Popular Movies Filmed Mostly or Almost Mostly in the Caribbean

Caribbean locations have been and continue to be a favorite of moviemakers. And why not? You are graced with great weather, clear blue ocean, charming beaches, warm tropical breezes, exciting colors and rhythms, panoramic views, scrumptiously exotic food, and beautiful, hospitable island people. Paradise, I say. Additionally, filming in the Caribbean will not break the bank, especially of a big movie studio. Here is a list of popular movies in which all or several of the scenes were filmed in the Caribbean. The list is in the order of profitably. Fun, interesting details accompany each entry.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean- Dead Man’s Chest

- Caribbean locations: St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and the Bahamas.

- Release date: July 7, 2006

- Worldwide gross: $1,066,179,725

- Director: Gore Verbinski

- Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer

- Lead actors: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

- Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

- Rating: PG-13

- Running time: 151 minutes/ 2 hours 31 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writers: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio

- Synopsis: The CEO of the East India Trading Company, Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), has blacksmith Will Turner, Jr. (Bloom) and the governor’s daughter Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) arrested on their wedding day for aiding the escape of Captain Sparrow (Depp). He then offers to pardon Turner if Turner brought him Sparrow’s Compass, so he could locate the Dead Man’s Chest containing the heart of ghost Captain Davy Jones, and gain power over the seas. But Sparrow needs the cursed item for other purposes.

- Awards: Academy Awards for Visual Effects; MTV Awards for Best Male Performance (Depp), and Best Movie; a number of Teen Choice Awards

2. Pirates of the Caribbean- At World’s End

- Caribbean location: Puerto Rico

- Release date: May 25, 2007

- Worldwide gross: $963,420,425

- Director: Gore Verbinski

- Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer

- Lead actors: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

- Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

- Rating: PG-13

- Running time: 168 minutes/ 2 hours 48 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writers: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio

- Synopsis: Lord Cutler Beckett harnesses the power he sought from the heart of villain Davy Jones, and sets in place plans to rid piracy permanently. Meanwhile, Will, Elizabeth, Hector Barbossa (former first mate of the pirate ship, the Black Pearl), and other members of the crew try to rescue Captain Sparrow from the bottom of the ocean, or as called in the pirate world, Davy Jones Locker.

- Awards: MTV Movie Awards for Best Comedic Performance (Depp); a number of Teen Choice Awards.

Pirates of the Caribbean- At World's End movie poster
Pirates of the Caribbean- At World's End movie poster | Source

3. Pirates of the Caribbean- The Curse of the Black Pearl

- Caribbean location: St. Vincent and the Grenadines

- Release date: July 9, 2003

- Worldwide gross: $654,264,015

- Director: Gore Verbinski

- Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer

- Lead actors: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush

- Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

- Rating: PG-13

- Running time: 143 minutes/ 2 hours 23 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writers: Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert

- Synopsis: Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner go in search of Elizabeth Swann believed to be captured by Sparrow’s former first mate, Hector Barbossa. They discover that Captain Barbossa and crew is now in a state of undead- under the curse of the Aztec gold on board the Black Pearl, the ship he stole from Sparrow. Captain Sparrow, of course, has his own reasons for partnering with Turner.

- Awards: MTV Movie Awards for Best Male Performance (Depp); a number of Teen Choice Awards.

Cocktail movie poster
Cocktail movie poster | Source

4. Cocktail

- Caribbean location- Jamaica

- Release date: July 29, 1988

- Worldwide gross: $171,504,781

- Director: Roger Donaldson

- Producers: Ted Field, Robert W. Cort

- Lead actors: Tom Cruise, Elisabeth Shue, Bryan Brown

- Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

- Rating: R

- Running time: 104 minutes/ 1 hour 44 minutes

- Genre: Romance

- Screenplay writer: Heywood Gould

- Synopsis: After unsuccessfully trying to secure a marketing job, New York Army vet Brian Flanagan (Cruise) turns to bartending. Eventually, he takes a job in Jamaica and subsequently falls in love with Jordan Mooney (Shue).

- Awards: Golden Raspberry Awards (Razzies) for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay

Never Say Never Again movie poster
Never Say Never Again movie poster | Source

5. Never Say Never Again (Thunderball remake)

- Caribbean location: Bahamas

- Release date: October 7, 1983

- Worldwide gross: $160,000,000

- Director: Irvin Kershner

- Producer: Jack Schwartzman

- Lead actors: Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Kim Bassinger

- Distributor: Warner Bros.

