Film journeys and evocative movie settings have long fueled travelers’ imaginations, often sparking the start of the next great journey. Last time, we shared a selection of inspiring and transportive travel books in anticipation of our upcoming Around the World in 180 Days voyage this January. To continue fueling your travel dreams, here’s a set of films that take you around the world with classic adventures, enchanting storylines and stunning visual imagery.
The Great Race (1965): A time-honored slapstick comedythat pits a scheming melodramatic villain against a classic white-suited hero in a 22,000 mile auto race from New York to Paris.
Where you’ll go: New York, Alaska, throughout Asia, Paris
Around the World in 80 Days (1956): In this Academy Award-winning adaptation of the classic novel, Phileas Fogg sets out to prove that circumnavigating the globe in a mind-boggling 80 days is actually possible.
Where you’ll go: Paris, Spain, Bombay, Calcutta, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, San Francisco
That Man From Rio (1964): A rapid-fire adventure with never-ending twists and turns, this film follows a French soldier on temporary leave on a mad dash throughout Brazil in pursuit of his kidnapped girlfriend and lost treasure.
Where you’ll go: from Paris to Rio de Janeiro, and deep into the Amazon
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013): A fascinating chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life, beginning in the rural village of his childhood, tracing his steps through to his 27-year imprisonment and eventual presidency.
Where you’ll go: throughout South Africa, including Robben Island
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000): A n internationally-acclaimed martial arts film that unfolds amidst the breathtaking backdrop of China during the 19th century as two great female warriors pursue a legendary stolen sword and struggle with societal obligations.
Where you’ll go: throughout China including Hongcunzhen, Chengde Summer Palace in Hebei province, the Gobi Desert, Anhui Bamboo Forest in Mukeng and Cangyan Mountain
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011): This American documentary, featuring the 85-year-old sushi master, Jiro Ono, invites you into his unassuming yet world-renowned sushi bar, Sukiyabashi Jiro, offering an engaging meditation on his life’s work and sushi culture in Japan.
Where you’ll go: Tokyo
Australia (2008): A romantic period drama, this epic features an aristocratic Englishwoman who inherits an Australian ranch and reluctantly partners with a local to drive cattle across hundreds of miles of the outback during the brink of World War II.
Where you’ll go: Sydney, Darwin, Kununurra, Bowen
Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003): Transportive on multiple levels, these epic fantasy adventure films extensively capture the dramatic beauty of New Zealand as they follow Hobbit Frodo Baggins on his quest to destroy the One Ring.
Where you’ll go: Middle Earth, a.k.a. Matamata, Waikato; Wellington; Takaka Hill, Nelson; Mount Sunday, Canterbury; Milford Sound, Fjordland National Park
South Pacific (1958): Based on Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, this Oscar-winning musical features a budding romance between a young American nurse and secretive French planter on a South Pacific island during World War II.
Where you’ll go: islands in the South Pacific
Endless Summer (1966): Sparked by the concept of following summer around the world, this classic surf adventure follows two young California surfers in search of the perfect wave, exploring undiscovered surf locales throughout the globe.
Where you’ll go: coasts around the world including in Hawaii, Africa, Australia and Tahiti
What films have sparked your travels? Share them with us!