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VIDEOS : Visiting Indiana, England, Switzerland by Rail

“Indiana: A Tribute” (Jim Hilgendorf Productions, 63 minutes, 1991).

This “tribute” is a random journey filmed with affection and firsthand knowledge by a couple of native Hoosiers, brothers Jim and John Hilgendorf, who logged over 10,000 miles on the production.

However, prospective Indiana visitors may not find it very satisfying since it jumps around the state with no organized itinerary and spends too much time in little-known places and on interviews with local residents, and not enough time covering sites of major tourist interest.

The video opens with scenes of the curious Indian Angel Mounds near Evansville, which date to the 12th Century, and follows with a visit to historic Vincennes in the Wabash Valley. Then comes a stop in Ft. Wayne, where sites include the reconstructed old fort and the burial site of Johnny Appleseed, before a return trip south to view Lincoln’s boyhood home and state park.

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There’s a segment devoted to sports, including scenes of the Indianapolis 500 motor speedway, Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, and the Hoosier basketball hotbed of Milan, a small town that was the real-life inspiration for the hit movie “Hoosiers.”

A visit to Indianapolis offers a glimpse of major buildings, restaurants, the Hoosier Dome, Brandywine Creek and the home of John Whitcomb Riley in nearby Greenfield. The film also singles out other writers and entertainers associated with Indiana.

Tapes are available from Jim Hilgendorf Productions, 10514 National Blvd., No. 119, Los Angeles 90034, (310) 839-6034. Price: $24.95.

“Norwich--City of a Thousand Years” (Top Hat Productions, 15 minutes, 1992).

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This short film spotlights some of the most interesting sites in this historic town and surrounding countryside, less than two hours by rail from London. It was produced as part of this year’s 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first United States airmen in England during World War II.

There’s the 15th-Century Guild Hall, the 900-year-old marketplace, the Royal Arcade shopping street and Bridewell Alley, for a visit to the quaint, Victorian-style old Mustard Shop.

A highlight is a narrated tour of the huge Norwich Cathedral dating to the 13th Century, with its two-story-high cloisters, intricate carvings and stained-glass windows.

A brief boat ride takes viewers to the village of Woodbastwick and a view of the countryside from the church spire.

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Tapes and a beautifully photographed book and history of Norwich are available from Top Hat Productions, 9 Lodge Place, Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich, England NR7 OLA. Telephone: 011-44-603-36203, fax: 011-44-603-33352. Price: $39.95. Tape only, $29.95. Prices include postage.

“Switzerland by Train” (Taylored Video Services, 30 minutes, 1991).

Travelers considering independent travel in Switzerland will find this an informative and pleasant supplement to their trip planning.

Produced as a promotional film for the Swiss travel system, the narration is illustrated with some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe--from Alpine peaks to subtropical palm groves, gorgeous lakes and busy, atmospheric cities with their multicultural heritages.

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Also provided are suggested itineraries, information on when reservations are needed, how to make rail connections and how those connections are coordinated with bus, cable car and funicular schedules.

The narration concludes with information on the advantages of the various Swiss passes and travel cards, where to buy them and how to use them.

Tapes are available from Taylored Video Services, P.O. Box 220513, Charlotte, N.C. 28222, (704) 366-0404. Price: $23.95, including postage and handling.


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