One of the main ways I learned about the different sites and attractions that the world has to offer is film. Of course, school taught me a lot about the rest of the globe, but there is no comparison to how interesting a movie can make traveling, versus sitting in class listening to your coach/history teacher/geography teacher (for some reason they are usually the same person) read from a school book. Even Coach Mr. AlwaysWearsHisWhistleInClass realized this and played more movies than he did reading from the textbook. Movies make it easy for viewers to put life’s problems on hold and become a spy or save the damsel in distress or even travel to places they never thought they would. With that being said, we put together a list of ‘Our Top Throwback, Travel Themed Movies to Watch on the Road’ to help inspire your next travel destination or just to keep you entertained while on the road. This list is in no specific order and is missing a lot of great films, these are the ones that stuck out in our memory.
Planes, trains, and automobiles – Steve Martin & John Candy
Released in 1987, “Planes, trains, and automobiles” is a story about Steve Martin’s character Neal Page attempting to get home for Thanksgiving with his family in Chicago. Along the way, he meets Del Griffith, played by John Candy, a very talkative and intrusive character that forces Neal out of his comfort zone. Through a series of events, they end up traveling together and face numerous hurdles on their way home. You get laughs and travel with this one, enjoy.
The Bucket List – Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman
When two acting heavy hitters get together to make a movie, it is almost always guaranteed to be a classic. In “The Bucket List”, veteran actors Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman team up after they are faced with medical issues that land them in the same hospital room. Edward Cole, played by Nicholson, is a billionaire businessman with a list of regrets of things he has failed to do in his life up to now. Carter Chambers, played by Freeman, is a car mechanic with a list of his own. Once they meet and get through the awkward initial introductions, they end up deciding to complete their bucket lists together. Not only does this movie take you around the world, it gives you laughs and tugs your heart strings along the way.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? – George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Before I had even seen the movie, I knew of the music from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, mainly due to the track “I am a man of constant sorrow” as performed by the Soggy Bottom Boys. George Clooney as Ulysses Everett McGill alongside Tim Blake Nelson playing Delmar and John Turturro as Pete perform brilliantly as they take you on an adventure to find buried treasure after escaping the chain gang in Mississippi. If the movie seems familiar after you watch it, that is probably because it mirrors “The Odyssey” and “The Wizard of Oz”, two very well-known pieces of work. The combination of great writing and acting make this worth a second, third, fourth or even tenth watch.
Coming To America – Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones
While the movie does not actually showcase much travel, the quality of the film makes it enough to make our list. Unless you get an edited version, I would recommend having your hand ready to cover the eyes of young ones for certain parts of the movie. In “Coming To America”, Eddie Murphy plays ‘Prince Akeem’ of ‘Zamunda’ and makes his way to Queens, New York in an attempt to avoid an arranged marriage by finding love with another woman. Accompanied by his friend Semmi, played by Arsenio Hall, Prince Akeem disguises himself as a foreign college student that gets a job at a McDonald’s rip off restaurant named McDowell’s. Murphy and Hall play a variety of different roles in this classic with the help of costumes and make-up, and still are able to give GREAT performances. Filled with laughs and drama, this is a movie that can be watched time and again throughout the years and never get old.
Forrest Gump – Tom Hanks
In what seems to be a movie made up solely of quotable lines, “Forrest Gump” is a movie that takes you through the complete spectrum of human emotion while showing you the world traveled by the main character. Tom Hanks plays the role of the intellectually challenged character that the movie was named after, ‘Forrest Gump’. With his only three main concerns in life being what is affecting him in that moment, “Momma”, and Jenny, Forrest Gump goes from a severely picked on kid (hit in the head with rocks picked on, not a few comments on social media) to a war-hero/billionaire/civil rights activist/and more. If you are looking to root for the underdog or just for a feel good movie that also gives you a few laughs and something to think about, Forrest Gump is a travel must see.
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