A new book CELEBRATES THE PLACES AROUND THE WORLD USED TO create TV and movie magic
We go on a journey to those locations that have a special meaning for TV and movie fans all around the world.
It may be just a cul-de-sac in the Melbourne suburb of Vermont South, but to TV lovers around the world it’s where magic is made: this is Ramsay Street.
The real-life Pin Oak Court has been home to the dramas of Neighbours for the past 32 years, hosting a galaxy of star names – from KYLIE MINOGUE, CRAIG McLACHLAN and GUY PEARCE to MARGOT ROBBIE, JESSE SPENCER and ALAN DALE.
It’s also one of Melbourne’s top tourist attractions as fans from across the globe make it one of the essential spots to visit, to see the place they have come to know and love through a TV screen. It’s little surprise that the Neighbours location made it into the latest Lonely Planet book, Film and TV Locations: A Spotter’s Guide, which focuses on the real-world places that have provided the backdrops and settings for some of the most memorable TV and movie screen dreams. Written by London film critic
LAURENCE PHELAN, he notes in his introduction: “The movies take you places: cinema is a mode of transport. In just 90 minutes you can be whisked all the way around the globe. Some films take you even farther, out of this world and to other galaxies far, far away.”
Two other Aussie locations made it into the book – the desert landscapes of Silverton in far-western NSW, where MEL
GIBSON filmed Mad Max 2, and the haunting Hanging Rock near Melbourne where the classic Picnic at Hanging Rock was made.
Some locations have played as important a role in the various tales as any of the stars appearing in them. Take, for example, the landscapes of New Zealand’s North and South Islands that stood in for the mythical Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, starring
ORLANDO BLOOM and
ELIJAH WOOD. Tours of the film’s set, Hobbiton, on the North Island and the rolling locations of Fiordland National Park on the South are among New Zealand’s top tourist draws.
Then there’s the stunning
Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich, London, which was the setting for the outrageous second wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral. It was a highlight of the romantic
adventure, when newly ordained minister ROWAN ATKINSON hilariously butchers the wedding vows as HUGH GRANT
and ANDIE MacDOWELL look on. What would Thelma & Louise be like without the shattering finale as the two women drive off the cliff together and into the canyon below? That scene, featuring SUSAN
SARANDON and GEENA DAVIS, was shot on a cliff overlooking the Colorado River in the Dead Horse Point State
Park in Utah. So memorable was it that many movie lovers travel to the park just to see where it was filmed – but not to copy their screen heroines! Far more whimsical is the Tiffany & Co
jewellery store on Fifth Avenue in New York’s Manhattan, where a Givenchyclad AUDREY HEPBURN went window shopping in the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
At the other end of New York on East Houston Street is the Katz Deli, where visitors still queue to sit at the table where MEG RYAN moaned and groaned in simulated delight over lunch in front of a stunned BILLY CRYSTAL in When Harry Met Sally.
Another New York eatery with legendary status is Tom’s Diner on the corner of Broadway and West 112th Street, used as the exterior of the cafe in Seinfeld where Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer would regularly meet. More recently, fans of Game of
Thrones have thrilled at the chance to visit the locations of scenes set in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Roofs with orange terracotta tiles, impressive stone and wild seas set the scene to stand in as King’s Landing, complete with high cliffs and the ancient city wall overlooking the Adriatic Sea.
“Some of these locations played themselves and others were dressed up to look like somewhere else,” Phelan says. “But they all added texture and colour and weight to the visions of our best TV and film makers.”
GAME OF THRONES Main: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Left: Conleth Hill as Lord Varys and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion. THE LORD OF THE RINGS Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. Inset: Frodo (Elijah Wood).
MAD MAX 2 Above: Mel Gibson as Max. Below: Silverton in New South Wales.
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY Katz’s Delicatessen, New York FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London. Below: Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant THELMA & LOUISE Above: Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis on location at Dead Horse State Park, Utah.
Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally
Lonely Planet’s Film and TV Locations: A Spotter’s GuideLaurence Phelan RRP: A$14.99