A decade before filmmakers migrated to Hollywood, they'd already figured out that the Caribbean was a nice place to get away from the dreary winter and gray skies that afflicted their studios in New York and New Jersey.
The following highlights are far from inclusive and ignore the many direct-to-video and television productions shot in the region.
Sean Connery, Ursula Andress
The first James Bond film finds Ian Fleming's hero on a mission to Jamaica to investigate the mysterious death of a British intelligence agent. Along the way he meets CIA agent Felix Leiter (
Jack Lord) and the glamorous Honey Rider (Andress). It was the Swedish bombshell's entrance — she appears from the ocean at Laughing Waters Beach in front of Dunn's River Falls wearing a white bikini — that set the standard for all of the "Bond Girls" who followed. Andress reportedly auctioned off the bikini for more than $60,000.
TRAVEL AGENT 007: Experience James Bond's Caribbean
John, Paul, George and Ringo
The beach scenes for the follow-up to the Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night, were filmed on Paradise Island off of Nassau. The movie was under-appreciated for years, even by the Beatles themselves, who attributed their manic performances to "smoking a lot of marijuana" during the production. Nonetheless, "Help!" did feature some of their best early tracks including Ticket To Ride, Another Girl and, of course, Help!
Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman
The grim prison movie adapted from horrormeister
Stephen King's novel ends on an up note, when ex-cons Andy (Robbins) and Red (Freeman) are reunited on a paradise-worthy beach in Zihuatanejo, Mexico — or not. The scene was actually shot at Sandy Point on the southwest end of St. Croix, USVI.
Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Richard Attenborough
If your familiarity with the Dr. Doolittle story is confined to the 1998
Eddie Murphy remake, pull up your Netflix account and take a look at the original. Predictably, it's more naive but also much more charming. The scene where the good doctor (Rex Harrison) talks to the giant pink snail was filmed in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia.
1983 | Eddie Murphy,
Dan Aykroyd, Don Ameche, Ralph Bellamy
In Murphy's Doolittle remake, he never made it any farther from Hollywood than San Bernardino and San Francisco. However, he definitely made up for it when he and Dan Aykroyd filmed "Trading Places." The final scenes that show the two enjoying their new-found wealth — fleeced from "brothers" Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy — were filmed in St. Croix.