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...and co-starring the Royal ALbert Hall as itself


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Watching *The Man Who Knew Too Much* again over the weekend, I was reminded at how much the Royal Albert Hall plays a role in the film and thought of other real-life locations and monuments which were important to certain films. The ones which came immediately to mind were:


Empire State Building, *King Kong* (1933)

World Trade Center, *King Kong* (1976)

Mount Rushmore, *North By Northwest* (1959)


What are some others?

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Some of my favorites are ?Grand Central? train station in ?The Clock? with Judy Garland and Robert Walker. Of course, cities are always the main showcase of many movies and New York City seems to have always been the ?kingpin? to this category. It?s now believed that the ?Big Apple? is the most filmed or associated location to American movies than any other city in the history of the cinema. Most of my choices for this category would essentially entail scenes around New York or Manhattan. One of the most famous of all was at the old ?Trans-Lux? movie theater, at 52nd street. This is where Marilyn Monroe had her legendary scene of standing over the subway grate and her white dress being blown by the passing train. Truth is that the scene had to be reshot back in Hollywood, but most fans have always felt the first (real) location is the one that really counts. Then there?s ?Macy?s? department store having had its fair share of exposure in many movies. The one that is most beloved is without question a great holiday classic of movie history, ?Miracle on 34th Street.?


Any diehard film buff knows, just how important director John Ford was to ?Monumental Valley? in Utah. His showcasing the area in most of his best western films brought the valley more notoriety than any tour book or guide could have offered. From a sentimental standpoint, one of the finest and most remembered locations to a film is the ?Trevi Fountain? from ?Three Coins in The Fountain.? This movie did more to promote the tourist business for Rome than any other film, be it American or Italian. Some of the very best ?on location? filming of two real places consisted of first the city ?Key West? and then ?Tarpon Springs,? both in Florida, for the adventure yarn ?Beneath the 12 Mile Reef.?


Sci-Fi films are no exception to this category and one of the very best to showcase a real location was ?The Amazing Colossal Man,? that had the city of Las Vegas being torn apart. The great special effects master, Ray Harryhausen had several American cities being destroyed by monsters or space aliens. In 1953, Harryhausen had the city of San Francisco being attacked by a giant octopus. Three years later came Washington D.C. attacked by aliens from outer space in ?Earth vs. The Flying Saucers.? The biggest of all destruction of a major American city in a movie for the 1950 decade was Los Angeles, in ?War of The Worlds.? But, let?s not forget ?Godzilla? rampaging through downtown Tokyo!


Comedy films have had their big impact on showcasing real locations. One of my personal favorites (because I watched the film being made!) was the 1960 Jerry Lewis comedy,

?The Bellboy.? The movie was made while Jerry was staying and performing at the legendary Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. A year earlier, director Billy Wilder made what is probably his greatest of all film, ?Some Like It Hot,? at the well known Southern California resort hotel, Del Coronado in San Diego. Once again, Las Vegas and its various casino hotels played a very important part in such films as ?Meet Me in Las Vegas,? ?Ocean?s 11,? ?The Girl Rush? and ?Viva Las Vegas.?


If there is one film in this category that is very interesting to mention, it is the 1963 comedy ?Forty Pounds of Trouble.? This movie that was released by Universal Pictures was about a Nevada casino manager, who takes an orphan child to Disneyland for a day of fun. This situation was for its time, rather fascinating, since here you had a rival film studio to Disney, making a major film at a location associated to the Walt Disney Company!


Two of the very best films about a real ocean liner being showcased were the 1962 Disney film, ?Bon Voyage? that took place abroad the vessel, ?S.S. United States.? Most fans will probably say the best remembered ocean liner in a movie would be the ?S.S. Constitution,? for the romantic classic ?An Affair to Remember.? This film that was essentially a remake of the 1939 film, ?Love Affair,? also had for a central point of interest, the most famous skyscraper of them all, the Empire State Building. It?s amazing how the Empire State has been part of motion picture lore in some of the biggest, if not, classic films of all time.


Airplanes could be considered important aspects to remembering a movie. Certainly, in war films they make up for most of the important action, if not, the main focus. But, commercial airliners have had their share of good exposure. In 1954, came a Douglas DC-6, on route to Hawaii, with an all star cast in the beloved John Wayne epic, ?The High and The Mighty.? One of the best remembered airline films was ?Airport? and the Boeing 707 that took-0ff from Chicago in a snowstorm.


There are so many wonderful films to choose from!

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Not to be overly Hitchocentric, but...there was the unfortunate

meeting of the Statue of Liberty and a cheap suit in Saboteur.

And in North by Northwest the UN building. If I remember this

accurately, the UN would not allow Hitch to film in the building,

so he took photos of the interior with a small concealed camera,

and built a set along the specifications of the photos. Got to get

up pretty early to put one over on the master of suspense. :)



Can't think of the Albert Hall, without this coming to mind:


I read the news today oh boy

Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire

And though the holes were rather small

They had to count them all

Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.

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