We were all starstruck by Tommy Lee Jones, Jenna Ortega and the rest of the cast of Finestkind, a film set and filmed in New Bedford a couple of years ago and released on Paramount+ in 2023.

Similar buzz surrounded the romantic comedy Passionada, also shot in New Bedford and released in 2002.

The Whaling City was also caught up in another huge movie release before many of us were around. When "Moby Dick" came out in 1956, the city hosted the star-studded premiere at downtown's State Theatre, known today as Zeiterion Performing Arts Center.

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It made sense to launch the movie in New Bedford, which figures prominently into the early part of Herman Melville's classic 19th-century whaling novel upon which the film was based.

Gregory Peck, who played Captain Ahab, was on hand for the premiere. He is basically today's Brad Pitt, having played roles in tons of iconic movies over the years. Was "Moby Dick" his greatest work? Peck never said so, apparently claiming to numerous publications that he didn't play the role of the bitter sea captain "angry enough."

READ MORE: New Bedford References Abound in Highly Anticipated 'Finestkind'

Unlike Finestkind and Passionada, the movie was not shot in New Bedford. Instead, filming took place off the coast of Ireland where Peck almost drowned twice during filming.

If social media was around in the 1950s, the buzz on the SouthCoast would have been big.

So, what's next for what I'm coining at the East Coast Hollywood?

This year Massachusetts will be the backdrop for a pretty popular Netflix series, The Walking Dead: Dead City, which will film for a few months this spring and summer and is looking for extras. Nearby in Rhode Island, production on James L. Brooks film Ella McCay is underway, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Woody Harrelson.

These SouthCoast Staples Are the Real Stars of 'Finestkind'

Finestkind, the New Bedford-set film now streaming on Paramount+, features many places SouthCoast residents know and love. Here are some of the locations and references that made it into the movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and Jenna Ortega.

Gallery Credit: Gazelle

Beloved New Bedford Bars That Are Gone But Not Forgotten

From 908 to the Regal Beagle on Acushnet Ave, these are the bars that are no longer with us but never forgotten.

Gallery Credit: Gazelle

Check Out New Bedford's New National Club Mexican Restaurant

Steve Silverstein, owner of The Black Whale and Cisco in New Bedford, is at it again, creating another first-class restaurant, this time in the city's downtown. Here is an artist's rendering of the new National Club Mexican restaurant on Union Street.

Gallery Credit: Micheal Rock

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