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Saturday, December 17, 2016

MY GOD Day 7: Movies Filmed on Kauai

On this seventh day of my Grand Ocean Destination journey, I took a tour which stopped by sites where movies were filmed on Kauai.  For the past few years I have watched 100 movies/year, half in theaters.  Maybe for this reason, this tour was my best of this cruise.  In particular, at each location, there was a clip from that film, perhaps 25 in all.  The picture and sound quality were terrific.

There have been 60 movies produced, at least in part, on Kauai.  The first was White Heat in 1933.

A partial list:

Wailua Falls –Fantasy Island, Dragonfly, Castaway Cowboy and The Amazing Race, Tropic Thunder
Hanamaulu Bay – Donovan’s Reef, Pagan Love Song, Six Days, and Seven Nights and Voodoo Island
Opaekaa Falls (right) – Donovan’s Reef, Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN, and Seven Women from Hell
Kapaa Town – Jurassic Park
Aliomanu –Six Days, Seven Nights and Voodoo Island
Moloaa Bay –Gilligan’s Island and Castaway Cowboy
Tahiti Nui –George Clooney’s, The Descendants
Hanalei Valley – Uncommon Valor
Hanalei Bay –Miss Sadie Thompson, South Pacific (right)
Hanalei Pier (right) – Miss Sadie Thompson, Wackiest Ship In The Army, South Pacific, Beachhead and Acapulco Gold, South Pacific
(the list goes on and on)

Or, another way to look at this, just the beaches:
Anahola Beach: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blue Hawaii


Anini Beach (right, where we once picked up shells and Japanese glass globes): Honeymoon in Vegas
Haena Beach: South Pacific
Hanalei Bay: The Descendants, South Pacific
Hanamaulu Bay: Donovan’s Reef
Kalapaki Beach: Honeymoon in Vegas, Miss Sadie Thompson
Kalihiwai Beach: Throw Mama from the Train
Kee Beach: Throw Mama from the Train, The Thorn Birds, Lord of the Flies
Kipukai Beach: Hook, The Descendants
Kukuiula Harbor: Islands in the Stream

Lumahai Beach (right), with Mitzi Gaynor): South Pacific
Mahaulepu Beach: Castaway Cowboy, Islands in the Stream
Makua Beach: South Pacific, Body Heat
Moloaa Bay: Gilligan’s Island
Menehune Fish Pond: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Poipu Beach: Lt. Robin Crusoe
Wailua Beach: Pagan Love Song
My ultimate Kauai film is South Pacific, which used a dozen spots, some not mentioned much in the media.  For example, that King Kong mountain area (next segment) was prominent.  Best of all, the backyard where Pearl and I lived in Kilauea, 53 years ago, the Slippery Slide scene, with Bloody Mary singing Happy Talk to France Nuyen and John Kerry, is rarely detailed.  My wife Pearl was born in the same year as France, and they could have passed for twins.  Here below, Pearl and Pepper at the falls:

Sorry, you now can't go there:


Unless you like to take chances.  Here is a clip.  And another.  This one doesn't show you how to get there, but if you want to be touristy adventurous, here is what one couple did in one week on Kauai.  I can't believe I watched the whole 27-minute thing.  

Elvis Presley made three films here, and Blue Hawaii is one of my very favorite, filmed at Coco Palms and vicinity.  However, Rotten Tomatoes reviewers gave it a 17% rating.  Shows how much personal meaning can make the difference in what you like.

Looking up from Coco Palms, you will see Kalalea Mountain:


Yes, no clouds....and this is Kauai.  But, further, do you see a profile of King Kong?


The 1976 version of King Kong was filmed here.  See that white spot in the right/middle?  Rossano Brazzi and John Kerr hid out from the Japanese here in South Pacific.

We stopped off at Ahukini Pier, which was Kauai's first port.  A whole host of films used this location.

Note Sleeping Giant in the background.  At the back of the top of the head is Opaekaa Falls:


This is an amazing photo, with the Moon, bougainvillea patch, the Falls, plus the highest peak, Mt. Kawikini, to the left, and Mr. Waialeale to the right.  Just below the Moon and to the left...can you discern what looks like a Frigatebird?  Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Outbreak used this spot.  Jurassic Park also utilized:

  • Kapaa town
  • Hoopii Falls 
  • Limahuli Garden in the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Poipu
  • Na Pali Coast
  • Hanapepe Valley
  • Puu Ka Ele Reservoir at the 22 mile mark approaching Kilauea (also used for the next two Jurassic Parks)
  • Kealia (Valley House Plantation Estate)--also used for Romancing the Stone, Tropic Thunder, George of the Jungle and Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides
  • Mount Waialeale
  • Allerton Garden, Lawai
  • Olokele Valley near Waimea
  • Kualoa Ranch (Oahu)
During the last day of filming, the strongest storm in Hawaii history, Hurricane Iniki (1992), came roaring through and destroyed most of the movie sets.  Steven Spielberg's camera crew filmed some of this devastation, and were edited into the movie.  Click on that link:  21 minutes of the action behind the film.  You absolutely must watch this!!!

We then went through Kilauea and saw the Lighthouse, where I was attacked by a TRex:


Two birds also entertained me there, a feral rooster and the Hawaiian Goose, Nene:


Hanalei Valley and Buffalo Ranch:


Yes, real bisons.  At one time Bill Mowry had 70, now down to 50 because people are shooting them and stealing the carcass.  It is rumored that the meat is sold for drugs.  There is a $1000 reward.  Call 808 826-9208 if you see anything suspicious.   I just had to take this photo of a girl with blue hair at this view site:




Pagan Love Song, Bird of Paradise (1951--here is the full movie), Miss Sadie Thomson, Beachhead, Naked Paradise, She Gods of Shark Reef, Wackiest Ship in the Army,  Paradise Hawaiian Style, Acapulco Gold, Behold Hawaii, Uncommon Valor, Dragonfly, The Descendants...and more, were filmed in Hanalei. There is Nothing Like a Dame at Hanalei Pier from South Pacific:

We had lunch at Tahiti Nui.  My cheeseburger with wheat beer was not worth a photo.  However, an adjacent small mall had a shop called Kauai Nut Roasters.  They had 20 different kinds of macadamia and other nuts which you were encouraged to taste.  As much as you wanted, apparently.  I felt so guilty for tasting more than a dozen that I bought two packages of Coconut Kona Coffee Macadamias, with the nut grown in Kilauea.  Hmmm...great marketing sense.

Well, we finally returned to the Pride of America, and here is what the top of the ship looks like:


We left Kauai, and, instead of heading for Honolulu, turned north and took a photo tour of Na Pali Coast:


And Kalalau Valley from the ocean side (tourists have the view facing the ocean):


The sun was just setting.  Only on the Pride of America.

For dinner, it was Teppanyaki:


How, novel.  They first made and served the garlic rice.  I had chicken and filet:


Green tea cake and ice cream.  Excellent, with good showmanship.  My breakfast before leaving the ship.  Couldn't waste the Coppola Claret:


I'm home, and....no butterflies.  The cleaning crew yesterday must have released (I hope) it or them.

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