Malta and Gozo have served as a backdrop in scores of films since the first recorded instance of movie-making on the islands took place in 1925.
Sometimes the islands have played themselves and served an intricate part in the plot, as in the movies ‘Malta Story’ and ‘Mackintosh Man’; other times the wide variety of magnificent architecture, landscapes and beautiful beaches masqueraded s a foreign city, as in the case of ‘Munich’ and ‘World War Z’.
The islands’ magical quality even led to them standing in for fantastic lands in far off fantasy realms, as in ‘Clash of the Titans’ and ‘Popeye’.
Film makers have also been enticed to the islands thanks to a huge number of other factors – among them three magnificent water tanks, perfect for filming scenes set on the ocean, and the availability of hundreds of willing, hard working craftsmen and actors well-versed in the language of Hollywood. Nowadays, tax incentives and the presence of local personnel trained in the art of film making have added to the incentive package.
Hundres of famous actors, producers and directors have worked on this tiny Mediterranean outcrop, from repeat visitors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to Alec Guinness; from Paul Newman to Roger Moore, and Michael Caine to Robin Williams; and from Madonna to Sharon Stone, and special effects legend Ray Harryhausen to director Alan Parker and German pop star Marius Mueller-Westernhagen.
Meanwhile, Maltese actors and extras have graced the fore and backgrounds of many of these films, with the islands’ language sometimes used as a substitute for various others, as in the films ‘Midnight Express‘ and ‘Shout at the Devil’.
In this book, the first of its kind, Angela Peel has collected technical, historical and narrative information about each and every film completely or partly shot on these islands. It is an opus that has taken years of resaerch, and interviews with people who participated in the making of these movies, to put together.
The book also contains a usefel reference guide to locally-produced films, a sector that has seen much growth in recent years.