- Rating: PG

- Running time: 134 minutes/ 2 hours 14 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writers: Lorenzo Semple, Jr., Not credited: Dick Clements, Ian La Francis

- Synopsis: British MI6 secret agent 007, James Bond, comes out of retirement to once again confront the criminal organization SPECTRE and its diabolical leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who commissioned his agents (including Maximillian Largo/ Klaus Maria Brandauer- Emilio Largo/ Adolfo Celi in Thunderball) to steal a number of nuclear warheads with the intent to use them to extort the world’s super powers.

- Awards: None

6. Thunderball

- Caribbean location: Bahamas

- Release date: December 20, 1965

- Worldwide gross: $142,000,000

- Director: Terence Young

- Producer: Kevin McClory

- Lead actors: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi

- Distributor: United Artists

- Rating: PG

- Running time: 132 minutes/ 2 hours 12 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writers: Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins

- Synopsis: British MI6 secret agent 007, James Bond, is on a mission to find a couple of nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE’s number two agent Emilio Largo (Celi) with hopes of using them to extort diamonds from NATO with threats of destroying a major city in the United Kingdom or in the United States.

- Awards: Academy Award for Best Special Effects; a couple of less notable awards

Live And Let Die movie poster
Live And Let Die movie poster | Source

7. Live and Let Die

- Caribbean location: Jamaica

- Release date: June 27, 1973

- Worldwide gross: $126,377,836

- Director: Guy Hamilton

- Producers: Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli

- Lead actors: Roger Moore, Yaphet Koto, Jane Seymour

- Distributor: United Artists

- Rating: PG

- Running time: 121 minutes/ 2 hours 1 minute

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writer: Tom Mankiewicz

- Synopsis: British MI6 secret agent 007, James Bond, is sent to New Orleans to investigate the murders of fellow British agents. He discovers the involvement of a heroin kingpin who is also Prime Minister Dr.Kananga (Koto) of the fictitious Caribbean island of San Monique. On his course to bring Kananga to justice, Bond encounters sorcery and a tarot card reader name Solitaire (Seymour).

- Awards: No major awards

- Special note: Live and Let Die was the first Bond film to feature an African American Bond girl- Rosie Carver played by actress Gloria Hendry.

8. Dr. No (first movie in the very successful British spy franchise)

- Caribbean location: Jamaica

- Release date: May 8, 1962

- Worldwide gross: $59,600,000

- Director: Terence Young

- Producers: Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli, Stanley Sopel

- Lead actors: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord

- Distributor: United Artists

- Rating: PG

- Running time: 110 minutes/ 1 hour 50 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writers: Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, Berkley Mather

- Synopsis: British MI6 secret agent 007, James Bond, is sent to Jamaica to search for a missing colleague and discovers Dr. No’s (Wiseman) plot to end the United States space program.

- Awards: Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer- Female (Andress); minor awards in 1964

Papillon movie poster
Papillon movie poster | Source

9. Papillon

- Caribbean location: Jamaica

- Release date: December 16, 1973

- Worldwide gross: $53,267,000

- Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

- Producers: Robert Dorfmann, Franklin J. Schaffner, Ted Richmond

- Lead actors: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman

- Distributors: Allied Artists (United States), Columbia Pictures (elsewhere)

- Rating: PG

- Running time: 150 minutes/ 2 hours 30 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writers: Dalton Trumbo, Lorenzo Semple, Jr.

- Synopsis: Henri “Papillon” Charriere (McQueen) is sentenced to life in a French Guyanese prison with horrible conditions. On the way there, he meets and develops a friendship with fellow inmate Louis Dega (Hoffman). They plan escapes. Papillon has a couple of successful attempts, one of which takes him to live with the island’s native Indians.

- Awards: minor awards

Into the Blue movie poster
Into the Blue movie poster | Source

10. Into the Blue

- Caribbean location: Bahamas

- Release date: September 30, 2005

- Worldwide gross: $44,434,439

- Director: John Stockwell

- Producer: David Zelon

- Lead actors: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, James Brolin

- Distributors: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ MGM

- Rating: PG-13

- Running time: 110 minutes/ 1 hour 50 minutes

- Genre: Action

- Screenplay writer: Matt Johnson

- Synopsis: Jared (Walker) and his friends Bryce (Caan) and Sam (Alba) find a crashed plane with large amounts of cocaine and sunken ship full of treasure, while on vacation. They decide to keep quiet about the drugs until they can collect and secure the ship’s treasure. That decision puts them into a number of hairy situations, including tragic.

