Have you ever been watching a movie and said to yourself, ‘Hey – I’ve been there!’? Well, if you have visited the Caribbean, you are probably right. The islands with their magical views, clear waters and gorgeous beaches have been the hotspots for some major motion pictures.
Jamaica, with all of its natural, tropical beauty is a number one pick for movie producers worldwide. Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica was the setting for the beautiful bikini-clad Bond girl to step out of the waters and into the action in Dr. No. The Negril Cliffs in Jamaica is another iconic movie spot for Bond lovers. Here, with the cliffs in the backdrop, Thunderball was filmed. Cocktail was filmed in three different locations in Jamaica: Dunn’s River Falls, St. Ann and Ocho Rios.
Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed all over the Caribbean islands. Dominica, Tortuga and Bahamas all had scenes shot on their beautiful white sand beaches. The crystal clear waters were home to many clashing, sword-wielding action scenes. Captain Jack Sparrow battled his once allies in ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’ which had filming shots in Wallilabou Bay, St. Vincent.
The Mexican beach in Shawshank Redemption was actually not Mexican at all. The beach scene was filmed at St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands at a place called Sandy Point. Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd enjoyed St. Croix in the final scene of Trading Places.
Contact had an extra-terrestrial seeker looking for other life forms in Puerto Rico at the Aricebo Observatory. Species and Species II, with their DNA-slicing aliens were also filmed at the Aricebo Observatory. Not just a movie set, this observatory holds the world’s largest radio telescope.
As if Paradise Island, Bahamas needed help being famous, the Beatles helped bring the truly paradise-like island to fame with their movie, Help. John, Paul, George and Ringo used some of their best hits like ‘She’s got a ticket to ride’ and ‘Help’ in the movie as well as appearing themselves. Nassau, Bahamas hosted several underwater scenes for Never Say Never Again and Thunderball as well as Speed 2: Cruise Controls with the imaginary city of Marigot extending into the ocean for the crash scenes.
What woman wouldn’t love Brad Pitt on any Caribbean beach? Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas holds Honeymoon Beach where Pitt portrayed Benjamin Button. Magen’s Bay Beach in St. Thomas was the perfect honeymoon spot for newlyweds Bella and Edward from Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Who wouldn’t love the moonlight on the gorgeous beach?
With Cuban filming out of the question, The Godfather: Part II was filmed in the Dominican Republic and Santo Domingo was used as Havana. Here, the Santo Domingo’s Presidential Palace held the famous New Year’s Party and the pre-revolutionary scenes came from the island of Hispaniola.
No doubt with the Caribbean’s natural cliffs, waterfalls, scenic beaches and rain forest, there will be many more movie scenes in the near future and for many years to come.
Top photo: Behind the scenes photo of Johnny Depp, Rob Marshall & Terry Rossio on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) via ©Walt Disney Pictures.