America, home of the blockbuster, movie stars, Hollywood and more films than you can shake a stick at! While many of us have viewed some of the film industry’s’ most iconic scenes within the North American continent, few of us have actually seen them for ourselves. Why not change that this year by going on a movie pilgrimage to relive those precious moments from onscreen history.

That Harry Met Sally Cafe

Katz's Deli in Lower East Side, New York City. Taken via Wikimedia Commons from Flickr user John.
Katz’s Deli in Lower East Side, New York City. Taken via Wikimedia Commons from Flickr user John.

Who could forget that Harry Met Sally “I’ll have what she’s having” scene between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in a cafe in New York City? The Jewish delicatessen in question was Katz’s Delicatessen on Houston Street on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City. Today you can visit that exact table which is now marked with a sign which reads “Where Harry met Sally…hope you have what she had!” The same cafe also appears in a string of Hollywood movies including Donnie Brasco and Enchanted as well as an episode of Law and Order.

The Famous Rocky Moment

Philadephia Museum of Art

The theme tune (Gonna Fly Now) from the original Rocky movie with Sylvester Stallone has become one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the world. One of the most iconic scenes in the whole franchise is the cheesy exercise montage in which Stallone runs up a ton of steps and celebrates at the top. These steps are actually situated at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which now has a Rocky statue nearby to commemorate the success of the moment.

The Bellagio Fountain

Bellagio Fountain, taken by Wikimedia Commons user Brocken Inaglory.
Bellagio Fountain, taken by Wikimedia Commons user Brocken Inaglory.

The 2001 hit Ocean’s 11, which featured a motley crew of A list stars including Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, is now one of the most famous Las Vegas heist movies in history. Although Las Vegas is a great city to visit anyway and is a favourite film location amongst producers, the huge Bellagio fountain which featured at the end of the movie is a stunning sight to behold.

The Shawshank Redemption Prison

Ohio State Reformatory, taken by Wikimedia Commons user Mike Sharp.
Ohio State Reformatory, taken by Wikimedia Commons user Mike Sharp.

The Shawshank Redemption is currently ranked first in IMDB’s Top 250 list which is compiled by its regular voters. The 1994 sleeper starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins went on to have huge success and acclaim within the movie business. At the heart of the story was its prison, at the Ohio State Reformatory. The reformatory first opened its doors back in 1896 to house 150 young offenders. Over its lifetime, the building played host to 155,000 men until it eventually closed for good at the end of 1990. Today millions of tourists visit its gates and events, including ghost walks and hunts, which are staged throughout the year.

Vanilla Sky Dream Sequence

Times Square, New York City, at night. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user chensiyuan.
Times Square, New York City, at night. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user chensiyuan.

Although many people may not class this 2001 thriller as a work of art in comparison to the Hollywood greats, the dream sequence in which Tom Cruise staggers around a deserted New York is a particularly memorable moment. That particular scene was shot in the busy hub of Times Square. The film’s director, Cameron Crowe, actually shot off the roads to make the scene as authentic as possible. Other films which have been shot in Times Square include Spider Man, Deep Impact, Captain America and I Am Legend.

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A movie pilgrimage is a top way to spend a gap year or a long holiday in America. Why not stick around for a bit longer to visit more top sites by doing some temp work along the way? Online sites regularly post fresh holiday vacancies for intrepid travelers.

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