In this article, I will answer the question: which famous movies and commercials were filmed in the Dominican Republic? Although it is a small country, it turns out that many famous films have been shot here. Hollywood studios in the United States often used the Dominican Republic as a filming location. They found many advantages to using this location, but more on that later.
Table of Contents:
- Why was it filmed in the Dominican Republic? General facts
- What kind of advertisement was filmed in the Dominican Republic
- Films that were shot in the Dominican Republic
What movies and commercials were filmed in the Dominicana? And why?
I will only talk about internationally famous movies and commercials for global brands. I will not mention local series and movies that nobody knows about. Also, some of the films on this list were shot when you were not yet born, especially if you are under 30 years old now. But believe me, at the time these were legends of the world cinema.
And then, the main reasons why Hollywood studios liked to shoot movies in the Dominican Republic:
- Proximity to the USA. It takes literally 2 hours to fly from Florida.
- Summer all year round, a million palm trees and paradise beaches.
- Cheapness of filming. Many times cheaper than shooting it in the USA
- On a small piece of land there is a powerful Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea
- A huge selection of sites: beaches, mountains, colonial buildings of Santo Domingo, jungles – something that is not in the USA
Bounty Chocolate Ads
The famous Bounty ad that we all remember well from the 90s was shot in the Dominican Republic. The owners of the brand needed to show paradise and heavenly pleasure. So that viewers would immediately have a desire to buy this chocolate bar. Of all the Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic was chosen.
Read about the best beaches of the Dominican Republic at the link.
Interesting fact:In the ranking of the best beaches of the entire Caribbean, which includes 20+ countries, there are 4 beaches from the Dominican Republic at once. That says a lot.
As a result, the famous advertisement was filmed on the beach of Saona Island. Below is a photo of the beach, so that you understand why paradise is here.
And also, it was possible to find an advertisement that was filmed in 1990. It is important to know that for 8 years, three Bounty chocolate commercials were filmed on this beach.
Read about the island of Saona and how to get here yourself or as part of an excursion in a separate article.
Advertising of Bacardi rum
Here it’s even more interesting than with Bounty. Ron Bacardi is a Cuban rum and the symbol of Cuba. But apparently they couldn’t find a suitable place and a paradise beach in Cuba, so they filmed the advertisement for Cuban rum in the Dominican Republic.
Today it is one of the largest global producers of high-quality alcohol with a headquarters on Bermuda. However, the Dominican Republic is the main venue for shooting Bacardi rum advertisements.
The first Bacardi rum video was shot in 1991 on the island of Cayo Levantado. This island, which is less than 1 square kilometer in area, is now easily accessible as part of a tour. The advertisement was a huge success and it was from 1991 that Bacardi rum gained worldwide fame.
Below is the same advertisement that was filmed on the beach of the island of Cayo Levantado. By the way, today the local residents call this island “Bacardi island”.
And you can read in detail about this island and how to get here in the article: Bacardi Island in the Dominican Republic.
What famous films were shot in the Dominican Republic?
Now let’s move on to the filmography. I will list only the very best, which you definitely should have heard about. Due to your probably young age, it is unlikely that you watched them, but you may have heard about them.
The Godfather 2
The film was released in 1974. The first movie, The Godfather, was a resounding success. The director was the legendary Francis Ford Coppola. After the success of the first picture, the budget was doubled.
The plot of the film took place in Sicily, Italy and in Havana, Cuba. But at that time, Cuba was completely closed to Americans. All the scenes that were supposed to be in Cuba in the film were shot in the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo.
For more information about Santo Domingo and its attractions, read here.
In the end, The Godfather: Part II was nominated for 13 Oscars and won 6 of them. It was a success.
It’s a film from my childhood. It was released in 1997. It came to our home on a VHS tape. I’ve watched it 50 times.
The plot of the film tells the story of a huge anaconda that lived in the Amazon rainforest. Most of the film was shot in the Amazon. But some episodes were filmed in the rainforests of the Chavon river. La Romana, a city in the Dominican Republic, and the famous Altos de Chavon attraction are located on this river. From here, there is a beautiful view of the river, where the “Anaconda” episodes were actually filmed.
Incidentally, the Dominican Republic is famous not only for its beaches and water colors for the cinema, but also for its relic rainforests. Many directors dream of filming scenes of their films in the national parks of this country.
King Kong Skull Island
Everything is simple here. The film was released in 2005. The budget is almost 200 million dollars. The filming location is the national, difficult to access parks of the Dominican Republic.
The director managed to convey the spirit of an island that no human foot has ever stepped on. As a result, this film collected almost 600 million in box office.
It’s useful to knowThat in general, all films that have ever been filmed in the Dominican Republic have been successful at the box office. Or we just don’t know about the failed films.
Pirates of the Caribbean
In 2003, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was released by Disney. Few people know that the studio was not confident in the success of the film and initially planned to only make one movie. However, the success and box office revenues, which exceeded the costs tenfold, convinced the studio to change their plans.
Now we know that they eventually made 5 or 6 films, with each subsequent film filling up movie theaters. It’s clear where they filmed – where else would you film a movie about the Caribbean Pirates but on the Caribbean islands? The filming took place in various countries, but as you already read, some of the best beaches in the Caribbean are in the Dominican Republic. Many of the beach scenes in each film were shot on the beaches of the Dominican Republic.
The crew’s favorite beach was Playa Rincon on the Samana Peninsula. Most of the scenes, such as Jack Sparrow emerging from the ocean onto the beach or lying on the beach drinking rum, were filmed here.
Fast and Furious and Bandits
Vin Diesel, the main character of the Fast and Furious films, of which there are already 9, loves the Dominican Republic very much. On the streets of the Dominican Republic, episodes of this film were often filmed. And so “Fast and Furious 4” and the 20-minute short film “Bandits”, where the director and main actor Vin Diesel, were completely filmed in the Dominican Republic.
The short film “Bandits” is the background to the film Fast and Furious 4.
About the Bay of Eagles itself and the coolest glamping in the Caribbean, read the link.
In conclusion: I hope you now know exactly which famous films and advertisements were shot in the Dominican Republic? The Dominican Republic and its untouched nature has always attracted not only tourists, but also film professionals. The best beaches of the Caribbean, the highest mountains of the Antilles, palms and a year-round summer. In addition, the relative cheapness compared to the United States and the proximity make the Dominican Republic an ideal film location.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental in Dominican (cheaper – only by bus):
- Discovery Cars – a largest international resource
- Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
- Vacation packages:
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- GYG – more than 150 tours (whales tours)
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card with internet in Dominican
- Taxi and transfers from Dominican airports: Intui.Travel