A good movie is one of the ultimate cultural bonds in most places around the world. We may disagree on politics, religion and global warming, but almost everyone will agree that Casablanca is one of the greatest movies of all time; that Jimmy Stewart was one of the greatest actors of all times; and one the greatest lines ever written is “There’s no crying in baseball.”
We spend billions of dollars on tickets and billions of hours watching movies every year, but how about if we get up off the couch and visit some of the places that inspired or starred in some of these pop culture classics.
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If you love Jimmy Stewart and some of his old black and whites, pack your bags for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and specifically the little town of Marquette for Anatomy of a Murder.
Bogie and Hepburn fans should pack your bags and your sunscreen for Key Largo Florida for a ride on the original African Queen – yep, the same one Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn steered through a jungle river in Africa.
Few things are steamier than Robert Redford and Natalie Wood on screen together, and that requires a road trip to the Gulf Coast town of Bay St. Louis Mississippi where “This Property is Condemned” was shot.
Back in the 60s, Dick van Dyke reigned as one of Hollywood’s most talented and comedic actors, thus it was a really big deal when Norman Lear chose the little town of Greenfield Iowa for shooting “Cold Turkey,” his first major motion picture.
Bill Murray remains one of my favorite actors and “Groundhog Day” is a cult classic for fans of Bill Murray’s work. So head to northern Illinois to Woodstock and step in an icy puddle of water over and over again.
Christmas would not be Christmas without 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” and Ralphie’s dreams of a Red Rider B.B. Gun. Visit Ralphie’s house, hide under the kitchen sink like Randy did and eat a bar of Lifebuoy soap in the real house in Cleveland, Ohio.
There are plenty of laughs in Steel Magnolias, especially when Olympia Dukakis offers up Shirley McClaine as a punching bag for grief-stricken Sally Field. But overall, pack plenty of tissues when you head to Natchitoches Louisiana for a weekend celebrating that 1989 hit.
More than a Little Creepy
The town of Cape Girardeau Missouri is not at all creepy, but you’ve got to admit that “Gone Girl,” starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike is totally sick and twisted. Head to Cape Girardeau to hang out at The Bar, search for bodies along the river front and drive across that beautiful bridge to where Amy escaped at Giant City State Park in southern Illinois.
These are just a few fun sites. Hollywood loves shooting on location, so as you watch your favorite movie, take time to watch the credits at the end to see where it was shot. Or just google it. Then plan a trip to your favorite movie location and claim your little connection to Hollywood history.