The Turks and Caicos inMovies, TV, Music, and Popular Culture
Poster for Bahama Passage (1941).
Over the last decades, quite a few films and television shows have been shot in the Turks and Caicos. One interesting trait of the more modern productions shot here is that they really don’t show the amazing beaches, water, and marine environment that make our islands famous. With the exceptions of the 1941 film Bahama Passage, and the Le trésor de Pago Pago French television program, both of which exhibited incredible locations, most recent productions offer a rather drab color palette that doesn't quite reflect our signature turquoise hues.
The Turks and Caicos has hosted a truly impressive collection of heads of state and celebrities. Many of which have stayed at exclusive retreats such as COMO Parrot Cay Resort on Parrot Cay, and Amanyara on Providenciales.
The number of celebrities that have actually acted on film in the Turks and Caicos is far lower than the number who have simply visited and vacationed here.
A frame from the 1941 film Bahama Passage showing the water locks, with the White House in the background.
The Turks and Caicos was the location for an early full feature film, Bahamas Passage. This 1941 Technicolor film was shot on Salt Cay when the sea salt industry was still in full operation.
Le trésor de Pago Pago
Without question, the film project that left the most behind in the Turks and Caicos was the unique French game show Le trésor de Pago Pago. This survivor challenge show shot several episodes in the early 1990s at beautiful Malcolm's Road Beach on Providenciales.
The show built a set on the breathtaking and then very remote Malcolm's Road Beach, which included a tiki hut village (on the low cliffs where Amanyara resort now stands), and a massive underwater steel Thunderdome cage and rope bridge climbing array for their challenges. The project also brought in a dugout canoe for races as well.
The 2003 Paradise Virus movie was a low budget and made for TV drama thriller that has truly hilarious production quality, writing, and acting. It was almost entirely shot on Grand Turk and prior to the construction of the Grand Turk Cruise Center, so the backgrounds tend to be more interesting than the plot. As the film’s name suggests, the story is a rather cliché virus epidemic thriller.
Paradise Virus is only worth watching if you know the Turks and Caicos and Grand Turk, otherwise it’s tedious and predictable.
The second Hollywood film to be shot in the Turks and Caicos was Life’s a Beach. Originally shot in 2000 and titled Jungle Juice, the movie was shelved and released more than a decade later in 2012. The story is of a groom who gets stood up at his wedding and then decides to go on the honeymoon with his best friend instead.
Life’s a Beach was primarily shot at the Ramada Turquoise Reef/Allegro Resort, which was later demolished and is the site of the current Seven Stars Resort.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
The Kardashians have visited the Turks and Caicos multiple times, staying at Amanyara and also private luxury beach villas.
This film is part of the Worricker Trilogy and features ex-MI5 officer Johnny Worricker (played by Bill Nighy) hiding out in the Turks and Caicos. Part of the plot revolves around a scheme by shady American businessman led by a character played by Christopher Walken.
Season 5 Episode 21 of the Fosters, titled Turks & Caicos, was primarily shot at Beaches Turks and Caicos and features the wedding of two characters on the show.
The Pink Panther (2006) labels one screen as being in “Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas” although this was not shot in the country.
An episode from the TV series Suits has lawyer Louis Litt complaining that his colleagues are ‘off vacationing in Turks and Caicos’.
Turks and Caicos features in an episode of Miami Vice.
In season 9, episode 15 of the US sitcom The Office, character Andy states that “it’s not hard to get high speed internet in Turks and Caicos, people. It’s in every Bembe café.” For the sake of accuracy, the Turks and Caicos does not have any Bembe (a type of percussion music) cafés.
Priyanka Chopra’s song Exotic featuring Pitbull mentions visiting the Turks and Caicos.
Jay Z’s song What More Can I Say? discusses taking “private jets down to Turks and Caicos”.
DJ Khaled mentions the Turks and Caicos in No New Friends.
The Turks and Caicos has inspired a number of international brands to name or design their products around the natural beauty or culture of the islands.
Essie, a division of cosmetic giant L'Oréal, has a turquoise shade of nail polish called Turquoise and Caicos.
Ankona Boats, a USA-based manufacturer that specializes in producing power skiffs and flats boats for shallow water use, offers the Caicos model, which is inspired by and designed for the incredible shallows of the Caicos Islands and Caicos Banks.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin has produced a Turks and Caicos variant of their iconic Journey Arrow Edition Brut champagne a yellow can.
Harriotts’ Legacy is a USA-based beverage brand that has a story and products that are directly related to the Turks and Caicos, particularly the island of Salt Cay. The company was started by one of the descendants of the Harriott family, a family that was once a major producer of sea salt and built the Harriott White House on Salt Cay. The company offers several alcoholic beverages, including a ginger beer, hard lemonade, and a mango mimosa.