Just like the movies

By Carlota Nelson | 10:30

Some destinations have become famous over-night thanks to the movies.  Other places, who were already legendary tourist draw cards, also benefit from movies, as visitors will travel to see the locations in which they were filmed. There´s something fascinating about comparing the real thing to what we previously saw in the movie.  Memoirs of a Geisha (Kyoto), Motorcycle Diaries (South America),  Slumdog Millionaire (Bombay), Braveheart (Scotland) and Dracula  (Transylvania, Romania) are amongst the many movies that literally move people.  We’ve compiled a few of our favourites here:


Film: Dr No (1962)
 Ocho Rios, also known as Ochi, Jamaica is where it was shot and if you’ve seen the film, you´ll certainly remember one of the most famous Bond scenes of all time which has been re-enacted across the world since it was released: Bond creeps onto the Crab Key, Dr No’s island, and discovers a stunning bikini-clad Ursula Andress emerging from the sea, conch shell in hand.  All of the James Bond novels were written in Ian Fleming’s Jamaican beachfront house called Goldeneye.

Film: 20,000 leagues under the Sea (1954)

The only science fiction film produced by Walt Disney and the only one personally produced by Mister Walt himself. Starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason and Peter Lorre the film has become the best-known adaptation of the Jules Verne novel with the same title. It was filmed at various locations in The Bahamas and Jamaica, with the cave scenes filmed beneath what is now the Xtabi Resort on the cliffs of Negril. The famous giant squid attack sequence had to be entirely re-shot,  taking place at night to increase, they say, the drama and hide the cables and other mechanical workings of the animatronic squid.

Film: The Blue Lagoon (1980) Based on the novel The Blue Lagoon by Henry De Vere Stacpoole, the American romantic adventure movie starred Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins and tells the story of two young children all alone in a tropical island Paradise in the South Pacific. One of the most stunning natural locations in the film was the existing blue lagoon, 10 minutes east of Port Antonio, originally called The Blue Hole.  The most striking feature is its mystical blue colour, which changes during the day depending on the angle of the sun.

Film: Live and Let Die (1973)  James Bond´s 8th spy film and the first to star Roger Moore. The fictional island where the heroin poppies are secretly farmed is Jamaica. Bond’s hotel, where Baron Samedi performs his tourist-voodoo nightclub act, is the Sans Souci Hotel, now Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios, the foothills of the Blue Mountains (which was previously featured as Miss Taro’s home in the first Bond movie, Dr No).

South Africa

Film: Blood Diamond (2006): American-German political war thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to the diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to finance conflicts. Most scenes were shot in Cape Town, Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal and all along the Western Cape of South Africa.

Film: Home Alone 4 (2002)  It is the fourth installment in the Home ALone series and is also the only film in the series to be filmed outside the United States. Although set in Chicago, it was actually shot in Cape Town, South Africa.

Film: Invictus (2009): sports film directed by Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Base don the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy, the film narrated the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It was shot in South Africa, specifically in Cape Town, Robben Island and Johannesburg.


Paris, France

Film: Before Sunset (2004): American romantic drama film and sequel to Before Sunrise and Before Midnight by Richard Linklater.  The film picks up the story in Before sunrise where a young American man and a young French woman meet on a train and spend one night in Vienna. Fast forward nine years and their paths intersect again in Paris.

The movie was filmed entirely on location in Paris. It opens inside the Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the Left Bank and then follows the couple through the Marais District (4th arrondissement). Other locations are Le Pure Café (11th arrondissement), The Promenade Plantée Park and on board a bateau mouche.

Film: The Da Vinci Code (2006): American mystery-thriller film directed by Ron Howard and adapted from Dan Brown´s best selling novel. Permission to film on the premises of the Louvre was granted as long as the crew did not shine light son the Mona Lisa.

Film: Paris, je t’aime (2006): a film starring an ensemble cast of actors, this 2 hour film is really 18 short films set in different districts in Paris. This film is a definitely must see if you´re planning on touring Paris by foot. Each short film was shot by 22 different directors including Joel and Ethan Coen, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Tom Tykwer and Gus Van Sant.   

Los Angeles, California

Film: The Artist (2011): is a romantic comedy-drama shot in the style of a black and white silent film and written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius. Awarded with the Best Foreign Film Academy Award, the story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932. All scenes were shot in Los Angeles, mainly in the Hollywood area but also in downtown theatres, restaurants and houses, including Mary Pickford´s.

Film: Boogie Nights (1997): American drama written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.  Set in the San Fernando Valley, the film centres on a Young nightclub dishwasher who becomes a porno star in the Golden Age of Porn of the 70´s.  Shot on location in different parts of Hollywood and Beverly Hills as well as off the beaten track industrial neighbourhoods.

Film: Blade Runner (1982): American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and loosely based on Phillip K. Dick´s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Depicting a future 2019 Los Angeles, the film was shot in existing Los Angeles landmarks such as Bonaventure Hotel, Union Station, Bradbury Building and Second Street tunnel.

If you´d ever wondered: Where did they film this? Or you´d love to visit the locations of your all-time favourite film, make sure you visit: The Worldwide Guide to Film Locations. Easy to navigate and complete with photographs, trivia and travel tips. 

Photo Credits: Tomash Devenish

Photo Credits: Christopher Griner

Photo Credits: Moyan Brenn 

Photo Credits: Tod Jones







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