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Puerto Rico in the Movies!

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I always knew that, for a small island, Puerto Rico has produced a pretty decent list of movie stars. What I didn't know was how many movies have been shot around the island. When you think about it, it makes sense; few places can boast the combination of natural beauty, historic setting, and unique settings that Puerto Rico offers movie-makers.

Here are just a few big-budget productions that have brought film crews to Puerto Rico, and the areas they chose to capture their stories. I think it's safe to say that, if Hollywood wants to be here, chances are you'll enjoy it too!

Pirates on the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Photo © Erin Go Bragh

I guess Captain Jack Sparrow couldn't resist Puerto Rico. Johnny Depp's singularly and weirdly terrific pirate returns in the fourth installment of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series, parts of which were shot in Puerto Rico. Where, you ask?

At least one scene was filmed at the postcard-perfect Palomonitos Island, and from there moves to the Castillo de San Cristóbal Fort in Old San Juan.

Fast Five

Photo © Zain Deane
The next installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise pairs Vin Diesel, The Rock, and San Juan. Of course, anyone who knows about Puerto Rican traffic will realize that all of the racing around the capital is par for the course on any given day ... unless it's rush hour. Then it's more like the Slow and the Really Furious.

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Photo © Zain Deane

I feel sorry for Puerto Rico's goats; not only do they have to contend with the nefarious El Chupacabra, they apparently also attract a secret division of the U.S. military that specialized in psychic manipulation that can drop a perfectly healthy goat with mind lasers ... or something like that.

It was Bill at The Rainforest Inn who told me that scenes from the quirky Clooney flick were filmed in the El Yunque Rainforest.

GoldenEye

Photo © Puerto Rico Tourism Company
The climactic ending of James Bond's GoldenEye had Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean battling it out on a giant telescope. Well, that happens to be the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, and it happens to be in Arecibo. The Arecibo is truly a scientific marvel that needs to be seen to be appreciated. It made for a very cool scene in GoldenEye, and was also featured in the Jodie Foster sci-fi film, Contact.

The Losers

Photo © Zain Deane
When members of an elite special forces unit are sent to the Bolivian jungle to be set up by a mysterious nemesis, who knew they would by flying down to Puerto Rico? The Losers is filmed in various parts of the island, including Hato Rey, San Juan's business district, the San Juan port, and the above-mentioned Arecibo Telescope.

Amistad

Photo © Zain Deane
The Steven Spielberg directed movie about a slave revolt aboard a ship named La Amistad starred Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams, Anna Paquin as Queen Isabella II, Djimon Hounsou as the slave who shouts "Give Us Free!" and El Morro as the slave fortress. Not a bad cast.

The Lord of the Flies

Photo © Zain Deane
Awesome book, and a great movie that was actually given an X Certificate by the British Board of Film Classification for its mature content when it was released in 1963. The film was shot in numerous locations in Puerto Rico, including Aguadilla, El Yunque Rainforest, and Vieques Island.
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