Home REVIEWS My Top Five Favorite Travel Movies of All Time
My Top Five Favorite Travel Movies of All Time PDF Print E-mail

As a world traveler, your travel4seniors.com editor constantly looks forward to new destinations and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Often I get travel ideas from movies, some because they're classics and others just for the fun of it. Here are my favorite five films featuring travel:

Around the World in 80 Days (1956): Based on the Jules Verne book, via balloon, ship, and land from London, this Oscar-winning journey visited France, Spain, Tokyo, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, and America. It's still a thrilling adventure and always gets me in the mood to travel.

The movie stars David Niven, Cantinflas and Shirley McLaine, with Frank Sinatra and many other major stars of the era popping up in cameo roles. Another version of the same story, starring Jackie Chan, was released in 2004. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004): It takes place in 1952, when a young med student and biochemist pal ride together on a motorcycle through the colorful South American landscape. The characters of Alberto Grando and Ernesto Guevara de la Serna are in search of adventure and their own identity.

The most visually interesting action happens when the two Argentinian pals find both emotional and political inspiration at Machu Picchu. The ruins of the ancient Incan city high in the Peruvian mountains represent how civilizations can flourish for centuries and then disappear due to mankind's destructive nature.

As his anger grows while viewing the ruins of Machu Picchu, we may begin to understand how Ernesto eventually evolves into Che Guevara. The movie's language is in Spanish, with some Incan Quechua.

3. Vegas Vacation (1997): By contrast, this film is absolute nonsense, but I always find it entertaining. One of the four stories of the traveling Griswold family, this time the destination is Las Vegas. There, each member has an unique experience.

The father becomes an obsessive gambler, the mother is romanced by Vegas icon Wayne Newton, and the teen daughter becomes a go-go dancer. The teen son buys a fake ID card and wins four brand-new cars. There's an entertaining bit part for TV icon Sid Caesar, a lonely character in the casino who gives his winning Lotto ticket to the family.

4. Into the Wild' (2007): It portrays what many want to do when fed up with education and conformity. Chris McCandless, as portrayed by Emile Hirsch, blithely changes his name to Alexander Supertramp and wanders away from his oppressive family. When his old car breaks down, he sets it on fire and hitch-hikes, hoping to make it Alaska. Along the way, he nearly drowns in a kayak trip, hauls bales in a grainary and bunks with several other loser characters.

The African Queen (1951): Each time I view this movie classic set during World War I, I find more nuances in the characters portrayed by Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. As they make their way down the Zambesi River in the little steamboat, they see monkeys, hippos and various other native animals. They also endure drought, leeches and German enemies, ending with love and victory together.

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