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Top 5 flicks filmed in Hawaii

Indiana Jones doesn’t just rescue lost Biblical relics. He also took some time last year to rescue Hawaii’s film industry. 

The Hawaii Film Office announced today that film producers collectively spent more than $200 million here in 2007—more than in any previous year. The year that came closest to last year’s record take was 2004, with $164 million. 

Harrison Ford and the production crew for the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull spent more than $15 million while filming on the Big Island last summer.

Other productions filming in Hawaii last year included the Ben Stiller and Jack Black flick Tropic Thunder (Kauai), Knocked Up director Judd Apatow’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Oahu) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Maui/Molokai). 

About to begin its fourth season on Jan. 31, the hit ABC television series Lost continues to film exclusively on Oahu. 

The news left me in the mood to revisit a handful of my all-time-favorite filmed-in-Hawaii flicks. Here are five — one for every pau hana evening of the workweek.

Enjoy. Tell me what I missed. Give me your Top 5. Perhaps I’ll do a second list sometime.

From Here To Eternity (1953). I love that I work just a half-hour’s drive away from the beach where Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr famously rolled in the surf and turf. You know, just in case.

Blue Hawaii (1961). The best of the three Elvis Presley flicks filmed here has The King singing Ke Kali Nei Au (The Hawaiian Wedding Song) AND Rock-A-Hula Baby.

Donovan’s Reef (1963). John Wayne in Hawaii as tough World War II veteran Michael “Guns” Donovan? Who cares if they called the fictional island Haleakalowa?

Jurassic Park (1992). Because I still get a kick out of watching Tyrannosaurus Rex chase a herd of Gallimus dinosaurs and a bunch of pesky humans against the backdrop of the Koolau mountain range.

Punch-Drunk Love (2001). The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki has never looked so gorgeous, elegantly old-fashioned and other-worldly all at the same time as in this eccentric romantic comedy.