Old Hollywood Glam – Woman Posing In Black & White – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Anneka
Several Hollywood blockbuster hits have been filmed in the Tampa Bay area, and famous actors have flown in to perform in front of our breathtaking backdrop. Here is a summary of Florida’s cinematic history.
Today, the Tampa Bay region is used as the backdrop for numerous Hollywood blockbusters, with famous actors flying in to perform against our picturesque landscape. During the 1998 “Great Expectations” production, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawk shut down the Ca’d’Zan. How about in 2002’s “Out of Time,” in which Denzel Washington played a small-town Florida police officer, walking the docks of Cortez?
In reality, “newsreels” from 1898 depicting U.S. soldiers in Tampa during the Spanish-American War are the oldest Florida films. After that, many of the best movies continued to be shot in Florida. For “Tarzan,” “On An Island With You,” and “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” the state provided picturesque rainforests, a tropical island (Anna Maria), and ominous Silver Springs.
Jacksonville rivaled Hollywood prior to World War I, with over thirty studios and thousands of actors and extras available for hire. As a result of the relocation of film studios like Universal, Disney, and MGM, Florida saw an increase in its film output, which led the nation by 1995. Florida has since struggled, but every year, movies are still filmed and produced here.
The movie that started the trend was a local production named “Sarasota’s Hero,” despite the fact that our location has been featured in a number of significant motion pictures.
The Sarasota Herald described the region’s first sound-on-film production, which had its premiere on July 26, 1929, at the Edwards Theater (now the Sarasota Opera House), as “a clean and pleasant epic comedy,” opening up a whole new realm of entertainment for residents suffering from the Great Depression.
The newspaper initially published an advertisement looking for local talent, and then Hollywood director Don O. Newland was brought in to choose the final cast. In the movie, which starred Grace Adams as Baby Ethel, Elizabeth Gains as Katrinka, the dashing John Lavine as Billy Brown, the film’s protagonist, and lawyer J. Charles Warpole plays The Rival, while Keen portrays Mr. Henpeck.
George Lindsey, a local socialite, and then-police chief Tilden Davis both played minor roles. According to Bernice Brooks Bergen in her book Sarasota Times Past, Newland bragged that it was the best amateur cast he had ever put together and added, “that’s no press nonsense either.”
The action was Mr. Henpeck traveling to the train station to pick up a child that he thought to be a friend. The “baby,” though, turns out to be a lovely woman. All hell breaks loose when his wife learns that he has been seen out and about with another woman.
The Woolard Furniture Company, the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, and the Cigar Corner Shop were among the local businesses where scenes were filmed (present-day Gator Club).
While being billed as a comedy, the movie contained plenty of action, including an exciting scene in which two Model Ts, thanks to the local Sarasota Sales Company Ford agency, hit a thrilling 40 mph before colliding at Five Points.
Almost 3,000 feet of film needed to be edited after the editing was done in an aesthetic manner, according to Newland.
Although Sarasota’s Hero didn’t win any awards, it paved the door for future regional shows that utilized local talent and were successful.
Are you interested in Florida’s history? For stories like this and much more: Florida Insider is dedicated to educating, entertaining and informing its readers about everything Florida. Easy to read content at the palm of your hands and covering the stories that matter.
Born and raised in South Florida, Krystal is a recent graduate from the University of Miami with professional writing experience at the collegiate and national news outlet levels. She’s a foodie who loves all things travel, the beach, & visiting new places throughout Florida.
30 Polynesian Celebs Making Big Hollywood Moves Of Tongan, Samoan, and Irish descent, the 18-year-old was born and raised in Haw
Kym Karath has always been ready for her close-up.The actress was just 3 years old when she was scouted while having a cheeseburger at her father’s restaurant
It may be hard to imagine Robert Downey Jr. as anyone other than Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but director Jon Favreau revealed that
George Maharis, who starred as the brooding Buz Murdock on Route 66 before he quit the acclaimed 1960s CBS drama after contracting hepatitis, has