There’s something exotic and dazzling about lounging around a movie-set, revelling in the drama being play out in front of you and seeing cultural history get made. Films are nothing without locations however, and some of the best films you’ve seen just wouldn’t be the same without the sights and sounds of the places they’re set or filmed in – can you imagine Sleepless in Syracuse as opposed to Sleepless in Seattle?. For travellers also, you can play a role in re-living some of your classic big-screen favourites, simply by exploring these locales at your own pace and whimsy.
Some of you however, may have been in some of your favourite cities locations without perhaps ever knowing it. As this list of five movie locales you probably never knew about might suggest, mapping out your favourite films on foot, may have been something you’ve already done.
Gran Canaria, Spain
The Canary Islands aren’t too well known outside of being a popular winter or spring getaway to vacationers in Western Europe, but one the region’s biggest and most populated islands, Gran Canaria, played host to the sixth instalment in drag-racing series The Fast & Furious. Starring the late Paul Walker and muscle-man Vin Diesel, the sixth version opens in the gangs new retirement home. The islands off the north of Africa belonging to Spain, following their successful heist in Fast 5. Parts of the film also take place in the other Canarian island of Tenerife too.
A region of England where most people don’t even know the populace has separatist aspirations, Cornwall has always been a pretty popular holiday spot for British visitors heading to its beaches and coastal towns, but isn’t well known for films. A prime location for Tim Burton’s animated live-action movie mash-up Alice in Wonderland, based on the Victorian novel by Lewis Carroll and made popular through the Disney animation of the same name. Cornwall played host to several scenes from the movie in locations like Charlestown Harbor and Antony House in Torpoint.
Prague, Czech Republic
A hugely massive stag-destination and popular Western European weekend getaway, the old charm of Prague hasn’t been at the centre of many Hollywood blockbusters in the last twenty years or so. One exception to that fact however is the 2011 film Misson Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the latest version in the Tom Cruise featuring spy-dramas that successfully rebooted a 1960s TV show of the same name.
Australia’s biggest city is well known for lots of reasons, from iconic building like the Opera House, to its cultural diversity and neighbourhoods like China Town. One thing it hasn’t been too hot on in the past several decades is as the setting of movies. In 2006 the mostly forgotten Superman Returns, starring the just-as-much-forgotten Brandon Roth, borrowed the city for many of its scenes, including one that used the Art Gallery of New South Wales in its backdrop.
The Thai destination of Phuket, commonly the reserve of debauched backpackers enjoying beachside buckets and otherwise kicking back, isn’t really a destination that comes to mind when envisaging sci-fi locations set in the future. Back in 2005 however, just as George Lucas was finishing up his newest and most deplored trilogy of Star Wars movies, Phuket ended up playing a distinctive role in the trilogies third film; Revenge of the Sith.