Top 50 Movie Locations

We’re thrilled this year to have clocked up the ten millionth visitor to To mark the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of the most requested films of the past few years.

Follow the countdown as we reveal the 50 top popular film locations in the world. There are plenty of classics, and a few surprises too. Are your favourite films here?

We start with 50 to 41…

Lawrence Of Arabia (1963)

The desert

Lawrence Of Arabia film location

More than fifty long years after its release, and following a major restoration in 1989, David Lean’s epic will have you aching to clamber onto a bad-tempered dromedary and be carried swaying across an endless sea of sand. Head to Jordan, where the towering cliffs of red sandstone rear up above the desert at Wadi Rum, about 35 miles east of Aqaba and you’ll find there’s no conceivable way to keep Maurice Jarre’s sweeping score at bay. Just give in to it.

Wadi Rum, Jordan

Planet of the apes (1968)

The beach

Planet Of the Apes film location

“You Maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you – God damn you all to hell!”. Another snatch of soundtrack you won’t be able to dislodge from your mind when you first recognise the secluded cove at the eastern end of Westward Beach. The spot where Taylor (Charlton Heston) finally gets that blinding revelation is just one of a string of photogenic beaches along the Malibu coast on Pacific Coast Highway, which have been home over the years to countless surfer dudes and chicks, rubber-suited aliens, the Hudson sisters, and above which, Tony Stark chose to build his hi-tech home.

Westward Beach, Malibu, California

Good will hunting (1997)

The park bench

Good Will Hunting film location

The Harvard setting is so integral that I feel a spoilsport pointing out that much of Gus Van Sant’s Oscar winner was shot, for financial reasons, in Toronto. Reassuringly, it’s in the heart of the real Boston that you’ll find the park, to which endlessly patient shrink Maguire (Robin Williams) takes Will (Matt Damon) for a heart-to-heart. It’s Boston Public Garden on Arlington Street, southwest of downtown. The bench is still there – just follow the lakeside path north from the western end of the bridge. It’s the third you’ll come across.

Boston Public Garden, Arlington Street, Boston, Massachusetts

Mrs Doubtfire (1993)

The Doubtfire house

Mrs Doubtfire film location

You know a location has become ridiculously famous when a bunch of excited tourists suddenly turn up out of the blue to pose for a group photo in front of an apparently unremarkable suburban home. That’s what happened as I was lining up to take my own shot of the house where Robin Williams (again) dragged up as the formidable Scots housekeeper. You can find it on Steiner Street in the well-to-do Pacific Heights neighbourhood of northern San Francisco.

Steiner Street, Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California

Braveheart (1995)

The Highlands

Braveheart film location

A tricky one, this. Much of the Mel Gibson-Randall Wallace hymn of praise to Bonnie Scotland was filmed, due to the pesky exigencies of filmmaking, in the Emerald Isle. And after they’d gone to such trouble with the painstaking historical accuracy (check out the age of Queen Isabella when William Wallace died, then tell me if you believe they enjoyed a romantic relationship). Still, the Scottish Highlands are the real deal and that’s what you’ll want to see. Take the A82 through Rannoch Moor and Glencoe and have your breath taken away by the stark, craggy peaks of Buachaille Etive Mòr, Buachaille Etive Beag and the Three Sisters. If you’re more adventurous, get out of the car and enjoy a walk, or even hike.

Scottish Highlands


Discover Glencoe

The Untouchables (1987)

The station shoot-out

The Untouchables film location

Chicago is undeniably one of the most photogenic cities in the US, and its ebullient architecture gives Brian de Palma’s gangster epic a swaggering splendour. The lobby of the landmark Chicago Theatre (you’ve seen its illuminated vertical marquee in countless establishing shots) becomes Al Capone’s hotel, and the city’s lavish Cultural Center, white Carrara marble and a Tiffany glass dome, is turned into an opera house. The climactic set-piece shoot-out is staged in the classical grandeur of Union Station’s Great Hall. It’s quieter now than in its heyday and its wooden seats are likely to be empty, but it’s a beautiful reminder of a time when rail travel was the height of luxury.

Union Station, 225 South Canal Street, Chicago, Illinois


The African town

Gladiator film location

The Roman epic, a long-dormant genre, got a new lease of life as Ridley Scott realised the potential of computer graphics to take over from the elephantine sets of yesteryear. Although the endless vistas of ancient Rome didn’t exist outside of a computer hard drive, the African town, where Maximus (Russell Crowe) is sold into slavery, is Aït Ben Haddou, an ancient fortified Moroccan city built on the old caravan linking Marrakech with the Sahara Desert. Now largely abandoned and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its cluster of vermilion towers has been a natural for the screen since it stood in for the twin cities of sin in 1963’s The Last Days Of Sodom And Gomorrah. You can reach it from Ouarzazate in southern central Morocco.

Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco


Scaramanga’s island

The Man With The Golden Gun film location

Everyone who’s seen the film will remember the improbable rock column featured as the hideout of Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), triple-nippled wielder of the titular firearm. Khow-Ping-Kan is just one of a chain of tiny jungle-topped limestone pillars in Phang Nga Bay, near Phuket on the tip of the Malay peninsula. The once remote and undiscovered paradise is now overrun by tourists taking the 54 mile bus journey, north from Phuket Town, and the boat trip out to see the natural wonder, which now seems resigned to being known as James Bond Island.

Phang Nga Bay, Thailand


Cyberdyne HQ

Terminator 2: Judgment Day film location

James Cameron was a graduate of the thrifty Roger Corman school of film-making and though, at $94 million, T2 was then the most expensive movie of its time, the charred wreckage of the ‘future war’ economically uses the debris of the 1989 Universal Studios backlot fire. Although the film doesn’t stray much from the Los Angeles area, using the city’s concrete flood control channels and freeways for its chase sequences, the Cyberdyne HQ can be found way to the north toward San Francisco. Far from being destroyed in the helicopter attack, Skynet still operates from a quiet industrial estate off the I-880 Nimitz Freeway, south of  Fremont, northern California, one more Silicon Valley technology company. Just waiting…

Mattson Technology, 47131 Bayside Parkway, at Gateway Boulevard, Fremont, California


Holly Golightly’s apartment

Breakfast At Tiffany's film location

Whatever Truman Capote’s intentions were, Holly Golightly is now, and always will be, Audrey Hepburn, with coffee and a Danish, staring longingly into the window of the upscale jewellers at 727 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Get there early before the store opens and the sidewalk gets mobbed. Then take a yellow cab (not the subway, surely) up to the East Side to pay homage outside Holly’s apartment at 169 East 71st Street. Admit it, you’re already humming Moon River, aren’t you?

169 East 71st Street, East Side, Manhattan, New York

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