|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, 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.
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 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.
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 was given mostly negative reviews from critics with Rotten Tomatoes maintaining Club Paradise an 11% rating based on 27 reviews. Peter O'Toole's performance in the film earned him a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actor, but lost to Jerome Benton for Under the Cherry Moon.