Some of the most memorable scenes in Hollywood are surrounded by beaches. Like a lot of people, Hollywood has been drawn to beautiful beaches for decades. Check out our list of the best beach movies (in no particular order):
A good enough mix of surfing, personal dreams, and romance, Blue Crush stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, and Matthew Davis. The film did pretty well at the box office following its release in theaters.
One of Elvis Presley’s better-known films, Blue Hawaii received mixed critical reviews but did spectacularly well at the box-office. The story is kind of lame, but hey, with The King’s handsome face and bare beach bod, you may want to sit through the entire film.
This adventure drama film is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt. It follows the story of a company executive who is struggling to survive on an uninhabited island after his plane crashed due to a storm. It became a critical and commercial success by the time of its release.
This isn’t really a beach film through and through. However, the now-classic scene of seaside frolicking between stars Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr is just too much for us not to include this on our list.
Often cited as the precursor of the “beach party movies,” the film was based on the novel Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas written by Frederick Kohner. It follows the story of a teenage girl and her first experience of the California surfing culture as well as a beachside romance. Gidget is one the most popular films of ’50s-’60s teen star Sandra Dee.
One of the greatest beach films of all time may not make you want to return to the beach again. This celluloid adaptation of Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel became one of director Steven Spielberg’s most well-known films. Jaws may not be the first “shark film,” but it is certainly one of the most influential.
This Disney animated film that follows the story of a Hawaiian girl and her strange “pet” she adopts became a blockbuster hit by the time it was released.
A lighthearted comedy starring Jimmy Stewart and Maureen O’Hara, the film follows the story of an overwrought banker Mr. Hobbs whose only wish is to spend a quiet holiday at the seaside. However, what could be a relaxing day at the beach is instead followed by lots of funny complications.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is the first film of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The all-star cast (Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley), their antics, and lots of swashbuckling action made this film a box-office success when it was released.
Point Break is a crime thriller and surf movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow. It stars Keanu Reeves in his role as the rookie FBI agent Johnny Utah who goes undercover with surfers who are suspected of robbing a bank. He encounters the leader of the surfing gang Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze, with whom Johnny develops a complicated friendship. Point Break became a box-office success after it was released.
While Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack in Titanic sinks down into the dark, cold Arctic seas, here in The Beach he plays Richard, a traveler who is obsessed with finding the ultimate beach paradise in Thailand. Leo fans will surely have their field day seeing him half-naked throughout much of the movie (What’s with Leo and the sea, anyway?).
Set in the Victorian period, two kids are marooned on a tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific. With no adults nor societal restrictions to guide them, their physical and emotional changes prevail as they grow into adolescence and fall in love. Brooke Shields, who had starred in the controversial film Pretty Baby when she was 12, was 14 years old when she made The Blue Lagoon. Although she herself testified that body doubles acted most of her nude scenes, it is still nothing short of controversial. Christopher Atkins played her leading man in the film.
The Endless Summer launched a string of future beach documentaries, proof of its enduring influence. It follows the tale of two surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August who go on a worldwide surfing journey, from their home in California to the beaches of New Zeland, Africa, and Hawaii. The movie provides a fun and enjoyable glimpse into the sunny side of the 60s, and narrator Bruce Brown gives the details of the film with a lot of humor.
The title already gives you an idea what the film is all about. The first of the true “beach party film” genre, the cast included Robert Cummings, Dorothy Malone, Annette Funicello, and Frankie Avalon. Funicello and Avalon would star in a few more movies of the same genre together.