Since the very earliest days of motion pictures, the Monterey Peninsula, along with much of Monterey County, has been a popular place for location shooting. 188 movies have been shot, at least in part, in this area. Some films may contain just a few seconds of footage, while others use the Peninsula for the entire feature. Aside from the obvious amusement factor, these films offer rare glimpses into the past of our community.
The list of films provided below was originally compiled in the 1980s by Joe Graziano of the Monterey Herald,
who wrote the Professor Toro column for many years. With help from his "Constant Readers" he was able to track down this vital information. We are most grateful for his efforts.
The original list was limited to theatrical motion pictures, and does not include "made for TV movies" which were not considered real movies in their day, even though at least a few were shot here as well. The data provided here generally follows the original intent, but with the added recognition that motion picture distribution technology is evolving. So we've also included recent feature-length movies that had little or no theatrical exposure and were largely intended for the home video market. It only seems fair because the earliest movies on this list were presented in amusement arcades on machines called Kinetoscopes, before projectors and movie theaters came into existence.
The list contains the titles (plus any alternate titles) and the year they were released. You may click on any title for more detailed information including a brief plot description, information on local scenery, directors, stars, and technical information. This detailed information was compiled from the Monterey Herald, the Monterey County Film Commission, the Internet Movie Database, Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide, and Mr. Toy's own viewing of many of these films.
A few of the films listed here also feature stars who live in the area, or did at one time. Clint Eastwood performed in and directed Play Misty for Me and The Eiger Sanction. Doris Day had the title role in Julie. Joan Fontaine played the leading ladies in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and Suspicion, and Kim Novak did the same in Vertigo. A lesser known bit player named Edgar Kennedy of Monterey had a role in the 1927 film The Wrong Mr. Wright. He later went on to play small roles in some of the Marx Brothers films. These persons are listed in italics on the detail pages.
There is also a page of technical notes
which you may find helpful to decipher some of the technical data on the detail pages.