The following article is a guest post.
For several reasons, from a discounted, unionised labor force to potential tax breaks, a number of Hollywood’s best films and television programs are being taped in Canada. Montreal has served as an urban backdrop for several classic and modern films, including a few you might count among your favourites. Here are a handful of the most famous and unforgettable films shot in Montreal.
“Wait Until Dark” (1967)
Something of a sleeper hit, “Wait Until Dark” starred Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman unwittingly left in the possession of a heroin-filled doll. This plot may seem outlandish, but it took Hepburn’s sweet demeanor to pull off such a bizarre plot twist. This thriller also starred Alan Arkin and Richard Crenna and featured a score by the man best known for creating the unforgettable theme to the “Pink Panther,” Henry Mancini. The movie received mixed reviews when it was first released, but it has left enough of a mark on film history to be included on the American Film Institute’s list of the top “100 Thrills” of all time.
“The Red Violin” (1998)
An epic undertaking shot in five cities across the globe, 1998’s “The Red Violin” recounts the journey of an infamous crimson Amati violin, and more importantly how the instrument affects the lives of its tragic owners. Crafted in Cremora, Italy in 1681, the masterpiece eventually makes its way through Vienna, Oxford and Shanghai before finally ending up in the catalog of a Montreal auction house in 1997. In the end (spoiler alert!), you learn the violin was the last masterpiece of Nicolo Bussotti and, in a macabre twist, that the pigment used to give the violin its unearthly red hue was the blood of Bussotti’s dead wife.
“The Notebook” (2004)
Otherwise known as the movie that introduced Ryan Gosling to women across the world, “The Notebook” was shot in both Montreal and parts of South Carolina. Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, “The Notebook” recounts the love story of Noah and Allie Calhoun through flashbacks to 1940s South Carolina. It’s a classic story of the boy from the wrong side of the tracks falling for a privileged, spirited and betrothed young woman. The girl’s parents inevitably disapprove, but of course everything works out in the end. The tear-jerking twist of the film emerges when you learn the fate of Noah and Allie. If you’re among the small group of people who haven’t either read or watched “The Notebook,” grab an industrial-sized box of tissues and prepare to spend the next few hours wiping away the tears.
“The Day After Tomorrow” (2004)
From the beginning of time to the cryptic quatrains of Nostradamus, mankind has been fascinated with the untimely demise of planet Earth and all of its inhabitants. 2004’s “The Day After Tomorrow” poses an ecologically driven question that is strikingly unsettling: What happens if mankind continues to pollute the earth? According to filmmaker Roland Emmerich, the world will suffer a catastrophic ice age that will eventually kill a huge portion of anything that isn’t fit to survive sub-zero temperatures. Over 90 percent of the principal photography was shot in beautiful Old Town Montreal, and it features an all-star cast, including then relative-newcomer-turned-heartthrob, Jake Gyllenhaal. Unfortunately, it takes more than a $125-million budget and a few state-of-the-art CG tricks to win over the critics, as the movie was universally panned; however, if you look at the film as simply an action-packed thriller, you might find yourself not only rooting for the good guys, but also pulling for the fate of the entire world.
If you’ve got a movie buff in the family, why not treat them to an extended cinema-inspired holiday in Montreal? From great nightlife and unforgettable restaurants to museums and galleries, there are a number of exciting and culturally enriching ways to pass the time in this vibrant city. In between tours of his favourite film locations, make sure to stay at one of Montreal’s top trending hotels, because there are many to choose from. If your budget is tight, Montreal features many moderately priced hotels as well.
About the Author: Douglas Morton is a guest blogger and film enthusiast from Quebec. He’s currently compiling a list of films exclusively shot in Canada.
#Photo by http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/