March 30, 2015

Classic Films for Armchair Travellers

In a previous post about my favourite movies for armchair travellers I promised another with classic films from the 1950s and 60s. European cities like Paris and Rome were popular settings and the biggest stars of the day were cast in these films: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck and Cary Grant to name a few. Film production was thriving in Rome but movies set in Paris were often filmed on a Hollywood set. Perhaps that’s why so many of my favourites are those shot in Italian locales. And most films were shot in black and white.

Spanish Steps, Rome

Here are my five favourite films from the Golden Age of Hollywood:

Roman Holiday (1953)
Romantic Comedy
Starring:  Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn
Setting: Rome
Roman Holiday Trailer

Light in the Piazza (1962)
Romantic Drama
Starring:  Olivia de Havilland, Yvette Mimieux,
George Hamilton, Rossano Brazzi
Setting:  Florence
Light in the Piazza Trailer

Summertime (1955)
Starring:  Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi
Setting:  Venice
Summertime Trailer

Love in the Afternoon (1957)
Romantic Comedy
Starring:  Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper,
Maurice Chevalier

To Catch a Thief (1955)
Romantic Thriller
Starring:  Cary Grant, Grace Kelly
Setting:  French Riviera
To Catch a Thief Trailer

Eiffel Tower, Paris

– Honourable Mention –
Come Fly With Me (1963)
Starring:  Hugh O’Brien, Dolores Hart
Come Fly With Me Trailer

Come Fly With Me is a movie I remember fondly from my youth and it inspired my travel bug! The film features the escapades of three glamorous airline hostesses during their layovers in Paris and Vienna. It’s not currently available on DVD so I might have to settle for the nostalgic movie poster I spotted on Amazon. The other movies can be viewed on Turner Classic Movies. Your local library may also have a copy.

Do you have a favourite classic film not included on my list?

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