“Do you feel lucky…punk?” With these iconic words Clint Eastwood etched his character, ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan, into our collective memory. It is inescapable how Hollywood has cultivated our impression of what America is all about. Insight Vacations takes you on a Reel Life trip from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States, stopping just long enough to pay homage to the stars of the silver screen.
Dirty Harry contains so many great scenes that show case San Francisco such as Golden Gate Park, North Beach, Washington Square, San Francisco City Hall and the Bank of America Building where the ‘do you feel lucky…punk’ words were uttered. But the city is also the setting for many other classics such as Escape from Alcatraz, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic – Vertigo and the movie that still rates as the one with the best ever car chase scene – Bullitt.
In Hitchcock’s Vertigo movie goers are treated to a plethora of San Francisco locations that would make any travel brochure proud. From the luxury apartment atop Nob Hill to Union Square, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Presidio and Fort Point Scottie (played by actor James Stewart) chases the beautiful Madeleine Elster all over this city.
Steven McQueen takes on the role of Frank Bullitt in the movie Bullitt and is entrusted to guard and keep alive a mobster until he appears in front of grand jury. During the film, shot entirely in San Francisco, Bullitt battles police corruption, hit men intent on doing their best work and police bureaucracy in this thriller. There is a lot of the city on display but it is the iconic car chase between Bullitt and the killer that sets this film apart. The edited scene is over ten minutes long as Bullitt drives his way into silver screen history in his Ford Mustang. From the Fisherman’s Wharf area at Columbus and Chestnut, followed by a midtown shooting on Hyde and Laguna Streets, and finally it all ends outside the city at the Guadalupe Canyon Parkway in Brisbane.
Spend two days exploring San Francisco on your Insight Vacations Best of California trip and you’ll get to grips with many of the famous sights including the Golden Gate Park, Union Square and Chinatown.
Insight Vacations guests can channel their inner movie star with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the last of Broadway’s great movie palaces. No longer open to the public since 1994, the lavish Los Angeles Theatre is one of the last examples of Classic Hollywood’s rich architectural history. Constructed in 1931, it has played host to notable stars including Charlie Chaplin who partly funded the theatre. “Charlies Angels” and “Mad Men” were filmed here.
More Hollywood explorations to be enjoyed include a visit to the famous Graumann’s Chinese Theatre and the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It has songs sung about it, it’s the city that never sleeps and this Big Apple is also home to a plethora of iconic movies that showcase its amazing sights. Travis Bickle, played by Robert de Niro, is the disgruntled taxi driver in the movie of the same name who turns vigilante in an attempt to purge New York of sleaze and prostitution. The iconic yellow cab taxi of New York is central to the movie.
On a much lighter note Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Seven Year Itch star two of Hollywood’s most iconic leading ladies – Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Who can forget that scene when Marilyn is standing over a subway grate and as the train below her rushes past her dress swirls up reflecting a lovely set of legs and one of the most recognisable images of her ever captured.
The Manhattan skyline is equally famous in the movies. Think of the giant ape that was brought to New York as an attraction but who escaped. Yes, the mighty King Kong was ‘filmed’ swatting airplanes and dodging bullets as he clung to the Empire State Building.
Take a bite of the Big Apple, Washington DC and the sites of the Civil War in Pittsburgh and Gettysburgh on the Classic Mid-Atlantic . Insight Vacations guests will get up close and personal with Manhattan’s skyscrapers and get the perfect view of the City That Never Sleeps from the Top of the Rock – the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Building.