stagecoach in 1939. The mesa, buttes, cliffs, gullies, and canyons turn wonderful shades of pink and orange as the sun rises and sets. www.navajonationparks.org, www.gouldings.com
The Juhu district of Mumbai is the center of Bollywood film production, with more than 200 movies made here every year. The formula is a red-hot combination of song, dance, and melodrama. A trip to one of the big studios such as RK or Filmistan lets you see Bollywood in action. www.westernoriental.com
Take a lead from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson (Lost in Translation) and savor the views of Tokyo from the Park Hyatt Hotel. Dine at the Gonpachi restaurant like Uma Turman in Kill Bill. Relive Sean Connery’s You Only Live Twice adventure in SPECTRE headquarters (New Otani Inn). www.tourism.metro.tokyo.jp/english
Queenstown, New Zealand
Join Frodo (Elijah Wood), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and Saruman (Christopher Lee) in Middle-earth. See beautiful Lake Wakatipu, home of Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and visit the Southern Alps where many scenes from the Lord of the Rings films were shot. www.lordoftheringstours.co.nz, www.destination-nz.com
Follow the hero of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as he unravels ancient mysteries at the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Castel Sant’Angelo, and St. Peter’s. These also feature in Federico Fellini’s classic Roma and Roman Holiday, starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.
Jean-Paul Belmondo roamed the bars of St. Germain and the Champs Elysées in Breathless, which launched the 1960s’ New Wave. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor fell in love at the Moulin Rouge. In Montmartre, you’ll be as charmed by the church as by Audrey Tautou’s gamine in Amélie.
Prague, Czech Republic
Wesley Snipes chases vampires through the Old Town in Blade II, and Tom Cruise watches a car explode from the Charles Bridge in Mission Impossible. On a gentler note, the statues of the bridge drip rain in Barbra Streisand’s Yentl, and Tom Hulce (Mozart) was wed and buried at the Church of Saint Giles in Amadeus. www.myczechrepublic.com/czech_culture/filming_locations.html
Walk the streets of Notting Hill, where Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant found true love. Grab a bite with Renée Zellweger at Tate Modern as in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Cross the river to St. Bartholomew-the-Great, Smithfield, where Joseph Fiennes (in Shakespeare in Love) prays. Harry Potter fans will want to visit the reptile house at the zoo and platform 9¾ (filmed on real-life platform 4) at King’s Cross Station. www.filmlondon.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=844&ArticleID=796