|Directed by||Harold Ramis|
|Produced by||Michael Shamberg|
|Edited by||Marion Rothman|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|July 11, 1986|
|Box office||$12,308,521 (domestic)|
Club Paradise is a 1986 American comedy film directed by Harold Ramis starring Robin Williams, Twiggy, Peter O'Toole, and Jimmy Cliff. The film reunites director / co-writer Ramis with most of his SCTV co-stars – SCTV cast members Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Joe Flaherty, and Robin Duke play supporting roles in the film, as does co-writer Brian Doyle-Murray, a former SCTV staff writer.
The movie follows a group of vacationers staying at the newly opened Club Paradise as a series of increasingly unlikely events takes place.
Jack Moniker is a Chicago firefighter who is injured on the job. Using his disability, he retires to the small Caribbean island of Saint Nicholas, and buys a small property. Anthony Croyden Hayes, appointed by the British crown as governor of St. Nicholas, is more concerned with vacationing than governing. Miss Phillipa Lloyd, who is visiting St. Nicholas with some friends, decides to stay permanently and becomes Jack's girlfriend.
Jack befriends financially troubled reggae musician Ernest Reed and they form Club Paradise, which they market as a Club Med-style resort complete with a brochure that features photographs of Jack in various disguises on every page. This attracts a handful of tourists, including Barry and Barry who are there for the marijuana and the women. Much of the film involves the tourists' comic misadventures adjusting to island life and the low-rent facilities of Club Paradise. Also traveling to the island is The New York Times travel writer Terry Hamlin who ends up spending most of her time in the company of Governor Hayes. Adding to the fun is suburban housewife Linda White, who is vacationing with her husband Randy.
Voit Zerbe plays a key role, as a developer who wants to run Jack and Ernest off their property so he can build a massive high-end casino on the beach as part of a deal he's making with two business partners. To do that, he uses the help of the local prime minister Solomon Gundy and the prime minister's men to cause trouble and get Club Paradise to close "legally." Jack and Ernest go so far as to sneak aboard Zerbe's yacht to provide some "useful intelligence" for Governor Hayes by finding out what is going to happen to the future of Saint Nicholas. They skin dive to the yacht where they are captured by local police and thrown in jail. When Prime Minister Gundy's strong arm tactics don't work, he orders a military takeover of the island. Ernest builds up a resistance force, and St. Nicholas is soon threatened with the possibility of civil war, which is averted at the last minute with assistance from Jack and Governor Hayes. When Gundy's takeover fails, Zerbe and his partners leave Saint Nicholas and head for the Cayman Islands.
- Robin Williams as Jack Moniker
- Peter O'Toole as Governor Anthony Croyden Hayes
- Rick Moranis as Barry Nye
- Jimmy Cliff as Ernest Reed
- Twiggy as Phillipa "Philadelphia" Lloyd
- Adolph Caesar as Prime Minister Solomon Gundy
- Eugene Levy as Barry Steinberg
- Joanna Cassidy as Terry Hamlin
- Andrea Martin as Linda White
- Brian Doyle-Murray as Voit Zerbe
- Joe Flaherty as Pilot
- Steven Kampmann as Dr. Randy White
- Robin Duke as Mary Lou
- Mary Gross as Jackie
- Simon Jones as Toby Prooth
- Louise Bennett as Portia
- Ansel "Double Barrel" Collins as Flamboyant (Ernest Reed's band)
- Earl "Chinna" Smith as Flamboyant (Ernest Reed's band)
- Carey Lowell as Fashion Model
- Louis Zorich as Swiss Businessman
- Bruce McGill as Dave, Jack's fireman buddy
Harold Ramis' wife Anne Ramis also cameos as a travel agent.
Bill Murray turned down the film's lead role, which was eventually given to Robin Williams; his brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, ended up in the cast instead. John Cleese was also slated to star, but immediately dropped out before Peter O'Toole signed on to replace him.
"Ed Roboto" is a pseudonym for Harry Shearer, who was asked to do a rewrite with Tom Leopold. Only two words of what they wrote ended up in the film (the title). Shearer later commented that he was "so appalled by the movie" that he removed his name from the credits.
The film's soundtrack was released by Columbia Records and includes several tracks by Jimmy Cliff, Elvis Costello, Mighty Sparrow and Blue Riddim Band, some of which are unique to this release. The Jimmy Cliff track "The Lion Awakes" for example, was included only in the vinyl release, is noticeably absent from compact disc and digital formats and was not released in any other format.
Variety said: "There are enough funny skits in Club Paradise to make for a good hour of SCTV, where most of the cast is from, but too few to keep this Club Med satire afloat for 104 minutes." People wrote: "Director Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the film with Brian Doyle-Murray, never stoops for an easy laugh. He seems capable, however, of making a movie with more momentum than this." Roger Ebert gave the film 2 out of 4 stars and wrote: "The movie never really comes together, and I think the fault for that begins with Williams. When the star of a movie seems desperate enough to depend on one-liners, can the rest of the cast be blamed for losing confidence in the script?" Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader wrote: "Moranis and Levy get most of the laughs as a pair of geeky business partners desperately on the make for beach bunnies; Williams is saddled with a lot of soggy insult humor that doesn't really let him show his gifts."
Ramis later said "We thought Club Paradise had a good chance" at the box office. "But we were the fourth Caribbean comedy out that year , and none of them did any business. The casting ended up being diametrically opposed to what was intended. It was intended for Bill Murray and John Cleese, with Bill as the laid-back guy and Cleese as the over-the-top guy, and we ended up with Robin Williams and Peter O'Toole, with O'Toole as the laid-back guy and Robin the over-the-top guy. The polarities shifted, and it was probably not as interesting or as solid as it might have been if Bill and Cleese were there."
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Peter O’Toole ... lost his Worst Supporting Actor bid in 1986 for Club Paradise, to Jerome Benton for Under the Cherry Moon.
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