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Movies And Television Shows Filmed In And Around Sarasota

Johnny Weismuller and the film crew of Tarzan's Secret Treasure at Wakulla Springs, 1941. A Little History:

Florida films are nearly as old as movie making itself. The state's sunny climate and scenic beauty made Florida a natural destination for early film producers. In fact, the earliest Florida films are 1898 "newsreels" of U.S. troops in Tampa during the Spanish-American War. Before World War I, Jacksonville rivaled Hollywood with more than thirty studios and 1,000 actors and extras.

Johnny Weismuller and the film crew of "Tarzan's Secret Treasure" at Wakulla Springs, 1941.

Filming Airport 77 in Wakulla SpringsFlorida continued to be used for many of Hollywood's best movies. The state offered scenic jungles for Tarzan, beautiful beaches for Esther Williams, tropical islands for South Pacific themes, and deep, mysterious springs for the Creature From the Black Lagoon.

When Florida actively began to attract and assist movie companies, the film industry began to grow. Major studios such as Universal, Disney, and MGM moved to the state, boosting production, and by 1995 Florida had become the third largest film-making state in the country. Today, Floridians continue to reap the benefits of this creative and lucrative industry.
Filming Airport '77 in Wakulla Springs

The Movies:

  1. Adam Lost His Apple (1965)
    Plot: A photographer discovers two shipwrecked women and a man living as nudists on an uninhabited island.
    A wealthy young oil tycoon is hired by the Bahama Islands to promote tourism. While photographing an island, he comes across two women and a man who have abandoned civilization for a life of uninhibited pleasure.
    The tycoon falls for one of the women, but will he give up everything to live in her tropical paradise?
    Cast: Mal Arnold, Sally Allen, Monroe Myers, Joan Gordon & Gene Berk.
    Directed by Earl Wainwright. Color - 65 min.

  2. Fizzy Bizness... aka The Bail ( Filmed in 2002 - Video Title - 2005) Plot: Best friends Richie and Benji are typical teenage boys who dream of inventing the world's coolest, most portable soft drink, Soda Plops (just plop a tablet in a glass of water for instant fizzy refreshment!). Their dreams of being Soda Kings come crashing down when their lighthouse lab is ruined, but their luck turns when an unexpected treasure washes up on shore and the whole town gets involved. Danny Smith and Brandon Quinn star.
    Cast: Danny Smith, Kevin Jubinville & Brandon Quinn.
    Written & Directed by Carl Goldstein. This movie has not been released on DVD yet. Future availability is not guaranteed. Comedy. 85 min. View Trailer

  3. Color Me Blood Red (1965) ...aka Model Massacre
    Plot: An eccentric artist is panned by a well-known critic at his opening for not having a good color sense, so he starts a new series, using his own blood to paint. Soon he is weakened and must find other sources of blood to continue his paintings. Cast: Gordon Oas-Heim & Candi Conder.
    Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.

  4. A Flash of Green (1985)
    Plot: Centered around a conflict between environmentalists and land developers.
    Various political and citizen groups vie for the control of Palm City, Florida's last unspoiled bay-front property.
    A ruthless politician secretly allied with the developers schemes to further his own crooked ends
    Cast: Blair Brown, Ed Harris, John Glover & Isa Thomas.
    Written by John D. MacDonald.
    Partially filmed on Casey Key. Drama/Suspense - 131 mins.

  5. Forever Mine (1999)
    Plot: An affair between a cabana boy and the young wife of a sinister politician triggers a 16-year vendetta between the two men.
    Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Ray Liotta and Gretchen Mol.
    Written and Directed by Paul Schrader.
    Look for Sarasota's SCAT bus. Filmed mostly in Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg.

  6. Glory Days (1979) Plot: Steve Street is about to lead his High school Football team to the City Championship, when he's diagnosed with cancer.
    Cast: Jim Fitzpatrick & Larry Brodsky

  7. Great Expectations (1998)
    Plot: A modernization of a Charles Dickens classic story.
    Updated to modern day New York City and Florida's Gulf Coast in the 1980's SoHo art world, the story concerns a man of modest background who falls in love with a rich girl. But when a mysterious benefactor greenlights the man to make his dreams come true it has the ultimate effect of making Estella fall in love with him.

    Cast: Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Bancroft & Robert De Niro.
    Shot around the fishing village of Cortez and the Ringling Mansion.

  8. The Great Wallendas (1993)
    Plot: The Great Wallendas circus high wire act. Made-for-TV movie, tells the true story of the Great Wallendas, a family of circus acrobats famous for their seven-person high wire pyramid act, that one night ended in tragedy.
    Lloyd Bridges stars as the great Karl Wallenda.
    Filming Locations: Sarasota.
    Cast: Britt Ekland, Casey Biggs, Lloyd Bridges, Cathy Rigby, and Lucinda Bridges.
    Writen by Jan Hartman, Directed by Larry Elikann.

