The Orange Bowl immortalized in film

Still holding onto the Orange Bowl? Need to pay it proper tribute even though the last game ended? Don’t worry, the movie industry has honored the Orange Bowl and allowed you to bring a little piece of it back home via the glorious, timeless world of DVD rentals.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

For those of you who haven’t seen this famous Jim Carrey movie, released in 1994, it is about a slightly crazy “low-rent pet detective” who is hired to find the Miami Dolphins’ missing dolphin mascot, Snowflake. But the mystery doesn’t stop there. Soon after Snowflake’s disappearance, star quarterback Dan Marino is also missing in action. It is a great comedic film, but there is a little extra bonus for Hurricane fans. In one scene where Ace investigates Snowflake’s empty tank for evidence, look around. Perhaps you’ll notice some familiar-looking seats in the background. That’s because Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was shot at the Orange Bowl, among other sites in Miami. In the movie, the Orange Bowl is said to be the home of the Miami Dolphins, but the team had already moved to Pro Player Stadium.

Black Sunday

Before Ace searched for Snowflake and found out his boss was actually a man, another movie scarred football lovers and forever changed the way they looked at blimps. Released in 1977, Black Sunday is based on Thomas Harris’ best-selling novel. (Harris is also the author of the Hannibal Lecter series.) The movie’s plot deals with an extremist terrorist group, infuriated by the United States aid to Israel, that intends to carry out an attack during the Super Bowl. They plan to detonate explosives attached to a blimp while it hovers over the Orange Bowl in a scene that will terrify anyone who has ever attended a game in our beloved stadium.

The Perez Family

To some teams, playing at the Orange Bowl is like being in a prison knowing the outcome is gloomy. That portrayal seemed to catch on with the 1995 movie The Perez Family. In the film, the Orange Bowl serves as the site of a Cuban-refugee holding area, (see mention of the Mariel boatlift and the Orange Bowl on page 16). In the movie, the main characters try to break out of the Orange Bowl and build new lives for themselves in the United States.

Any Given Sunday

Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx and Dennis Quaid starred in the latest football movie filmed at the Orange Bowl. Any Given Sunday, released in 1999, deals with more contemporary football issues such as substance abuse and the effects of injury on a player and his team. The fictitious football team, The Miami Sharks, was housed in the Orange Bowl, and Florida residents were able to participate in the movie as extras for the game scenes. Almost all willing and enthusiastic participants were ushered into the Orange Bowl decked in the Miami Sharks colors, black and white, and told to fill the stands. The day lasted around nine hours, but true fans of the Orange Bowl are now immortalized along with it in this film.

Regardless of whether it has been used as a crime scene or refugee-detainment center in movies, the Orange Bowl has been an integral part of Miami. And as it is immortalized in these films, the stadium’s presence will be similarly perpetuated in the hearts of those who remember it.

Tiffany Agam may be contacted at t.agam@umiami.edu.

November 12, 2007


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.