The Dominican Republic is famous for its beaches and is synonymous with vacations under the shade of palm trees and toes bathed by the Caribbean Sea. An imaginary collective defines this scene as paradise.
This paradise, where you can find some of the best hotels in Dominican Republic, has also caught the attention of artists and film makers who have used different parts of the island as sets for their films. Some of these creations are undisputed classics. Would you like to know what movies were filmed on this Caribbean island?
The best dominican cinema recorded in Dominican Republic
1- The Godfather II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974).
Starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall.
Location: Santo Domingo’s Colonial District.
Scenes: The streets of the Dominican Republic’s capital, particularly Duarte and Mella Avenues, were transformed into the city of Havana in a post-revolutionary Cuba thanks to their similar appearance and atmosphere. The arrival of Fidel Castro and his revolutionary army on 31 December 1958 was recreated at the National Palace.
Interesting fact: El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, still features the balcony from which the movie was filmed.
2- Apocalypse Now. (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979).
Starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest and Dennis Hopper.
Location: Although the main set was in the Philippines, Coppola also filmed scenes on the Chavón River in La Romana, the nation’s capital in the East.
Scene: The river and its lush tropical vegetation was the backdrop of epic moments in the movie, including the aerial attack to the beat of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.
Interesting fact: Martin Sheen had a heart attack during this project and his brother Joe stood in for him since the two shared a strong resemblance.
3- Jurassic Park. (Steven Spielberg, 1993).
Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards and Martin Ferrer.
Location: Amber Museum in Puerto Plata.
Scene: The museum located in Puerto Plata appears in the first scene when the mosquito is shown.
Interesting fact: The famous mosquito frozen in amber that appeared in the film is kept at the Amber Museum in Puerto Plata (a city referred to as the Atlantic Girlfriend). It is said that not only was the mosquito used as a prop, it also inspired Spielberg to create the movie. The jewels made from this yellow resin are popular souvenirs for visitors.
4- The Good Shepherd (Robert De Niro, 2006. U.S.A.).
Starring Patrick Wilson, Vladimir Mashkov, Angelina Jolie, Tammy Blanchard, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt and Gabriel Macht.
Location: Santo Domingo’s Colonial District and Santiago Airport.
Scene: The corner of Duarte Avenue and Padre Billini Street was used for atmosphere shots, the National Palace was used to recreate a restaurant located in the Belgian Congo and a fire was filmed at Cibao Airport.
Interesting fact: To protect the area and the team, the set was guarded by the National Army, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AMET, Autoridad Metropolitana de Transporte), Tourism Police (Politur) and the Special Forces of the National Police.
5- Miami Vice. (Michael Mann, 2006).
Starring Barry Shabaka Henley, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Farrell and Gong Li.
Location: The Colonial District, Duarte Avenue, the parking facility at Mercado Nuevo and 42nd Street in the Capotillo district (all located in the city of Santo Domingo).
Scene: Scenes depicting Haiti, Havana, Colombia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic were shot here.
Interesting fact: To transform Santo Domingo into a Haitian city, street signs were changed from Spanish to French and the colors of many buildings were modified. In addition, many scenes were shot at night to avoid affecting local businesses.
6- Fast & Furious 3.5: Los Bandoleros (Vin Diesel, 2009).
Starring Michelle Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Tego Calderon and Mirtha Michelle.
Location: The Colonial District, the Santa Bárbara District, the Santo Domingo Malecón promenade and the 60,500 square foot water tank at Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios.
Scene: A number of city and road scenes.
Interesting fact: The famous Dominican baseball player Sammy Sosa appears in the film along with the reggaeton stars Tego Calderón and Don Omar.