Eight Great Movies by The Sea

BY KAREN COOPER

As the hot summer days approach, your mind may wander to the seaside. Let the warmth of the sun, the sound of the waves, the beauty of the scenery, and your feet in the sand carry you away to your happy place.

These movie selections take place along sandy beaches or in the depths of the ocean.  There are love stories and sad stories and stories that may make you hold your breath in anticipation of what comes next.  Hope you enjoy!

Jaws (1975)

This 1975 classic has some of the best movie scenes (and lines) in all of movie history. “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”  It’s a classic summer beach movie…one that has probably made millions of viewers think twice before stepping into the ocean.  The movie takes place in the New England tourist town of Amity Island. When a young woman is killed by a shark, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) is determined to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, arguing the loss of tourist revenue could hurt the town. Fish expert Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and surly ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer shark, and the battle begins.

Cast Away (2000)

FedEx executive Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) did not intend to spend several years alone on a deserted island, but as the sole survivor of a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean, that’s exactly what he did. Chuck makes the most of his time on the island, learning to make fire, fishing, attempting to build a raft, and protecting himself from the cruelties of nature. He is accompanied only by a picture of the woman he loves and his friend Wilson, a volleyball found in one of the packages that washes ashore. The suspense mounts as we wonder if Chuck will ever return to civilization.

Blue Lagoon (1980)

This is a beautiful film, filled with breathtaking scenes and two gorgeous young actors just starting out in their careers. In a time that is unclear, two young children Emmeline (Brooke Shields) and Richard (Christopher Atkins) are stranded on an island with an old man named Paddy (Leo McKern) who helps care for them and show them how to survive. When Paddy dies, they are left to fend for themselves and learn how to live with no other guidance than just their own wits.

Open Water (2004)

Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan) set off on a tropical vacation with their scuba-diving certifications ready to have a great adventure. As they’re diving, they separate from the group to explore a little further.  This decision has grave consequences. The boat mistakenly departs without them and soon they are in shark-infested waters with their chances of returning to shore safely growing smaller by the minute. Not the adventure they were hoping for!  This is a suspenseful, terrifying experience for the audience as well.

Nights in Rodanthe (2008)

Adrienne Willis’s (Diane Lane) life is in chaos when she arrives in the coastal town of Rodanthe, N.C. She hopes to find peace and clarity while tending to a friend’s oceanside inn for the weekend. The only guest there is Dr. Paul Flanner (Richard Gere), a man with torments of his own. There is a storm approaching and Paul and Adrienne find comfort in one another’s presence that turns romantic. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, the story draws us into this intense new romance of a divorced mother, and a divorced father and surgeon.

The Beach (2000)

Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young man who travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map left by a man he meets at a hotel in Bangkok, which may lead to an isolated paradise…if you can find it. Based on a 1996 novel by Alex Garland, the movie version shows Richard and his friends who end up joining him in paradise discovering that things are not always as perfect as they may appear.

Six Days and Seven Nights (1998)

Fashion editor Robin Monroe (Anne Heche) hires Quinn Harris (Harrison Ford), a bad-tempered pilot, to fly her to a work assignment from where she is vacationing with her boyfriend, Frank Martin (David Schwimmer) in the South Pacific. As luck would have it, they encounter a terrible storm and do not make it to their intended location. The unlikely pair must learn to work together if they hope for any chance of rescue.

Free Willy (1993)

12-year-old orphan Jesse (Jason James Richter) needs love and the security of a family. When he vandalizes a theme park, he is placed with a foster family and his punishment is to work at the park to make up for his mistake. When he finds out that a beloved young Orca whale is to be killed, the boy risks everything to set him free.

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