By Griffin Smith
When trying to put this list together I was going to try to pick 10 movies that had artistic value and had stood the test of time, getting the ten best movies ever set in Europe together into a list. Then I realized that most of the movies I was researching I had never seen, and had no plans on seeing. Instead I decided to pick movies I actually like (strange concept right?). The movies on this list didn’t all drag in awards (some did), but they are all a great way to kill a couple hours on a long international flight. Here you have it: The Top Ten Movies Set in Europe, as Decided by a 21-Year-Old Utripper.
10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Venice
While most of the Last Crusade does not take place in Venice, the adventure kicks off in the third Indiana Jones film with a boat chase through the famous canals of Venice. That beautiful Italian city is where Indiana starts on his path toward the Holy Grail.
9. The Bourne Identity – Paris
The first in the Bourne series is set in Europe with large portions set and filmed in Paris. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) goes to Paris to find out who he is and finds out the hard way that he is a high-level spy and trained assassin. The apartment that Bourne heads to in Paris is located at Rue de Longchamp.
8. The Agony and the Ecstasy – Rome and Florence
This movie starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo focuses on the conflicts Michelangelo had with Pope Julius II. This was one of Charlton Heston’s more famous epic historical movies.
7. Moulin Rouge – Paris
I’m sure many girls would not be happy if I left Moulin Rouge off of a top ten list of movies set in Europe. This musical set in the Montmartre district of Paris tells the story of a complicated love triangle through song. It was also the first time a musical had been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in the 10 years before its release.
6. Midnight in Paris – Paris
No list about films set in Europe would be complete without at least one Woody Allen film. Midnight in Paris takes that spot in this list for having the protagonist (Owen Wilson) time travel through the different eras of Paris and meet some artistic heavy-hitters like Hemingway, Picasso, and Dali.
5. Shaun of the Dead – London
This zombie movie/buddy comedy/love story grabs a spot on this list for showing some of London’s hungrier inhabitants. Written by and staring Simon Pegg this film takes a slow, shuffling walk through different neighborhoods in London. The end location for Shaun, his favorite pub The Winchester, was actually filmed at The Duke of Albany Pub in New Cross, London.
4. V for Vendetta – London
V for Vendetta shows a totalitarian London in the grips of a brutal dictator and the rebel V who is trying to take him down. With some explosive scenes portraying The Central Criminal Court, the British Parliament Building, Big Ben and the London Underground this is one film that couldn’t be left off the list.
3. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Rome and Venice
Matt Damon’s second appearance on this list, this time in Italy instead of Paris and playing a man who has lost his moral compass instead of a man who has lost his identity. This psychological thriller makes good use of its beautiful Italian backdrops while showing a man descending into darkness.
2. Gladiator – Rome
Historically accurate might not be the best way to describe Ridley Scott’s Gladiator but the movie is a great excuse for Russell Crowe to show some gladiatorial skills. Taking place in Rome and displaying one of Rome’s most famous monuments, the Coliseum, Gladiator is an impressive historical drama.
1. Eurotrip – Europe
Matt Damon’s third appearance on this list…. just kidding Eurotrip didn’t make the cut.
1. An American Werewolf in London – London
Another comedy/horror film based in London, An American Werewolf in London is a cult classic that has stood the test of time. This film was filmed on location with scenes taking place in the Tube, Regent Park, and Piccadilly Circus.