Filming in Malta began in the 1970s. One of the earliest movies filmed in Malta is “Orca: Killer Whale.” The 1977 film starred Richard Harris as Captain Nolan and Charlotte Rampling as Rachel Bedford. The movie brought attention to the plight of the killer whale and introduced movie viewers to the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and parts of Malta.
In 1980, Sweethaven Village was created on Malta. The Robin Williams movie was filmed in Malta, and the Sweethaven Village still stands today. Though it is not being used to film movies, it still serves the island well as a tourist attraction. The village is open to tourists seven days per week and offers a variety of family activities.
A Previous Engagement
The latest movie to be filmed entirely on the island of Malta was “A Previous Engagement” starring Juliet Stevenson and Daniel Stern. The Canadian-Maltese co-production was released in the U.S. in May 2008. In conjunction with the movie’s opening, a contest has been organized. One winner will receive an all-expenses-paid vacation to Malta and stay in the Xara Palace in Mdina where the movie was filmed.
Other movies that have been filmed in Malta include:
* “Midnight Express.” Some scenes were filmed at Fort St. Elmo in 1978.
* “Raise the Titanic” in 1980.
* “Cutthroat Island.” The popular Geena Davis and Matthew Modine film was shot primarily near Vittoriosa. Some scenes were filmed in Mdina, Fort St. Elmo and the Dingli Cliffs. Water tanks were provided by the Mediterranean Film Studios.
* “White Squall.” The violent storm experienced in this movie was filmed at the Mediterranean Film Studios in 1996.
* “U-571.” The star-studded cast included Matthew McConnaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Harvey Kitel and Bill Paxton. The tanks used in the movie are the property of the Mediterranean Film Studios. One night-time scene was filmed in the city of Valletta at the Grand Harbor in 2000.
* “The Count of Monte Cristo.” In 2002, Valletta and Vittoriosa were temporarily transformed into Marseille for the filming of this movie. The lovemaking scene was filmed on the rocks near Fort St. Elmo. St Mary’s Tower on Comino served as the Chateau d’If.
* “Pinocchio.” The 2002 production of Pinocchio included scenes filmed in the Mediterranean Film Studios.
* “Swept Away.” The 2002 creation of Madonna and Guy Ritchie was filmed on both Comino and Malta. Madonna’s snorkeling scene was filmed at the Blue Lagoon on Comino.
* “Helen of Troy.” The 2003 mini series was filmed at Fort Ricasoli and on Comino at the Blue Lagoon.
* “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” This 2003 hit starred Sean Connery and was filmed on Gozo at Xlendi. The submarine scenes were filmed at the Mediterranean Film Studios.
* “Troy.” The 2004 blockbuster hit starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom was filmed at Fort Ricasoli. Parts were filmed in Mellieha and on Comino Island. The movie’s producers used Malta’s natural beauty and ruins to enhance the authenticity of the movie.
* “A Different Loyalty.” Starring Sharon Stone, this movie was filmed in 2004 at Fort St. Elmo, which gives a visual representation of the city of Beirut. Parts of the movie were filmed on the Golden Sands Beach.
* “Alexander.” In 2004, Valletta’s Grand Harbor doubled for the ancient port city of Alexandria. The movie starred Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrell.
* “Gladiator.” The Russell Crowe movie was shot at a replica built at Fort Ricasoli with a night time scene being filmed just outside Vittoriosa at Couvre Port.