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From its storied past as “The World’s Winter Film Capital” in the early 20th century to its continued presence in movies today, Jacksonville plays an important role in the history of American film. What better way to pay tribute to our hometown than with a city-themed movie marathon? Check out Cape House’s list of seven awesome films with scenes in Jacksonville – then post up, grab the popcorn, and stream away.

G.I. Jane (1997)

One of the more ambitious productions shot in Jacksonville – though maybe not the most successful – G.I. Jane memorably features Demi Moore as Jordan O’Neil, a striking heroine who tackles gender stereotypes as she perseveres through high-intensity special operations military training. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film features a young, creepily moustachioed Viggo Mortensen as the complex yet uncompromising Master Chief Urgayle. Watch for scenes at Huguenot Memorial Park and Craig Airport, as well as Camp Blanding Joint Training Center – a training base for the Florida National Guard.

Awesome Score: 6

JAX Score: 7

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

The JAX film that holds the most merit on its own has to be Cool Hand Luke, a classic featuring Paul Newman as a prisoner who refuses to submit to an oppressive system. Based on the 1965 Donn Pearce novel of the same name, the film earned Newman a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The fictional Road Prison 36, where Luke endures his hardships, was inspired by Sunbeam Prison Camp in southern Duval County, and the scene where Luke is chased by bloodhounds was shot in Jacksonville. Rated 100% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, Cool Hand Luke deserves a spot at the top of your watch list.

Awesome Score: 10

JAX Score: 7

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

An update of a 1962 film classic that was itself based on the 1959 novel by Richard Condon, The Manchurian Candidate features two immortal actors in Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Evil corporations, political ambition, and good old-fashioned people drama make this an engaging and memorable watch. Jacksonville pops up in scenes filmed at Huguenot Memorial Park and St. George Episcopal Church on Fort George Island.

Awesome Score: 7

JAX Score: 8

Sunshine State (2002)

Sunshine State offers a nuanced take on the conflict between commercial growth and development versus the established community, as it also takes on questions about generational differences and pursuing dreams. Fine acting performances by Angela Bassett and Edie Falco create a poignant film where the beauty of the Jacksonville landscape shines. Look for scenes on Centre Street in Fernandina Beach, American Beach on Amelia Island, the Regency Square Mall, and Orange Park Kennel Club.

Awesome Score: 8

JAX Score: 9

Revenge of the Creature (1955)

Not as essential viewing as the original Creature from the Black Lagoon (whose underwater scenes were filmed at Wakulla Springs near Tallahassee), the first sequel Revenge of the Creature nonetheless makes a fun watch for anyone with a love of classic comics. In this installment, the captured Gill-man undergoes study at the hands of Professor Clete Ferguson, played by John Agar, and his student Helen Dobson, played by Lori Nelson. In one of the film’s climactic scenes, the Gill-man surfaces at the Southbank restaurant Lobster House (now the site of River City Brewing Co.) to abduct Helen and escape to the St. Johns River, offering a cool view of the downtown Jacksonville skyline in the background.

Awesome Score: 7

JAX Score: 8

Like Dandelion Dust (2009)

Based on the novel by New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, Like Dandelion Dust garnered a host of awards from independent film festivals across the country when it was released in 2009. Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper star in a heartfelt story where the flawed characters battle over custody of a boy as they confront their own demons. Lovely scenery of Jacksonville sets the stage; watch for scenes at Jarboe Park and Ponte Vedra Beach.

Awesome Score: 8

JAX Score: 7

Who’s Your Monkey (2007)

Last on our list, Who’s Your Monkey serves up a bonkers plot involving rekindled childhood friendships and throwing stars that may not be worth following too closely. But, the shenanigans unfold in Jacksonville – so of course this one had to make our list. With scenes of the St. Johns River, Five Points, John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge, Dames Point Bridge, Ortega Bridge, and downtown Jacksonville – you’ll have plenty of “I know that spot!” moments to keep you entertained.

Awesome Score: 6

JAX Score: 10

Looking for fun ways to stay connected in Jacksonville? Check out the Cape House blog for crafts, recipes, events, and more.