Oct 12, 2009 5:35:46 AM
Florida on film
Florida, always fertile ground for delusions and fantasies, has been a goldmine for Hollywood over the years, providing surreal stories and exotic settings. These are just a few of our favorites. All together now: lights…cameras…action!
Cocoanuts (1929) In this Marx Bros farce about the 1920s Florida land boom, Groucho famously quips: ‘You can even get stucco! Oh boy, can you get stucco…’
Key Largo (1948) John Huston directed Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Edward G Robinson in this noir classic involving ruthless gangsters and an unstoppable hurricane.
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) B-Grade afficionados call it the best rubber-suit-monster movie ever made, with Wakulla Springs standing in for the Amazon.
Scarface (1983) ‘Say hello to my little…’ Oh, you know the line. Al Pacino, as Cuban immigrant Tony Montana, guns his way to the top of Miami’s decadent cocaine-fueled underworld.
The Birdcage (1996) Meanwhile, on Miami’s farce side, a gay South Beach cabaret owner and his drag-queen lover must act ’straight’ for their son’s future in-laws. It works out very, very well.
Ulee’s Gold (1997) Peter Fonda nearly won an Oscar for his moving portrayal of a ‘Wewa’ beekeeper (from Wewahitchka, Florida) who risks everything to help his estranged son. The ‘gold’ is tupelo honey.
The Truman Show (1998) Real-life Seaside proved the perfect town for a movie in which an ordinary man slowly realizes that his idyllically ordinary life is a fake, a sham, nothing, in fact, but a TV show.
Sunshine State (2002) John Sayles pits Florida developers against a coastal town and an ex–Weeki Wachee mermaid over whether ‘progress’ means more or fewer condos.
Adaptation (2002) What’s real, and what isn’t, in Florida’s swamps? Susan Orleans’ The Orchid Thief inspired Charlie Kaufman to pen the most perfectly surreal, strangely accurate portrait of Florida ever made.
Seen Scarface so many times you can recite its every immortal line? You need to get off the couch and head to Tony Montana’s old stomping ground, Miami. Grab our guide to Miami & the Keys, pack your best 80s disco outfit, and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do…