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Oscar winning film locations you can visit

Destinations

23rd January, 2019

With the 2019 Oscars fast approaching, we thought we’d take a look at some of the real-life filming locations from classic Oscar winning and Oscar nominated films and provide a travel guide on how you can visit them.

If for you, travel is inspired by the big screen, thankfully there are many film-locations that you can visit, where you can pay homage to the great classics.

Here are some of the most inspiring:

Lord of the Rings

The Milford Sound fiord in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Peter Jackson’s three-part fantasy series, based on the novel by J.R.R Tolkien, one of the best-selling novels ever written. The films depict the story of Dark Lord Sauron, whose mission is to conquer Middle Earth with the One Ring.

Destination

New Zealand

Nominated for

The films won seventeen out of thirty Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Visual Effects and Best Editing. The Return of the King shares its place with Titanic and Ben-Hur for holding the most Oscars.

Filming location

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand, Jackson’s home country. The majority of locations were in the south-island and include Fiordland, the Southern Lakes, Mackenzie Country and Canterbury. In the north-island, filming locations include Wellington and Matamata – where the Shire and Hobbiton were created.

Package

New Zealand Contrasts

New Zealand Adventure

Jaws

Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard

The first of the four classic horror movies about a giant man-eating shark, was directed by Spielberg in 1975 and was based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. Despite being a cult classic, it was over budget, due to the fact the mechanical sharks kept failing.

Destination

America

Nominated for

Jaws won three Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Sound. It was also nominated for Best Picture but lost to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Filming location

Jaw’s was predominantly filmed in Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island south of Boston. Key places include Menemsha Harbor, South Beach, State Beach, Oak Bluffs Bridge and Gay Head Lighthouse.

Package

Colours of New England (Martha’s Vineyard)

The Sound of Music

The famous Mirabell Palace and Gardens

This classic musical is still loved by so many and even has a sing-a-long theatre experience dedicated to it. The film follows the story of Maria, a nun in training, who is sent to act as governess for the seven children of Baron Georg Ritter, with who she later creates the von Trapp family choir.

Destination

Austria

Nominated for

The film won five Academy Awards out of the 10 it was nominated for. This included Best Original Music Score, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.

Filming location

The outside scenes in The Sound of Music were filmed on location in Salzburg, Austria, and the surrounding region. Retrace the steps of the von Trapp family by visiting the Benedictine Monastery - Nonnberg Abbey, Mirabell Palace and Gardens.

Package

Austria by Rail

Lawrence of Arabia

Stunning Wadi Rum

Directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel, Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 epic historical drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It follows his journey in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I, including his attacks on Damascus and Aqaba.

Destination

Jordan, Morocco, Spain

Nominated for

Lawrence of Arabia won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Music Score, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.

Filming location

The desert scenes were shot at a number of locations in the Mediterranean, including Jordan and Morocco, as well as Almería and Doñana in Spain.

Package

Ancient Petra and Arabian Deserts

Mountains, Medinas and Marrakech

Occidental Isla Cristina

Adventures in the Canaries and Morocco

The Godfather

The Sicilian town of Savoca

The Godfather is a 1972 American Mafia film starring Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy, based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel. It follows the story of Michael Corleone’s (Pacino) rise to Mafia boss.

Destination

Sicily and New York

Nominated for

The Godfather was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning three for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Filming location

The film’s outdoor shooting locations were divided between Sicily and Staten Island in New York. In Sicily, the quaint Sicilian towns of Savoca and Forza d'Agro were used as much of Sicily was too built up. Here you'll find Bar Vitelli and the church Michael was married in.

Package

Seriously Sicily

Fairy Tale of New York

La Dolce Vita

Piazza San Pietro (St Peters Basilica)

Meaning ‘the sweet life’, this 1960 box office hit follows the story of Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), a gossip magazine journalist who spends a week journeying through, Rome in search for love and happiness.

Destination

Italy

Nominated for

Le Dolce Vita was nominated for five Oscars, winning one for Best Costume Design.

Filming location

The film was shot entirely in Rome, with key locations including Trevi Fountain, Piazza San Pietro, Fregene and Parco degli Acquedotti.

Package

Italian Splendours

Mediterranean Canvas

Slumdog Millionaire

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station

Starring Dev Patel and directed by Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire depicts the story of Jamal, an 18-year old boy from the Juhu slums of Mumbai, who enters and wins India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He is accused of cheating and the film is largely about him telling the background story of why he was able to answer each question.

Destination

India

Nominated for

Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2009, winning a total of eight —the most for any 2008 film— including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Filming location

The shooting locations are divided across Mumbai and Agra. Key places of interest include the Taj Mahal, where Jamal briefly works and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station – the location where the end credits, Hindi dance sequence was filmed.

Package

The Golden Triangle and Tiger Trail

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Cape Town’s City Hall

Played by Idris Elba, this biographical film follows the life story of president Nelson Mandela. It follows his journey through childhood and his work as the first president of democratic South Africa, including his imprisonment and his release 27 years later. It was the biggest film ever made on the continent.

Destination

South Africa

Nominated for

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom received a coveted Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) for the song Ordinary Love, which was composed especially for the film by U2.

Filming location

The film was shot in Cape Town, with Cape Town’s City Hall being the most significant place to visit. For the scene with Idris Elba on the town hall balcony, the crowd of 10,000 that were singing up at him were genuinely there to commemorate Nelson Mandela, despite the fact it was an actor stood there.

Package

Where Oceans Meet

There are of course many other destinations that have had scenes from Blockbuster hits filmed there. Idea for a Saga quiz perhaps? Watch this space.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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