Posted: Jan 27, 2016
Take centre stage in these hot shot movie locations from the Matrix and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to Forrest Gump and Ghostbusters
Favourite films can change our view of the town or city they are set in. If you want to follow your Hollywood stars, here are our top 20 scenes – and how much you’ll have to pay to live there.
1. The Matrix: Sydney, Australia
The Matrix was filmed mainly in Sydney, but no distinctive landmarks feature as the setting is supposed to be a nameless American city. Filming took place around the central business district which, as you would expect, is a pretty pricey area to live. At Green Square, a couple of miles to the south, a surge in development will see 10,000 apartments built in the next four years. In August, 326 apartments starting at £316,000 were released and sold within just two hours.
2. Forrest Gump: Georgia, USA
The bench Forrest Gump sits on while waiting for his bus is in Savannah, Georgia. And Jenny’s waitressing job was there, too. This refined Southern belle of a city is both friendly and beguiling. It has cobbled streets, stately squares and its architecture has survived in numerous classically proportioned mansions. Most of the property on the market is more modern, but you can buy a slice of colonial charm for around £190,000.
3. The English Patient: Tuscany, Italy
Anthony Minghella’s epic wartime romance was a visual feast, from the achingly lonely desert to the dusty backstreets of Cairo (actually Tunis) and the verdant relief of Tuscany. Hana (Juliette Binoche) admires the frescoes in the basilica at Arezzo. Village homes in this area can be bought for around £30,000.
4. A View To A Kill: Paris, France
James Bond has only been to Paris once in all of his films – although one scene in Moonraker was shot in the Pompidou Centre. The Eiffel Tower features in A View To A Kill, although the scene inside the landmark’s restaurant was filmed in a studio. To get a Bond’s eye view of the French city’s tallest structure, look for property in the 16th district. Studios in a grand mansion block start at about £220,000.
5. Paddington: London, UK
The little bear from Peru turns up at the London mainline station. He is taken home by the Browns, where he gets into a series of scrapes and feels he should move out. After several hairy adventures, he finally returns to the Browns and a happy ending. Their family home is said to be in Notting Hill, but the house used in the film is actually in posher Primrose Hill. A four-bedroom terrace there will cost upwards of £3m. Alternatively, a one-bedroom bedroom flat can be found around Paddington, London, W2 for about £300,000 upwards.
6. Fifty Shades of Grey: Vancouver, Canada
Exposed: the Seattle locations in this movie were actually Vancouver. This west coast seaport grew up around a place prosaically named Gastown. It is now a thriving centre for film-making and is often called Hollywood North. The property market here went crazy in 2015, with houses costing millions selling within hours. Detached homes cost an average of £582,000.
7. Star Wars: Tunisia, Africa
Tunisia has been used as a location in several Star Wars films, most notably as the planet Tatooine. Many of the sets that were built there have been left untouched, so you can visit Mos Espa, the spaceport city. Interest remains high in Tunisian property and prices are low, although rising. Sousse is a quaint town on the coast with an enticing medina. Studios in a development here cost about £35,000.
8. Ghostbusters: New York, USA
The spook-catchers’ headquarters is a real fire station in New York’s Tribeca district. Memorabilia from the movies is on display inside. Tribeca - the triangle below Canal Street - in Lower Manhattan, is the city’s most expensive neighbourhood. This might be because it has many loft apartments created from industrial buildings, meaning the square footage tends to be higher. The average price is just over £2m.
9. Indiana Jones: Hawaii, USA
Indy has visited Hawaii in Raiders of the Lost Ark and in the more recent Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The island of Kauai must have been a little more exotic for the cast than the studios at Elstree. Kauai is known as the Garden Isle and it is covered in rainforest. In its capital, Lihu’e, you can buy a three-bed family home from £310,000.
10. Home Alone: Illinois, USA
Young Kevin’s family house is in Winnetka, Illinois, about 16 miles north of Chicago. It’s not the town’s only claim to fame. Ocean 12 was also partly filmed here, as was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s the richest town in Illinois and the second richest in the country. A property like Kevin’s would set you back around £600,000.
