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Has a book or movie ever been based somewhere you’ve lived?
How did it compare?
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So many films have been made in my hometown, along with it and neighboring cities being mentioned since the hey-day of the silver screen. I am sure you’ve heard Schenectady mentioned in classic movies. Albany gets mentioned a lot in the Law and Order series. Then, there are nods to the horse racing city of Saratoga that is where I was born. You can view a list of films made there and about it here: https://saratogaliving.com/saratoga-goes-hollywood-15-movies-shot-in-saratoga-surrounding-region/
The top films made about my hometown are mostly from the classic era. The last is more recent and probably quite familiar to you. However, they all are on one subject: horseracing.
Saratoga Springs, NY (United States) is also well-known for its connection to mineral water and the Victorian health craze for it. An entire industry built up around bath houses and drinking mineral water. Few of the resorts still exist in this time, but I did work at one as a teenager in the early 1990s, which has hung on for decades. Most of the tourism is around the horseracing that has outlasted the health crazes. In fact, one might find that the pendulum swung to the other side, as horseracing brings in a less healthy practice of organized crime.
I cannot answer about the accuracy the first two films on the list have for Saratoga. I cannot recall seeing either. As for Seabiscuit, I was very much around for the filming. I never watched the film in its entirety. To be completely open, I wasn’t all that interested. I know–I know. I know it’s an Oscar nominee and a high quality film.
Though I love horses, because they’re just giant doggies, the races aren’t exciting or interesting. I have a problem with the exploitation of the animals, for one. Then, there is the other list of issues…It’s a big to-do for the entitled wealthy of the world. They come to our town to amass trophies and cash, and pad their fragile egos. It brings with it some nefarious figures looking to cash in, who indulge in excessive gambling and drinking, and also treat the locals poorly (see my YouTube for further explanation).
Just to show I’m not alone, my closest friend, who was also born there didn’t care much about the Seabiscuit film either. Recollection of the reviews ranged from it was okay to a great film. The reviews from locals directly correlate to how those folks view the races. Having attended the races and photographed them, having grown up in Saratoga and lived there for most of my life, I could probably tell you if the films are accurate. That said, I’d have to watch them. Maybe that’s an idea for a watch party live?
I cannot wait to find out what the other authors have to say about their home stomping grounds, and if they feel any of the films did justice to them. Click on their links below to find out more. Also, be sure to drop your email in the box on the top right to subscribe to the newsletter and get this hop dropped in your email each Friday.