Anna Maria Island in the Movies

Anna Maria Island in the Movies

Here on Anna Maria Island, we’re known for our picture-perfect beaches but did you know that our little island has actually been featured on the big screen? Yes, AMI has been featured in music videos, indie films, and even a couple of major motion pictures! So, check out some of these movies with a tie to AMI the next time you’re missing paradise or need a rainy afternoon activity!

During the silent film days, Anna Maria Island had a lot of promise in becoming a staple of the film industry.

In 1921, actor Paul Gilmore purchased about 40 acres of land where Coquina Beach is, with the intent to build a film colony, later renamed Gil-Mor Isle. His dream was to make this isle a sort of rival to Hollywood. He did get one movie to be filmed here by Character Picture Corporation, The Isle of Destiny with Gilmore himself appearing in the movie. The Isle of Destiny, a six-reeler, performed well when it premiered in New York theaters, and Gilmore planned at least two other films for production on Anna Maria Island. However, the movie never ended up getting national distribution. Gilmore had no luck with getting other movies filmed there. But, you can stream Isle of Destiny on free Prime Video for a classic glimpse into the AMI of almost 100 years ago!

On An Island With You

Another classic film features our paradise. In 1948, On An Island With You was filmed on Anna Maria Island. This historical romantic comedy featured legend Esther Williams in the lead role along with Jimmy Durante. The film’s plot centers on a romantic triangle at a military base in Hawaii, with Anna Maria Island working as a perfect substitute for Hawaii. You can also stream this classic for rent on Amazon.

Now, for something a little more recent. The Perfect Storm starring Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney tells the tale of a commercial fishing vessel that was lost at sea in the Perfect Storm of 1991. The calm waters off Anna Maria Island were used to film the scenes that showcased the calm before the storm.

Whether the island’s showcase in the media is big or small, we’re always happy to see our paradise getting the limelight it deserves! So check out these movies and try to pay attention to location scenes you may recognize. Add a little bit of AMI to your next movie day!

Photos courtesy of On An Island with You release poster archives and Wikipedia page.