Jumat, 11 September 2015

A Dekade Before Filmmakers

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.
Thomas Edison patented and popularized the motion-picture camera in 1891, though, as with the light bulb, he didn't actually invent it. His company did produce what may be the first motion-picture set in the Caribbean, West Indian Girls in Native Dance, filmed on St. Thomas in the winter of 1903. It features a bevy of West Indian beauties doing the shay-shay in a garden in Charlotte Amalie. That same year, the company issued another epic filmed in the Bahamas titled Native Woman Washing a Negro Baby in Nassau, B.I.. The Caribbean had been "discovered" all over again, and they've been making movies here ever since.
The following highlights are far from inclusive and ignore the many direct-to-video and television productions shot in the region.
1962 | Sean ConneryUrsula 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.

1965 | 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 RideAnother Girl and, of course, Help!
1994 | Tim RobbinsMorgan 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 ofSt. Croix, USVI.
1967 | Rex HarrisonSamantha EggarRichard 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 AykroydDon AmecheRalph 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.

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