- Awards: minor awards

11. How Stella Got Her Groove Back

- Caribbean location: Jamaica

- Release date: August 14, 1998

- Worldwide gross: $39,278,722

- Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

- Producer: Deborah Schindler

- Lead Actors: Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, Whoopi Goldberg

- Distributor: 20th Century Fox

- Rating: R

- Running time: 124 minutes/ 2 hours 4 minutes

- Genre: Romance

- Screenplay writers: Terry McMillan, Ron Bass

- Synopsis: Successful, San Franciscan, forty-something stockbroker Stella Payne (Bassett) is encouraged by her best friend Delilah Abraham (Goldberg) to take a Caribbean vacation. There Stella falls in love with a handsome, younger native (Diggs). She struggles to balance this steamy romance with motherhood and career.

- Awards: NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress (Bassett), and Outstanding Supporting Actress (Goldberg); other minor awards

12. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

- Caribbean location: Bahamas and Jamaica

- Release date: January 1, 1954

- Worldwide gross: $28,200,000

- Director: Richard Fleischer

- Producer: Walt Disney

- Lead actors: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre

- Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

- Rating: G

- Running time: 127 minutes/ 2 hours 7 minutes

- Genre: Science Fiction

- Screenplay writer: Earl Felton

- Synopsis: In 1866, the U. S. Government commissions Professor Pierre Aronnax (Douglas), his assistant Conseil (Lorre), and the ship the Abraham Lincoln to capture and identify an alleged creature that has been sinking U.S. and European whaling vessels. The creature turns out to be the submarine Nautilus captained by Nemo (Mason).

- Awards: Academy Awards for Best Art Direction – Set Direction, Color; a minor award

13. Island in the Sun

- Caribbean locations: Barbados and Grenada

- Release date: June 12, 1957

- Worldwide gross: $ 5,550,000

- Director: Robert Rossen

- Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck

- Lead actors: James Mason, Joan Collins, Harry Belafonte, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge

- Distributor: 20th Century Fox

- Rating: NR

- Running time: 119 minutes/ 1 hour 59 minutes

- Genre: Romance/ Crime

- Screenplay writers: Alfred Hayes, Alec Waugh

- Synopsis: On a fictitious Caribbean island under British rule, David Boyeur (Belafonte), a young black man with political interests goes up against wealthy property owner’s son Maxwell Fleury (Mason), who wants the same office. As a result, Boyeur finds himself mired in the mix of interracial romance, infidelity, murder, and racism.

- Awards: None

14. Swiss Family Robinson

- Caribbean location: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (Tobago)

- Release date: December 21, 1960

- Domestic gross: $40, 356,000

- Director: Ken Annakin

- Producers: Bill Anderson, Basil Keys

- Lead actors: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur

- Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

- Rating: G

- Running time: 126 minutes/ 2 hours 6 minutes

- Genre: Family Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writer: LowellS. Hawley

- Synopsis: Shipwrecked and Castaway Robinson family makes do in a tree house fashioned after their Switzerland home. They also encounter a myriad of adventures, including a tussle with pirates.

- Awards: none

15. The Old Man and the Sea

- Caribbean location: Cuba

- Release date: October 11, 1958

- Worldwide/ Domestic gross: No information

- Directors: John Sturges; Not credited: Fred Zinnemann, Henry King

- Producer: Leland Haywood

- Lead actors: Spencer Tracy, Mary Hemingway, Felipe Pazos, Jr., Harry Bellaver

- Distributor: Warner Bros.

- Rating: NR

- Running time: 86 minutes/ 1 hour 26 minutes

- Genre: Action/ Adventure

- Screenplay writer: Peter Viertel

- Synopsis: Having gone 84 days without a catch, an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago (Tracy) gets his biggest catch, a marlin. For three days and nights he struggles to reel it in. As he does so, he replays his life’s hardships. Santiago suffered much ridicule from the other more successful fishermen on the island. His only friend was a young boy (Pazos, Jr.).

- Awards: Academy Awards for Best Original Score; other minor awards


The following sites were referenced for the 15 movie entries: http://www.imdb.com, http://www.caribbeanedge.com, http://www.islands.com, http://en.wikipedia.org.

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