  9. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
    Plot: The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer against a background of circus spectacle. To ensure a full profitable season, circus manager Brad Braden engages The Great Sebastian, though this moves his girlfriend Holly from her hard-won center trapeze spot. Holly and Sebastian begin a dangerous one-upmanship duel in the ring, while he pursues her on the ground. Subplots involve the secret past of Buttons the Clown and the efforts of racketeers to move in on the game concessions.
    Cast: Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Emmett Kelly, John Ringling North, James Stewart, Bing Crosby, & Bob Hope. (Bing and Bob were incognito as spectators).
    Director, Cecil B. DeMille required all of the actors to perform their own stunts. The Oscar-award-winning movie was filmed at the Barnum and Bailey headquarters in Sarasota.

  10. Hidden Fears (1993)
    Plot: Years after witnessing her husband's murder, a woman finds that her knowledge of the crime has made her the killers' next target.
    Cast: Meg Foster, Frederic Forrest, Bever-Leigh Banfield, and Marc Macaulay.
    Writen by Stuart Kaminsky, Directed by Jean Bodon

  11. Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)
    Plot: Ticlaw, a small town in Florida. The only attraction is a safary park. The goverment constructs the Miami freeway, that passes just beside Ticlaw, but decides not to put an exit to it. The people at Ticlaw, leaded by it's Mayor, will do anything in order to alter the project.
    Cast: Beau Bridges, Hume Cronyn, William Devane, Beverly D'Angelo, Geraldine Page, and Teri Garr.
    Written by Edward Clinton, Directed by John Schlesinger.

  12. The Isle of Destiny (1920)
    A Silent Movie filmed in Black and White on location on Anna Maria Island.
    Cast: Paul Gilmore, Hazel Hudson, Frank D. Williams, Helen Pierce, and John Hedges IV.
    Written by Mack Arthur, Directed by Tamar Lane.

  13. Just Cause (1995)
    Plot: Buried deep in the Florida Everglades is a secret that can save an innocent man or let a killer kill again. Bobby Earl is facing the electric chair for the murder of a young girl. Eight years after the crime he calls in Paul Armstrong, a professor of law, to help prove his innocence. Armstrong quickly uncovers some overlooked evidence to present to the local police.
    Cast: Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Capshaw, Ed Harris, Daniel J. Travanti, and Ned Beatty.

  14. Le Matou (1985)... aka The Alley Cat. Plot: Story of a young couple (Dupire and Spaziani) who buy a diner at the encouragement of a mysterious European man, their eccentric friends, and how they're manipulated and then fight back.
    Cast: Pierre Beaudry, Serge Dupire, Monique Spaziani, Jean Carmet, Julien Guiomar, Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Miguel Fernandes Sam Stone, & Paul Berval.
    Written by Yves Beauchemin, Directed by Jean Beaudin

  15. On An Island With You (1948)
    Plot: A young navy lieutenant is brought in as techninical adviser on a song-dance-and-swim film being made by screen star Rosalind Reynolds. Having once done a number with her - and been kissed at the end - at a Forces show, the young lad somehow believes she should be his girl.
    Cast: Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Durante, Cyd Charisse, and Xavier Cugat

  16. Out of Time (2002)
    Plot: Denzel Washington plays a small-town Florida police officer who steals money from an evidence room so he can run away with a lover, who ends up double-crossing him.
    Cast: Denzel Washington, Dean Cain, and Eva Mendes.
    Written by David Collard, Directed by Carl Franklin
    Shot in the tiny fishing village of Cortez, Placida & Boca Grande Florida.

  17. Palmetto (1998)
    ...aka Dumme sterben nicht aus
    Plot: A recently released ex-con gets involved in a fake kidnapping scheme that turns very real.
    Harry Barber is out for some payback to regain the two years he has lost. He is hired to fake the kidnapping of a dying millionaires stepdaughter.
    Harry discovers that he is being set up on multiple levels and will soon face a longer prison sentence if he does not prove the truth to the police.
    Cast: Woody Harrelson, Elisabeth Shue, Gina Gershon, Chloë Sevigny

  18. Prestige (1932)
    Plot: Melvyn Douglas, ordered to command a penal colony in French Indo-China, falls victim to heat, boredom, loneliness.
    So severe is his decline into alcoholism and despair that not even the arrival of his beloved, Ann Harding, is able to pull him out of it for long.
    Cast: Ann Harding, Adolphe Menjou, & Melvyn Douglas.
    Written by Harry Hervey, Directed by Tay Garnett.
    Filmed in Venice Florida and the banks of the Myakka River. Black & White - 1 hr 13 mins.

  19. Purple Dragon Dinosaur (1995). Cast: Jb Barton, Misty Bell, Stefan Poulos, & Mike Blumenthal.
    Written & directed by Mike Blumenthal. Black & White.

