You can say The Bay State has been deemed "Hollywood In the East Coast" as many of your favorite films on the big screen were created right here in Massachusetts. Let's give you a stroll down memory lane as we selected a trio of movies that show familiar surroundings from west to east:

attachment-Pretty Poison Poster

Let's start with a 1968 thriller-mystery that was shot right here in Great Barrington:
"Pretty Poison" focuses on a ex-convict and high school cheerleader who commit a series of crimes as both characters, Dennis Pitt and teenager Sue Ann Stepenek. become attracted to each other as they are embroiled in a web of violent encounters.


(Pretty Poison lobby card courtesy of

Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld are perfectly cast as these misfits also encounter betrayal, deceit and murder. A terrific supporting entourage compliments this movie which remains a cult-classic filmed in the heart of south county which includes Beverly Garland, John Randolph, Dick O'Neill and Ken Kercheval (best known as Cliff Barnes in "Dallas"). You must revisit this film due to it's suspenseful nature and local ties to our listening area.

attachment-Peter Proud Poster

"The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud" is an effective 1975 thriller starring Michael Sarrazin in the title role. The plot focuses on a Los Angeles University professor who, after experiencing a series of bizarre nightmares, comes to believe he is the "reincarnation" of someone else.

Parts of this movie were shot in Springfield as some notable scenes include the famous route 20 bridge, a historic church and The Puritan Statue just to name a few. Peter then locates Marcia, a mystery woman from his nightmares, now a middle-aged alcoholic. and befriends her daughter,  Ann at a local country club where Marcia's husband Jeff was once a tennis pro. Here is a clip of when Peter and Ann first meet:

(Peter Proud clip courtesy of

Ann recently returned home to care for her emotionally unstable mother. Through his research, Peter uncovers that her father, Jeff was found drowned in Crystal Lake in 1946 under mysterious circumstances setting the parallel for this bone-chilling film. In addition, the late great Margot Kidder (Lois Lane in the "Superman" movies) and the lovely Jennifer O'Neill also gave bravura performances as Marcia and her daughter, Ann.

Peter realizes that by having re-enacted or visited the sites of his visions as the lake vision of Jeff's murder is his last to be conquered. I don't want to spoil the ending, but this film took it's toll on me when seeing it in the theater. If you get a chance, watch this movie and fasten your seat belt for major twists and turns.

attachment-Jaws - Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Finally, we save the best for last: Did you know "Jaws" was filmed in the beautiful Bay State island of Martha's Vineyard? Deemed as one of my top 5 films of ALL TIME, the catch-phrase "Don't Go Near The Water" resonated well after it's 1975 release which also featured the directorial debut of Steven Speilberg. I never get tired of re watching this classic as it's been an instrumental part of my life for decades on the big screen, VHS and DVD!


A footnote: the shark's first victim, swimmer Chrissy Watkins (Susan Backlinie) is a native of neighboring Troy, New York. Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and the GREAT Robert Shaw gave iconic and unforgettable performances in this effective nail-biting thriller. Here is a memorable snippet as the trio take a break while setting sail to find "Bruce" (that was the shark's name). Shaw's speech is effective while describing the dangers of shark hunting:

(Jaws clip courtesy of

BOTTOM LINE: Nice to see that Massachusetts was the setting for these four star movies that continue to remain embedded in our minds. Grab the large bucket of popcorn and ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!!

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of

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