Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home to pirates and giant apes

Not many people like the 1976 remake of King Kong but I love it. So it was while watching a movie recently I instantly recognised a familiar landmark.

When the lifeboats of the Petrox Explorer land on the beach of Skull Island, pretty rescuee Dwan (Jessica Lange) is so taken with the beautiful surroundings (in reality Cathedral Beach, Kauai) she runs off towards the natural stone arch at the end of the beach. Concerned, stowaway wildlife photographer Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges) runs after her, chasing her under the natural stone arch and up the steep rocky hill beyond until the rest of the party catches up.

Much more recently, when Blackbeard (Ian McShane) sends Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) off to find the shortest route to the Fountain of Youth in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Captain Jack pauses to talk to himself. After realising there's nobody to listen to him, Jack continues along the beach towards the very same geological feature, the 90 foot high Honopu Arch.

Famous as a movie location (and closed to the public), the Honopu Valley was also home to scenes in Six Days Seven Nights - which also featured the arch - Honeymoon in Vegas and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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