Create your own Hollywood tour of the movies – in Wales

Wales has long been an overlooked part of the UK, and not many foreign tourists take the time to explore what it has to offer. I’ve spent a summer touring around the area, and found it to be quite stunning.

Of course, if friendly people and an impressive environment are not enough to draw you to Wales, then check out their movie location map.

The map brings you to the exact filming locations of flicks shot in Wales, as well as other movie landmarks.

Head into Snowdonia national park, and witness where James Bond saved the world’s oil supply in “The world is not enough” or the forest where Robin Hood and his merry Men lived in their 1991 movie.

Spend a night in Seiont Manor, and you might end up in the same bed where Angelina Jolie slept when she was filming the second Tomb Raider movie. Slightly older readers may remember Ingrid Bergman in “Inn of the sixth happiness” where the area around the village of Beddgelert was transformed into a mock Chinese town.

Sean Connery (and Richard Gere) fans can head into the town of Trawsfynydd with its spectacular lake to see the filming location of “First Knight“. Many of the locals were actually cast for this movie as extras, so be sure to ask around for local stars.

Each location description describes several other things you can do in the area, as well as where you can find a film plaque commemorating the movie.

Paul Newman, a tribute and movie locations

Paul Newman died yesterday. Besides feeling sad that someone I’ve admired from my teenage years up until now is no longer going to grace us with his physical presence, I’ve thought about several of the scenes from his movies that can be visited and other places that I know that have a Paul Newman connection.

The last Paul Newman connection I made was two weeks ago when I went to the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Marion, Ohio. Paul Newman’s Dunbar wagon is there, along with a picture of Newman looking quite dapper. Newman’s microwave popcorn is made in Marion.

There are several other Ohio connections since Newman was born in Cleveland, grew up in Shaker Heights before he went to college for a year at Ohio University in Athens, and graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier.

Another unusual connection is found in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On one of the walls at Tree New Mexico, a non-profit organization with its office in Albuquerque, is a plaque from Paul Newman. Tree New Mexico won several thousand dollars as part of a cooking contest cook-off that Newman’s charity used to run. You had to use Newman’s Own products in the recipe. My friend who runs the organization was ga ga over Newman when he handed her the check.

To find Newman’s movie locations, there is a Web site World Wide Guide to Movie Locations that lists several filming sites of Newman’s movies. If you click on the highlighted titles, you can specific spots for that particular movie. For example, Absence of Malice was filmed in Dade County and Miami, Florida. Certain scenes are listed such as Matheson Hammock Park where Michael Gallagher, Newman’s character, secretly meets with a politician

At the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center in Langtry, Texas, you can take in the history of the real Judge Roy Bean who Newman portrayed in the movie, The Life and Time of Judge Roy Bean. The center is in the historic building that used to be an opera house, saloon and courthouse combo.

The Sting, one of my favorite Newman movies, was mostly shot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, but one item to take in that is connected to the movie is the carousel at the Santa Monica Pier. It’s the same one Newman’s character operated.

Another Web site, Seeing Stars in Hollywood, lists several Paul Newman inspired locations around Los Angeles. Some of them include the houses where he lived, where he was spotted eating and places that have paid him tribute.

Here’s a Paul Newman quote that sort of fits travel… kind of. “It’s useless to put on your brakes when you are upside down.”

Ohio’s cinematic spots: An Intelligent Travel report

Every time John Ur covers a state via its cinematic hot spots in his series “Cinematic Road Trip” for Intelligent Travel, I look to see which movies I’ve seen and what spots I know. It’s always a pleasure.

This week Ur hit Ohio. Ohio, as he found, is diverse. He did skip over Columbus. I’ll have to think about a movie that may have been filmed there. Columbus is not dull, but can slide under ones radar. Cleveland, however is not easy to miss. Christmas Story, one of Cleveland’s most well known films is one of my favorites and one that Ur covers.

Ur also hits Cincinnati. I am partial to Cincinnati since I grew up going here as a child and I know it well. However, I wasn’t aware that parts of Traffic was filmed here. Or perhaps I noticed this and forgot.

I do know of a couple Ohio locations on the silver screen that Ur missed. One can’t include everything, so this is no slight on Ur. He always does a fine job.

One movie is The Shawshank Redemption. The prison outside of Mansfield, the abandoned Ohio State Reformatory was one of the main locations. A friend of mine’s father was one of the extras.

Another film with Ohio scenes is Rain Man. One of Cincinnati’s most spectacular buildings, at least it’s my favorite, is Union Terminal. Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise spent some time here while looking for alternative transportation to California. The murals you see in the background as they walked through were done as a WPA project. The building is now mostly a museum center.

Another shot in this film is when the pair are in a car going from Cincinnati across the Ohio River on the Roebling Bridge. The bridge, also known as “The Singing Bridge” because of the sound it makes when cars go across, leads to Covington, Kentucky.