Two Harbors posing as the Canary Islands

TWO HARBORS—Shore boat service has resumed at Two Harbors (see story online). The return of shore boat service is an opportunity, naturally, to highlight a slice of Two Harbors history. Today’s focus is on Two Harbors’ Hollywood history. We already know of some of the big names who came in and out of Avalon (Winston Churchill, Zane Grey, Marilyn Monroe and Robert Wagner, to name a few), but Two Harbors has its own set of A-List visitors.

Two Harbors, you seem was a popular filming destination during the 1930s. The tiny, unincorporated village at the west end of Catalina Island was also a quiet vacation spot for Hollywood’s top talents. Errol Flynn, for example, was photographed lounging at a Two Harbors restaurant in 1939.

“Mutiny on the Bounty,” which released in 1935 and starred Clark Gable, was one of the more popular films to use Two Harbors as a film set, but did you known acclaimed Western director John Ford helmed a World War I themed film at the Isthmus?

Two Harbors posed as the Canary Islands in John Ford’s “Seas Beneath,” which released in 1931. The 90-minute war film told the tale of a “Mystery Ship,” which looked like a schooner, angling to find and sink a German U-Boat off the coast of Spain. The “Mystery Ship” had to re-fuel and did so at the Canary Island (but really Two Harbors). The ship’s crew spent time on the island, interacting with various people – including those who were aboard the targeted German U-boat.

Several other films were filmed at Two Harbors during the 1930s, such as “Rain” and “Isle of Destiny.” The palapas at one of Two Harbor’s beaches are an ode to the village’s Hollywood past.

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