BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Aug 20, 2013) - The countdown to summer's end has begun with just 10 days left until Labor Day weekend. For those looking for ideas for end-of-summer activities, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, suggest taking advantage of the beautiful weather, free time and the great outdoors by packing up a picnic. Whether with family or friends or on a romantic outing for two, a picnic is the perfect way to wrap up the final days of summer and make some lasting memories. Need some picnic ideas? The travel experts at Cheapflights have turned to Hollywood to help inspire you with a list of Top 10 Cinematic Picnic Spots.
Below are five films from our list of Top 10 Cinematic Picnic Spots that will have you dreaming up your next picnic by the time you're done reading our list.
- "Picnic" (1955) - Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by William Inge, "Picnic" is a 1955 Cinemascope spectacular that netted two Academy Awards. Starring William Holden and Kim Novak, the action takes place over the Labor Day holiday in a small town in Kansas. Hal Carter, a charismatic outsider (Holden) blows into town to look up an old friend. Over the course of the weekend, he crashes the town picnic, falls in love with Madge Owens (Novak), the town beauty who's dating his friend, and barrels out again on a train to Tulsa, leaving a trail of shattered family relations and rearranged lives in his wake. The film was shot in five towns in Kansas (Halstead's Riverside Park, Hutchinson, Nickerson, Salina and Sterling), its sprawling landscapes heightening the small-town drama. See some stills from the film.
- "Up" (2009) - Okay, it's an animated movie (the first animated and 3D film to open the 2009 Cannes Film Festival), but that doesn't mean we're immune to the picnic scene during the Carl and Ellie montage. At the top of the hill, picnic basket beside their rug, the cute couple cloud gaze and dream. Both Charles F. Muntz fanatics, Carl and Ellie vow to move their house to a cliff overlooking Paradise Falls (they have the picture in their living room), but real life gets in the way and by the time Carl books flights to South America, it's too late for Ellie. But Carl (and a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell) makes the trip by turning his house into a balloon-powered airship. There is no Paradise Falls, but Angel Falls in Venezuela is considered to be the inspiration for it. Pre-production, Director Pete Docter and other Pixar artists spent three days in Venezuela researching and becoming inspired by the towering, lost landscapes.
- "The Sound of Music" (1965) - Picnic food, dresses made out of curtains and a music lesson... In a film of memorable numbers, the "Do Re Mi" scene stands out. The multiple-Academy-Award-winning movie features Maria (Julie Andrews) as nanny to seven motherless children. In this picnic scene, Maria is teaching the notes of the musical scale to the Von Trapp children. It's the first time they've sung; their grief-stricken father banned frivolity when their mother died. The picnic takes place in the surroundings of Hohenwerfen Castle and the montage includes the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg where Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Statue Fountain and use the steps as a musical scale. Find directions to the Do Re Mi Picnic Meadow.
- "Emma" (1996) - "They had a very fine day for Box Hill... Nothing was wanting but to be happy when they got there." So begins one of "Emma's" most famous scenes. Communing with nature, feasting on fine food and enjoying pleasant chit chat, the Regency brigade while away the hours on the North Downs. The picnic scene in "Emma" (Gwyneth Paltrow plays the eponymous heroine) during which Emma ridicules Miss Bates (Sophie Thompson) is pivotal. Only when Mr. Knightley criticizes her behavior does Emma realize that she seeks his approval and, eventually, that she's in love with him. Cue church bells and a Jane-Austen happy ending. Box Hill has picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. Orchids grow along the slopes and many varieties of butterfly dart about.
- "Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) - A dark(ish) one from Australia. "Picnic at Hanging Rock" concerns the loss of several schoolgirls and their teacher on Valentine's Day in 1900, and how their disappearance affects the school and the wider community. It's all a bit spooky. What happened to the girls at Hanging Rock? Did they fade in the glare of the sun? Did the rock somehow envelope them? Apart from a scrap of lace from one of the girl's dresses, no trace of them is found. And is Mrs. Appleyard, the headmistress, involved? If you want to visit (and return), Hanging Rock is a spectacular rock formation with lush greenery, nestled in the heart of the enchanting state of Victoria. Each February, there's a Harvest Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Rounding out our list of films featuring memorable picnic scenes are: "One Day" (2011); "Armageddon" (1998); "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (2008); "Out of Africa" (1985); and "Enchanted April" (1992). To read more about the picnic scenes in these films, and Cheapflights.com's complete Top 10 Cinematic Picnic Spots visit www.cheapflights.com/news/top-10-cinematic-picnic-spots.
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