By Shirley. One of the ways I enjoy evading the real world is by watching movies. My personal preference is towards older movies. Since there are plenty of recommendations online for newer films, I will list my old favorites.
Let’s start with a trip around Europe. We will start with romances and our first destination is Italy.
Roman Holiday (1953) – with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Audrey Hepburn is a (very young) princess that finds freedom and romance with reporter Gregory Peck… at least for a day.
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) – Three women throw coins in a fountain in Rome, following a popular belief that doing so will assure that they will come back to the city. But maybe what the coins really promise is love.
A Room with a View (1986) – The film follows Helena Bohnam-Carter, who during a vacation in Florence, meets the handsome Julian Sands and falls in love with him. But love is not easy for these lovebirds when they return to England. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Helena Bohnam-Carter’s fiancé.
Enchanted April (1994) – Four women, tired of the weather in England, decide to rent a house together in Italy for the Spring. Friendships are started, romance is found and relationships are mended.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) – Diane Lane travels to Tuscany to find herself after a painful divorce. She buys a house and finds much more while restoring it.
Should we continue to France?
To Catch a Thief (1955) – Cary Grant, a retired jeweler robber, is forced to review his earlier life when robberies following his famous pattern keep happening in Cannes and Nice. He has to find the real culprit before the police catch him. The beautiful millionaire’s daughter, Grace Kelly, is there to help him or hinder his efforts? This was when, in real life, Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier of Monaco and fell in love.
Funny Face (1957) – Beautiful Audrey Hepburn is scouted in a bookshop and convinced to fly to Paris to be transformed into a model by Fred Astaire. The story is loosely based on the life of photographer Richard Avedon. As in Richard Avedon’s photos, the film is full of beautiful, colorful scenes and gorgeous fashion accompanied by great music.
Charade (1963) – During a vacation in the French Alps, Audrey Hepburn meets handsome Cary Grant. Handsome he might be, but is he a good guy or a bad guy? Back in Paris, the two have to find the money her ex-husband stole before the rest of the gang catches up to them.
How to Steal a Million (1966) – Again the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. This time, she discovers Peter O’Toole trying to steal a precious work of art. What to do when you catch a robber in the act? A funny romance around the subject of art forgery, set in France. I especially love the tiny car and the clothes by Givenchy.
Amelie (2001) – Audrey Tautou stars in this French film about a young, quirky and shy woman who makes a discovery that transforms her life for the better and how she decides to help others to find their happiness.
Let’s find romance in other countries…
The Sound of Music (1965) – Julie Andrews goes to help the Von Trapp family in Austria during the Second World War. The film opens with the beautiful famous scene in the Bavarian Alps. You will be singing with the Von Trapp family in no time!
Doctor Zhivago (1965) – Beautiful cinematography. Omar Sharif and Julie Christie fall in love with each other in Russia. Only recommended if you have a really comfortable chair, because the film is 3h20min long.
Out of Africa (1985) – Robert Redford and Meryl Streep try to manage love and land in Kenya. Based on the real-life story of Danish author Isak Dinesen.
Maybe instead of romances you would rather watch a caper:
Topkapi (1964) – Peter Ustinov and Melina Mercuri are just two of the gang which develops a very intricate plan for a heist. Their objective: Topkapi, an emerald encrusted dagger in Istanbul.
Gambit (1966) – Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine unite to steal a precious sculpture. From Hong Kong to Dammuz (Turkey), this is a very funny film with many twists.
After the Fox (1966) – Peter Sellers stars in this film as the head of a gang stealing and transporting gold bullions. At one point, Peter Sellers has a wholeItalian town helping him along.
The Italian Job (1966) – Michael Caine is the head of a gang that plan a heist to steal gold from a bank in Turin. They drive Mini Coopers all over town and the Italian Alps – emphasis in “all over”- meaning they use the cars in novel ways.
Here I should add all the James Bond movies. Each of them is a different dangerous trip. Here is a list of all of them in order:
Another franchise worth watching is the Indiana Jones movies.
Maybe you would prefer to travel around the U.S. Here is a link to the “50 Best American Movies of All Time, One From each State”.