If you’re a classic movie history buff, consider a nostalgic pilgrimage to the actual site where a movie was filmed. Here are five movies (and their filming locations) that bring back memories whenever we see them again on late, late TV, DVDs, online or when we’re lucky enough to visit the locations in person. These can be fun day trips or can serve as the focus for an entire weekend getaway or vacation adventure.
North By Northwest (1959): Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint escaped from James Mason and his bad guys in thrilling scenes on Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. To survive, they climbed all over the enormous carved stone faces of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt for the movie’s happy ending. The sheer scale and size of this monument continues to amaze visitors as it has since it’s public dedication in 1936.
Citizen Kane (1941): Contrary to many stories, the movie was not shot at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. The newspaper tycoon would have never allowed it, realizing it was a thinly-disguised story of his outrageous life. Much of the film interiors were shot at the lavish Oheka Castle in Huntington, Long Island. The estate is now a hotel and restaurant and can be visited. We love to also visit the actual Hearst estate on the Central California coastline about three hours north of Los Angeles.
The Seven Year Itch (1954): Actor Tom Ewell and hundreds of other onlookers got delightful eye-filling experiences as Marilyn Monroe was required to repeat the famed skirt-blowing scene several times. While the rush of air from passing trains gusted from beneath, she stood on a subway grate near what was then the Trans Lux Theater at 586 Lexington near 52nd in Manhattan.
Stagecoach (1939): In Northern Arizona’s Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, John Wayne was in his first major movie, one of many of the Duke’s filmed there and directed by John Ford. This unique example of some of nature’s most magnificent creations can be a great destination for visitors. Natural rock formations, some as tall as 1,000 feet, were once all one large plateau, worn away by water and wind over 50 million years.
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977): Steven Spielberg’s fantasy film showed many world locations, but the most spectacular was the soaring Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Richard Dreyfus’ character was so smitten by the rocky image that he actually built a miniature of it in his house.