Top Ten Films Shot in Fort Lauderdale

Everyone knows Miami is the place Hollywood goes calling when it wants sexy done right. Various films, from The Godfather, Part II to Scarface to Pain & Gain, have been shot in the Magic City.

But what many don't know is that a lot of films were also shot in Fort Lauderdale. And we're not just talking about Porky's II or Bart Gets a Room.

See also: As A-Rod Battles His Neighbor, Miami Beach's Film Renaissance Hangs in the Balance

We're talking classic, memorable films. Some that you probably have among your all-time favorites and didn't even know were shot in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.

Here now are our Top Ten Films Shot in Fort Lauderdale:

10. Happy Gilmore (2006)

Back when Adam Sandler still made funny movies, Happy Gilmore is the zany comedy about a hockey player with a powerful drive who joins the PGA Tour so he can earn money to save his grandmother's house from the IRS. Happy Gilmore launched Sandler into the stratosphere, where he now makes terrible movies in which he makes grunty noises and plays his own ugly sister. But this one is a classic, with most of the golf-course scenes shot in Fort Lauderdale.

9. There's Something About Mary (1998)

The Farrelly Brothers' classic gross-out film made careers for Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz and gave the world memorable scenes like a dude getting his pecker stuck in a zipper and the Seven Minute Abs. There's also a cameo of Brett Favre playing himself and telling Stiller, "I'm in town to play the Dolphins, dumbass."

8. True Lies (1994)

James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger followed up T2 with this high-concept comedy action about secret agent Harry Tasker, whose family thinks he's a dullard computer salesman, when in reality he's actually traveling the world to exotic places and killing terrorists. But when he discovers his bored wife is seeing another man, Tasker uses his talents to track the man down and give Mrs. Tasker a bit of a joly. It's a fun, funny film, with sequences shot in the Keys, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Also, Jamie Lee Curtis strip-tease scene!

7. Any Given Sunday (1999)

Oliver Stone's film is a messy, all-over-the-place odyssey about life as a professional football player. Al Pacino plays the washed-up legendary coach of a fictitious team (the Miami Sharks!) who has to deal with a young, hotshot quarterback played by Jamie Foxx. The film features Stone's patented kinetic editing, exaggerated plot lines, and oversaturation of sounds. But overall, it's an enjoyable film, even if it is a tad self-indulgent. And who can forget that halftime speech by Pacino?

6. Out of Sight (1998)

Before Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney went on to make the Ocean's Eleven series, they honed their cool with this flick shot mostly in South Beach and parts of Fort Lauderdale. Based on a book by Elmore Leonard, Out of Sight is a vastly underrated, stylish crime dramedy starring a young Clooney fresh off of E.R. and just ready to break into superstardom. Clooney plays a career bank robber who breaks out of jail with the help of his pal, played by Ving Rhames. In the process of busting out, they're forced to kidnap U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco, played by Jennifer Lopez. Inevitably, Clooney's character falls for Cisco, and he's soon forced to have to choose between pulling off anther heist or getting caught by her. Aside from J-Lo's clunky performance, the film features great performances from Clooney, Rhames, Don Cheadle, and Michael Keaton.

5. Adaptation (2002)

Spike Jonze's trippy film about melancholy, depression, self-loathing, orchids, and writer's block, features some amazing performances -- particularly from Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper. Nicolas Cage plays depressed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, whose character is based on the actual Charlie Kaufman, who wrote the film's screenplay. Cage also plays his twin brother, Donald. Kaufman is hired to write a script based on a nonfiction book called the Orchid Thief. The film examines passions, as well as the inner workings of someone grappling with the creative process as well as depression. Cooper won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Kaufman took home an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

4. Donnie Brasco (1997)

Johnny Depp stars in this true-life drama about Joe Pistone, the undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the Mob deeper than any agent before him. Under the name Donnie Brasco, Pistone befriends small-time hood Left Ruggario (played by Al Pacino) in order to get to the boss, Sonny Black. But Pistone begins to get entangled in the life and develops a genuine friendship with Lefty as the two do various jobs for the bosses. As the pressure mounts for him to make the big bust, Pistone's marriage falls apart and his Mob friends begin to get suspicious. Filled with memorable scenes, including one in which Depp explains the meaning of "Fuggitabout it," the film features shots in Fort Lauderdale, including the above scene in which the Broward County Convention Center doubles as an airport. Donnie Brasco is a engaging Mob film and quite possibly the last great movie Al Pacino has made.

3. Cape Fear (1991)

Martin Scorsese's remake of the 1962 classic is a chilling psychological thriller starring Nick Nolte as Sam Bowden, a small-town corporate lawyer who is stalked by a deranged Cajun-talking, Bible-quoting ex-con Max Cady, played by Robert De Niro. Cady's mindscrew of Bowden's life is like a slow decent into Dante's Circles of Hell as he looks to enact revenge on the attorney after he failed to defend him properly in Cady's rape trial. Bent on vengeance, Cady worms his way into Bowden's family by wooing his young daughter and always being a step ahead of Bowden. Scorsese pays homage to the pulp crime films of the '50s and '60s and stuffs Cape Fear with enough Hitchcockian overtones to make a proper creeper of a film. Various parts of Fort Lauderdale make for an excellent backdrop to the movie's dark, purgatory noir feel.

2. Caddyshack (1980)

One of the most quotable films ever, Caddyshack is the all-time classic comedy that is the template for others to follow. A star-studded cast led by Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and the incomparable Ted Knight make this quite possibly the greatest comedy ever made. It's debatable, but there might be fisticuffs involved. Portions of the golf scenes were actually filmed in Boca Raton. It's not Fort Lauderdale, but Caddyshack was filmed near Fort Lauderdale. So that, and its awesomeness, are enough to get on this list. IT'S IN THE HOLE!

1. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

OK, so most of the film takes place in New York. But the pivotal scene, which happens to be the final scene, which happens to be the video clip above (SPOILER ALERT), was shot in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale, after all, represents the film's quest for hope amid darkness. So there's that. Jon Voight stars as Joe Buck, the Texan cowboy who soon realizes that big-city life is meager, ugly, and all too real. He soon begins to make a living as a hustler (which is '60s talk for male prostitute) and befriends a gimp named Ratzo, played by Dustin Hoffman. The film depicts New York in its peep-show heyday, when it was a dirty, sexy hot mess. And the film richly portrays two lost souls trying to find their way through the detritus. Hoffman is exceptional as Ratzo ("I'm walkin' here! I'm walkin' here!") and Voight is equal parts naive and intelligent in his portrayal as the fish-out-of-water Texan. In the end, the cowboy goes from being a self-centered gigolo to a man who simply wants to get his tuberculous-striken friend to the warm, sunny beaches of... awww yeah, Fort Lauderdale.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph