Based on Florida’s illustrious movie past, Film Florida’s dream of reinvigorating the state’s film industry via a replenished film tax credit is far from a Hollywood dream. Hundreds of amazing motion pictures have been made in the state, so it isn’t hard to see why many envision an even brighter economic future for movie- making here. (See Premiere Florida for the main story.)
To celebrate the past while the Florida Legislature debates the future, we decided to take a look at the great films that were made here and come up with our own 10 Best Florida films. To make this list, the film had to be set in Florida and have a substantial portion of the movie filmed here. This eliminates movies ranging from Ron Howard’s comedy Parenthood to the 1950s horror classic, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, where Florida doubled for other locales. We reluctantly nixed some other major films — from Midnight Cowboy to Get Shorty to James Bond movies Goldfinger and License to Kill — that have brief, important moments set and filmed in Florida but primarily take place elsewhere.
As part of The Late Show with David Letterman’s farewell week, Bill Murray spoke on Tuesday about filming Caddyshack in Florida. Caddyshack comes in at No. 10 on our list.
For more information on a film, expand each panel by pressing its title. With those disclaimers, the Top 10 are:
Body Heat (1981)
Absence of Malice (1981)
The Yearling (1946)
The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
There’s Something About Mary (1998)
Cross Creek (1983)
Sunshine State (2002)
The Birdcage (1996)
Key Largo (1948) and Some Like it Hot (1959). Key Largo has it all: Bogart, Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, gangsters, a hurricane and tight, tense script. Problem is only the movie’s first scene was shot in Florida (other Florida exteriors were stock shots from other movies). As for Some Like it Hot, true locals know the “Florida” resort in the movie is really San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado. So, neither film can quite make the list. But, if they could, make no mistake: They would be tied for No. 1.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Bad Boys, Big Trouble, Cocoon, The Devil’s Advocate, Edward Scissorhands, Matinee, The Mean Season, Miami Rhapsody, Monster, Porky’s and Wild Things.
Check out our Top 5 TV Shows to see who made the cut for the five best Florida shows.