11. The African Queen: Key Largo, Florida, USA
The famous steamship was built in 1912 and used to shuttle people and supplies between the Nile and Lake Albert. In 1951, she made her name in the eponymous movie, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Now she’s berthed in Key Largo, one of the Florida Keys – and you can be, too if you have £130,000 or upwards to spend.
12. Casablanca: Morocco
Bogart again – and who could resist the charm of exotic Morocco? But the film was shot in a studio in California. Rick’s Bar is a fantasy, but one that has been recreated in this busy North African city. You can sip away while a pianist plays As Time Goes By again and again. For the true taste of tradition, a Moroccan riad built around a courtyard costs from about £130,000.
13. The Third Man: Vienna, Austria
Still in the era of black and white classics, this 1949 film captures the atmosphere of post-war Vienna. Now enjoying life in full colour, this imperial city regularly ranks highly for quality of life. Property is not massively expensive here, compared with some other European capitals. Apartments start at just over £100,000 and £2m will buy you a penthouse in the city centre.
14. The Commitments: Dublin, Ireland
This 1991 comedy film became a cult classic and the musical version has just closed in London after a two-year run in the West End. The story of Dubliners who form a soul band, it was shot at 44 locations around the Irish capital. Darndale, where Jimmy Rabitte, the band’s manager lives, is found on the furthest edge of Coolock, in the north of the city. You can buy a three-bedroom terrace home for around £92,000. Across the board, Dublin house prices dipped slightly towards the end of the year.
15. Romeo and Juliet: Artena, Italy
Franco Zephirelli’s 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet was a hit with teenagers because the lead roles were played by the 17-year-old Olivia Hussey and the handsome 18-year-old Leonard Whiting. Zephirelli wanted the balcony scene to be real, not a studio set. He searched Italy for the perfect spot and found it in Artena, a town clinging to a hillside, 20 miles from Rome. You can buy a flat here for as little as £40,000.
16. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Rajasthan, India
This comedy about a group of expat Brits retiring to India was the surprise hit of 2012. Set in Jaipur and Udaipur, it featured the former’s marigold market. The actual hotel was a building near Udaipur, which was dressed with local textiles and distressed bits and pieces. You can buy a 20-room hotel in Rajasthan for £300,000 - £600,000.
17. A Room With A View: Florence, Italy
EM Forster’s classic novel inspired a nation of dreamers. And who wouldn’t want a view of the magnificent domed Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore and Ponte Vecchio. It was a romantic film with stunning architecture and stellar performances from Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliot and Helena Bonham Carter. Villas outside Florence start from around £1m upwards, while a luxury penthouse (with a view) in the city could set you back about cost £1.5m.
18. Morgan: Northern Ireland
A new sci-fi movie from producer Ridley Scott is currently being filmed in Galgorm, Ballymena. The movie stars Kate Mara from House of Cards and Toby Jones of The Hunger Games, and it is directed by Ridley’s son, Luke. Galgorm Castle is primarily known for its championship golf course, but it’s an early Jacobean building. Ballymena is the birthplace of actors Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt. The area has seen house prices shoot up recently but, with an average price of £151,000, Northern Ireland is still attractive for house-hunters.
19. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Stockholm, Sweden
The film is based on the first of a trilogy books. You might have seen the Swedish (with subtitles) movie or the American version starring Daniel Craig. Stockholm, the vibrant cultural capital, is full of museums and art galleries. On the outskirts of the city, studio flats in the suburbs start at about £126,000. There are good transport links, too.
20. Shipping News: Newfoundland, Canada
When lead-character Quoyle’s life begins to unravel, he up-sticks from New York and moves to his ancestral home in a remote fishing town in Newfoundland. The film was shot in New Bonaventure in the Trinity area. The average price of a family home with a sea-view in this picturesque location costs around £67,000. And it’s possible to snap up a lakeside cabin for as little as £7,000.