  20. Seven Sundays (1995)
    ...aka Tous les jours dimanche (France)
    ...aka Tutti i giorni è domenica (Italy). Plot: The tale of Dodo, a Frenchman who has successfully and charmingly evaded work all his life and Jesus, an Italian musician who winds up in Sarasota in search of a woman who promised to marry him... and, it turns out, at least ten other men.
    Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Maurizio Nichetti, Rod Steiger, Susan Blakely & Molly Ringwald.
    Written & directed by Jean Charles Tacchella. Comedy - 102 Minutes.

  21. Spring Fever (1982) ...aka Sneakers.
    Plot:Two girls competing in a tennis match suddenly decide to spend 24 hours doing every wild and crazy thing they ever dreamed of. The girls' wacky escapade ends up producing unexpected results. A comedy/drama about hard times in and out of the women's tennis finals.
    Cast: Susan Anton, Jessica Walter & Frank Converse
    Directed by Joseph L. Scanlan. Comedy - 1 hr 33 mins.

  22. Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964) ...aka 2,000 Maniacs
    Plot: The citizens of the southern town lure six Yankee tourists into town where they are to be the reluctant guests for the centennial celebration of the day a band of renegade Union troops decimated the town. The town then participates in a different event for each of the tourists, in which the tourist is dispatched. One couple begins to suspect something and seeks a way to escape.
    Cast: Connie Mason, William Kerwin & Jeffrey Allen. Macabre display of violence, gore and mutilation -Color - 83 mins.

  23. Walkin' on Sunshine: The Movie (1997). Plot: In space, no one can hear you call for pizza. A hilarious and sexy romp through time and space aboard the derelict satellite repair ship Intrepid Poltroon, The date is October 14, 2056.
    Cast: Mike Greenholt, Austin McKinley & Sara Gilbert.
    Written by Marcus Alexander Hart, Directed by Misty Bell & Sherrie Dorr. Comedy/Sci-Fi - Color.

  24. Cougar Town TV Series (2009 - 2013). Plot: A TV sitcom that premiered on the ABC network in 2009. The series focuses on a recently divorced woman in her forties facing the often humorous challenges, pitfalls and rewards of life's next chapter. Cougar Town TV Show
    Cast: Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Busy Philipps and Josh Hopkins.
    Executive producers are Courteney Cox and David Arquette . Comedy/Sitcom.

  25. Armed and Deadly (2011). Plot: Janis witnessed her twin brother kill their parents. Twenty years later, she waits for him to come to kill her for her testimony that put him away. Trained in martial arts, she's ready. All Janis wants is closure. Filming Locations: Sarasota.
    Cast: Lisa Varga, Audrey Landers, and Diane Ford.
    Directed by Andrzej Mrotek . Drama | Mystery | Thriller.

  26. Last Will and Embezzlement (2012). Plot:Last Will and Embezzlement" is a feature-length documentary which examines the financial exploitation of the elderly. Its creation was inspired by the recent, true-life events in the family of Executive Producer Pamela S. K. Glasner. Of all the illegal and illicit enterprises in the world, elder exploitation is among the safest and most lucrative. It is a criminal's dream. It carries the least amount of risk, requires minimal outlay, can be done right from your living room, is virtually unreported by its victims. Filming Locations: Sarasota.
    Cast: Mickey Rooney, Artie Pasquale, and Pamela Glasner.
    Directed by Deborah Louise Robinson. Documentary.

  27. The Message (2012). Plot:A young wife and mother of two children is challenged to overcome her passive beliefs on religion after a serious car accident. Receiving haunting images of her past she is forced to make a decision that will decide her fate. Filming Locations: Bradenton.
    Cast: Erica Leerhsen, David Fine, Emma Kate Abdoney.
    Directed by Thomas P. Clay. Thriller.

  28. House of Blood (2013)
    Plot: In the tradition of Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine comes the House of Blood. The sweltering laid back summers nights of Miami Beach usually full of dancers and nightlife turns bloody as a crazed masked killer kidnaps a young stripper. Detective Mcavoy and his partner are thrust into the killers dark twisted world in an attempt to stop him from killing again. They take the risk of becoming the killers next victim. Filming Locations: Sarasota.
    Cast: Peter Hooten, Brian Kahrs, and Mike Kradlak.
    Directed by John Rusnak. Action | Horror | Thriller.

  29. Parker (2013).
    Plot: A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew's latest heist. Filming Locations: Cŗ d'Zan (John Ringling Mansion) - 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota.
    Cast: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, and Michael Chiklis.
    Directed by Taylor Hackford. Action | Crime.

  30. Spring Breakers (2013).
    Plot: Four sexy college girls plan to fund their spring break getaway by burglarizing a fast food shack. But thatís only the beginningÖ During a night of partying, the girls hit a roadblock when they are arrested on drug charges. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien, an infamous local thug who takes them under his wing and leads them on the wildest Spring Break trip in history. Filming Locations: Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, and St. Pete Beach.
    Cast: James Franco, Selina Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Vanessa Hudgens.
    Directed by Harmony Korine. Drama.

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