Lo­ca­tion, Lo­ca­tion

Get swept up in Har­vard’s leg­endary Love Story

Qantas - - Contents -

The lo­ca­tion Har­vard Univer­sity in Cam­bridge, Mas­sachusetts, and New York City

The year 1970

Did you know? When Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw re­united at Har­vard last year, they took a spin in a vin­tage MG con­vert­ible sim­i­lar to the one they drove in the film. RENOWNED for its catch­phrase, “Love means never hav­ing to say you’re sorry,” Love Story charts the roller-coaster ro­mance of Oliver Bar­rett IV (Ryan O’Neal), an up­per­crust hockey-jock law stu­dent, and Jenny Cav­il­leri (Ali MacGraw), a baker’s daugh­ter and mu­sic stu­dent. De­spite their dif­fer­ent so­cial back­grounds, the two quickly fall head over heels in love, their “ver­bal vol­ley­ball” (as Oliver de­scribes their flirt­ing) play­ing out amid the at­mo­spheric en­vi­rons of Har­vard Univer­sity.

While this Ivy League school no longer al­lows movie crews on cam­pus (more re­cent flicks set at Har­vard, such as Legally Blonde and The So­cial Net­work, were shot else­where), vis­i­tors are free to ex­plore its grounds in Cam­bridge, across the Charles River from Bos­ton. Dis­cover the his­tory of the United States’ old­est higher-ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tion, founded in 1636, on a guided or self-guided tour (har­vard.edu), tak­ing in Love Story lo­ca­tions such as Har­vard Yard, the univer­sity’s leafy cen­tre­piece. Your best chance of frol­ick­ing in the snow, like the cou­ple did, is be­tween De­cem­ber and March, when Har­vard is at its win­tri­est.

As you re­trace Oliver and Jenny’s steps past red-brick dorms, li­braries and halls, you may find your­self hum­ming Where Do I Be­gin?, the movie’s pi­ano-cen­tric theme song. Of its seven Academy Award nom­i­na­tions, the film won just one: Best Mu­sic for the score by Francis Lai.

New York City also played a key role in the story, not least Woll­man Rink (woll­man skat­in­grink.com) on the south-east side of Cen­tral Park. It’s pos­si­ble to ice-skate here (like Oliver) or just watch (like Jenny) from late Oc­to­ber to early April and to take a great hol­i­day snap or selfie against a Man­hat­tan sky­line that has changed dra­mat­i­cally since 1970, when the film was re­leased. Strik­ingly vis­i­ble in the movie, The Plaza (the­p­lazany.com) is now dwarfed by glossy sky­scrapers. Yet this five-star ho­tel, built in the French Re­nais­sance château style, has lost none of its al­lure, es­pe­cially for love­birds seek­ing a ro­man­tic Cen­tral Park wed­ding venue. Ac­tors Cather­ine Zeta-Jones and Michael Dou­glas tied the knot at The Plaza in 2000.

Har­vard ro­mance: Oliver and Jenny play “ver­bal vol­ley­ball” be­tween classes

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