The Dominican Republic is an attractive place not only for tourists, but also for Hollywood directors. Vivid tropical nature, picturesque reserves, rivers, mountains, and coastlines with azure blue water have attracted filmmakers for decades. Below we have compiled a list of the most cinematic places in the Dominican Republic and a list the most famous films which, upon viewing them, will whisk you off to this tropical paradise.
THE GODFATHER – PART 2
In 1974, the second part of the classic film “The Godfather” by the legendary director Francis Ford Coppola was released. The film received eleven Oscar nominations (winning in six categories) and was the first sequel to receive the award for the best picture.
Having received from the film company a budget of $ 13 million (twice as much as that of the first “Godfather”), Coppola did not limit himself to the United States and organized filming in Italy and the Dominican Republic. According to the plot of the film, some action was supposedly happening in Havana.
But shooting in Cuba, of course, was impossible, due to the complex relationship between the two countries. Therefore, it was decided to shoot the Cuban scenes on the territory of the colonial part of the city of Santo Domingo.
To explore these streets, you can come to Santo Domingo and take a ride on the tourist train “Chu-chu”. Or just stroll through the old town, looking for familiar places. In addition to Coppola, the film Havana, directed by Sidney Pollack, was also filmed here.
In 1997, the sensational thriller with Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube about a huge snake inhabiting the jungles along the Amazon River appeared in theatres. In some scenes, the famous South American river is replaced by the Dominican River Chavon. It lies in the southeastern part of the Dominican Republic and flows into the Caribbean Sea.
To enjoy spectacular views of the Chavon River valley, it is best to go to the same town – Altos de Chavon, which is located in the exclusive resort of Casa de Campo. By the way, this town, created in the style a Middle Age village, also appeared in a number of films. Scenery of the Chavon River can also be seen in the films “Apocalypse Now” and “Rambo 2”.
FAST AND FURIOUS 4
Directed by Justin Lee, filming began on this criminal thriller in November 2007 and was released in theatres on April 9, 2009. The main roles in the film went to Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordan Brewster. Vin Diesel also acted as producer of the picture.
In addition shooting many scenes of this film in the Dominican Republic, Vin Diesel decided to make an advertising move by filming and releasing on the screens a Bandits promo-video.
Filming also took place in the Dominican Republic and the picture itself is a prelude to the events taking place in Fast and Furious 4. It tells about the background of the main characters and about the beginning of their criminal careers. I must say that Vin Diesel is very fond of the Dominican Republic. His films often have Latin rhythms and he himself is a frequent and welcome guest on the island.
In 2005, director Peter Jackson created a remake of the 1933 film of the same name. His goal was to convey the spirit of the original but at the same time to use modern technology to make the viewer even more involved through the effects.
Scenes from the first part of the picture, unfolding in the tropical jungle of Skull Island, were filmed in the protected areas of the Dominican Republic, mainly its eastern part. The film brought the director phenomenal success bringing in $550 million.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Initially, the film was conceived only as a screen version of the popular attraction at Disneyland. However, the premiere, which took place in 2003, did so great at the box-office the Disney company decided to film several sequels to “Pirates”.
Well, where else would one shoot a saga about the adventures of pirates than on one of the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean? And to be more precise, some scenes involving the incomparable Johnny Depp as Jackie Sparrow were filmed on El Rincon beach. This beach is in the province of Samana – one of the most beautiful in the Dominican Republic.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
In 2006, the star lineup of Angelina Jolie, Robert de Niro and Matt Damon went to the Dominican Republic. They arrived in the country to work on the dramatic spy thriller “The Good Shepherd”, which tells of espionage during the Cold War between the USSR and the United States. This film provides drama, intrigue and thanks to excellent camera work, aesthetic pleasure as well.