Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mr. Suitcase at the Movies

I love travel films. I have an especially soft spot for the character of George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life because he must have lived for years with a dusty suitcase in his a child he had big travel dreams. Remember this scene?

CLOSE SHOT –– George and Mary at fountain.
GEORGE: Made up your mind yet?
MARY: I’ll take chocolate.
George puts some chocolate ice cream in a dish.
GEORGE: With coconuts?
MARY: I don’t like coconuts.
GEORGE: You don’t like coconuts! Say, brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from? Lookit here –
– from Tahiti –– Fiji Islands, the Coral Sea!
He pulls a magazine from his pocket and shows it to her.
MARY: A new magazine! I never saw it before.
GEORGE: Of course you never. Only us explorers can get it. I’ve been nominated for membership in the
National Geographic Society.
He leans down to finish scooping out the ice cream, his deaf ear toward her. She leans over, speaking
CLOSE SHOT –– Mary, whispering.
MARY: Is this the ear you can’t hear on? George Bailey, I’ll love you till the day I die.

Of course, part of Mary's love means taming  George and keeping him from doing all the things he'd planned. So the suitcase that he is so excited to get from his old boss at the drugstore probably only sat on a shelf in the closet. The grown up theme of this film, that sometimes duty and love mean sacrifice, but offer up other rewards in their stead, is probably the reason for its enduring appeal. People can relate. So that movie isn't technically a travel film as much as a non-travel one, but he references his desire to see the world so often throughout it that it can't go unnoticed on my list. But let's move on to movies in which characters actually do GO somewhere.

Here's my list (in no particular order) of course, my list closely resembles Madame's! ;)

Out of Africa (Madame Owner's all time fave in the travel department)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
James Bond in general and Casino Royale in particular
Roman Holiday
National Lampoon's Family  (and European) Vacation
A Passage To India
A Room With a View
North By Northwest
Eat, Pray, Love
The Razor's Edge
Seven Years in Tibet

Got your list ready? Think I left the best one out? Want to rank the one's I've listed, or think some of them ARE rank? Let's hear it!

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