West Palm Beach, FL may be on the opposite end of the country in relation to Hollywood, California, with more than 2,600 miles of land between them, but this location’s eternal sunny skies, balmy temperatures, and diversity of environments provide some of the most fantastic backdrops preferred by many of Hollywood’s renowned filmmakers.
Here are some famous cinematic gems with scenes done in West Palm Beach.
- 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS (2003)
After the first The Fast and the Furious (2001) movie became a big hit worldwide, producers trained their sights on Florida for the sequel. The result was this 2003 film that interestingly didn’t have Vin Diesel in it but proceeded to rake in millions of dollars at the box office. It also had franchise mainstays like Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Eva Mendes keeping the story alive. For this follow-up movie, the characters of Walker and Gibson went undercover to hunt down a powerful drug lord operating in the area. The trade-off for cooperating with authorities was the opportunity for their criminal records to be erased.
The movie’s plot, action scenes, and overall vibe were perfect for the Palm Beach area. Many of the thrilling car chase scenes were filmed in Miami and the Florida Keys. The huge mansion of the drug lord in the movie is actually a gorgeous-looking villa located on Miami’s 32nd Street.
- DONNIE BRASCO (1997)
After making a name for himself in the hit TV series 21 Jump Street (1987-1991) and getting rave reviews for his acting in Edward Scissorhands (1990), controversial actor Johnny Depp was ready to take on the world. Teaming up with respected Hollywood icon Al Pacino, they starred in this powerful but underwhelming (at the tills) gangster movie that depicted how an undercover FBI agent (Depp) slowly became drawn to the world of the Mafia led by Pacino’s character. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
- SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT (1977)
Just like 2 Fast 2 Furious, this movie also involves car chases – but with a whole lot of laughs and fun.
The spectacular car chases happen after the film’s protagonists (played by Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed) decide to smuggle hundreds of cases of a popular beer brand across the dusty roads of the South with an officer of the law relentlessly pursuing them.
There may not be a deeper story beyond the crazy car chases that make up most of the movie’s plot but the stunts, visual effects, and overall positive vibe made this 1977 comedy flick the second-highest-grossing domestic film for that period. The movie’s success prompted a sequel three years later, also shot in Palm Beach.
OTHER MOVIES WITH SCENES SHOT IN WEST PALM BEACH
- Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988)
- The Wishing Stone (2002)
- The Prince and the Pauper: The Movie (2007)
- Parker (2013)
- The Comedian (2016)
- Ghislaine Maxwell: Filthy Rich (2022)
WHAT MAKES WEST PALM BEACH A FAVORITE LOCATION AMONG FILMMAKERS?
West Palm Beach has a variety of locations and natural backdrops that can suit different script and production requirements. This convenience is one of the reasons why directors and producers choose this city as an ideal filming location.
Aside from the range of environments from cosmopolitan urban spaces to lush wildlife preserves, the city also has beautiful neighborhoods that showcase a lifestyle that is both laid-back yet full of character and welcome surprises. One example is the Ibis community in West Palm Beach, an exclusive gated community that features homes sporting a myriad of styles from Mid-century Modern abodes to lavish, Mediterranean-inspired mansions.
FIND A HOME IN WEST PALM BEACH
Living in a picturesque city like West Palm Beach is like living the Hollywood dream. From the majestic skylines to the breathtaking lake views, residents here have these remarkable locations as their natural backdrop in their day-to-day lives.
Those planning to find their new home in West Palm Beach can rely on The Telchin Group LLC to help them with the process. This top-tier real estate brokerage specializes in buying and selling properties at The Club at Ibis, an award-winning West Palm Beach country club.