The Monterey Peninsula Toy Box

Monterey in the Movies

188 motion pictures made in our back yard

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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 area 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 here was originally compiled in the 1980s by Joe Graziano of the Monterey County 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 only limited 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.


More links to the same lists:
The Alphabetical List
The Chronological List

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We offer three exciting ways to view the list!

Monterey in the Movies listed alphabetically


Monterey in the Movies listed chronologically

Monterey In The Movies: The PDF Book
(Revised August 2018)
You can download the whole shebang in a single, handy, printable PDF document containing both lists, complete detailed film listings, technical notes, and more. With 104 pages it weighs in at a mere 395KB.
Save it, print it, and leave it by your TV for an easy reference guide.

HELP: The detailed information on some films is incomplete. If you can provide any additional (and verifiable) information, please write to Mr. Toy. Mr. Toy also suspects there may be other films out there that have not yet made the list. One possible candidate: The Uninvited, made in 1944. It starred Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey. Mr. Toy believes the background scenes of the coastline may have been filmed south of Carmel, but he has not been able to verify this.

To learn more about filmmaking in Monterey County, including information on filming permits, visit the Monterey County Film Commission.

Would you like to see the filming locations first hand? Sign up for a ride on Monterey Movie Tours.