Monday, August 6, 2012

Jamaica in

I read someplace this morning that today marks the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence from the United Kingdom, and it goes without saying that one of things I thought about with respect to this blog is movies that are set in Jamaica. Jamaica Inn would be an obvious guess for anybody who didn't know the story, but despite having the name "Jamaica" in the title, the movie is set solely in the UK. I don't think I've ever seen Cool Runnings in its entirety, the movie which tells the Disneyfied version of the Jamaican bobsled team. I would presume that some of the early scenes before the Jamaicans start bobsledding are in the characters' native Jamaica. One other movie that I think might be set in independent Jamaica is Doctor No, although I know the original Ian Fleming novel came out well before Jamaican independence. The movie's premiere was in the UK in October 1962, and a lot of the filming was done on locatoin in Jamaica. But presumably all the filming would have been before independence, and looking at IMDb, there's a scene where Bond meets the Colonial Secretary.

I believe Jamaica would have been the biggest of Britain's colonies in the Caribbean, and certainly in the western half of the Caribbean, back in the day. (I'd have to look up the size difference between Jamaica and Trinidad; Jamaica is quite a bit more populous nowadays. And frankly, I have no idea about the historical population differences, and when each British colony in the Caribbean was settled.) It would make sense if some of the pirate movies made in the Studio era would have had colonial settings on Jamaica. The Black Swan and Captain Blood both come to mind. I'm sure there are quite a few others.

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