BEACH FILMS | fivethreeninety

I’m in Cornwall visiting family this week & I am loving spending time down on the beach. In my time here I’ve read one whole book, eaten five ice creams & watched my sister burn her back to a crisp (she’s so pink it’s unreal).

Though in the UK our average summer temperature is a painful fourteen degrees celsius somehow us Brits pride ourselves in our seaside culture & I’m getting really into it. So here’s a whole list of beach adventures:


What We Did on our Holiday

David Tennant & Rosamund Pike play a recently separated couple who take their three children up to see their Grandfather for his 75th birthday – which, as he is suffering from cancer, is believed to be his last. To avoid any upset, the parents convince the children to play along with the facade that they’re still together. The day of the party, not happy with the grand displays of the event the grandfather (who’s played by Billy Connolly by the way) takes the three young children down to the beach for the day. And he DIES. So the kids, disappointed by how the family doesn’t seem to respect their Grandfather’s wishes, decide to give him a Viking burial. And it’s just as stupidly brilliant as it sounds.


Blue Hawaii

I’m sure many people have fantasised about spending time with Elvis in Hawaii, & here’s a whole film of it. He plays Chad, fresh out the army & back in Hawaii, where he decides to work at his girlfriend’s agency as a travel guide instead of following his snooty family’s wishes as working at the Hawaiian fruit company. Like most Elvis films, it’s a plot formed around Elvis crooning some beautiful songs, including the infamous ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ which is beautiful. It also features a young Angela Lansbury who is FABULOUS.


Weekend at Bernie’s

So imagine you & your best mate get invited to a weekend away on a luxury island with your boss – but when you get there, he’s dead. Except nobody else realises he is dead, & so to avoid becoming murder suspects the friends have to pass him off as alive – & then the actual murderer has to keep killing him over & over again. It’s so funny, & totally deserves it’s cult classic status. Worth seeing if only for the dead guy propped up having fun on the beach.


Soul Surfer

This is based on a true story – Anna Sophia Robb plays the lead, who’s a really cool surfer. So she’s out on her board one day dangling her arm in the water & a shark BITES HER ENTIRE ARM OFF. The film’s all about her, as well as her family learning to carry on & deal with it through their faith. Even if you aren’t a religious person this film can’t not inspire you, & will teach you that following your dreams is totally possible whatever obstacles you have to overcome.

Romeo + Juliet

This 1996 take on Shakespeare’s classic play is famous for being simultaneously the best & worst film ever. It cleverly moves the location from Venice, Italy to Venice Beach, California & stars Leonardo DiCaprio & Claire Danes in this modern remake with the original text & it really is stunning to watch. Bad Luhrmann always always always creates such beautiful films


The Shallows

This film is fresh in UK cinemas & has been given pretty good reviews across the board.
The film follows Nancy, a surfer visiting a beach loved by her late mother. Whilst surfing a great white shark attacks, & the rest of the film is her fight for survival. Blake Lively stars as pretty much the sole character & she is excellent – for a feature length film a lone actor has to really be able to hold an audience for them to stay entertained & she excels absolutely. Unfortunately this film will probably make you want to avoid the beach, but it’s fun at least.


Cast Away

This is a classic film, following FedEx  worker Chuck after his plane crashes in the ocean leaving him marooned on a deserted island. Totally isolated, he’s left to fend for himself physically & emotionally & gives us one of the most surprising tear jerker scenes ever in cinematic history. I don’t really know if it is a little unfair including this as a ‘beach’ movie because of Tom Hanks’ situation & all but at least he’s making the most of the sun.



This is the last shark film on this list I promise, & this one doesn’t need an introduction. It’s one of the most iconic films of all time & all you need to hear is those infamous two notes to see the film. I remember first watching this when I was young & on a family holiday & outright refusing to get in the sea because of it. This is the film that spawned the shark horror genre which is still going strong today, & it really is a classic for a reason.



They get stranded on a beach okay so it makes it a beach film. Four animals from the New York Zoo get washed up onshore after falling off a boat taking them to a nature reserve in Kenya. After a life of being spoiled in their enclosures they’re forced to adapt to the wild & learn about their animalistic instincts. To be honest this film is my abosolute favourite because of King Julien, leader of the lemurs. It’s a little fifty fifty whether it will actually want to make you get down to the beach but it is an excellent film either way.



My sister is constantly telling me to watch this. Thing is, I did want to see it before but since she started pushing it at me I began to resist it. The story follows Naomi Watts & Robin Wright as childhood friends Lil & Roz, who fall for each other’s sons. It sounds a little bit like an Eastenders storyline but it’s executed really beautifully to make it a really gorgeous film – & it has a gorgeous sandy summer backdrop.


Obviously I couldn’t leave this film out when it’s title is the literal theme of this collection of films. This academy award nominated film follows life-long friends CC & Hillary, telling their life mostly across the car journey taken by one of them on their way to see the other. Bette Midler is singer CC Bloom & Barbra Hershey her rich debutante friend, & the course of their life since meeting as children is beautifully told.

So there’s my collection of beach-y films. Whether you’re getting ready to spend a day down on the sands or you’re miles away & wishing you were, these films will immerse you in that sunny, sandy atmosphere of the beach. Just without the seagulls this time.


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