For the history books: Jamaica’s role in Hollywood’s first nude film

The film so controversial and so expensive, of course, Jamaica HAD something to do with it! ICONIC (Photo: Wikipedia & Fox Films)

Jamaica, the small island nation in the Caribbean Sea, has been known for many a first in globally recorded history – and being the backdrop for Hollywood’s first ever-nude film over 100 years ago should also fit the bill.

The 1916 film Daughter of the Gods starring Australian swimmer and actress Annette Kellerman was shot in its entirety in sections of Kingston and Dornoch River Head, Trelawny.

How cool is that BUZZ fam??

The greatest tragedy of this massive Jamaican accomplishment is though stills and publicity photos have survived, A Daughter of the Gods is now considered lost.

Put simply, a lost film is a feature or short film that is no longer known to exist in any studio archives, private collections, or public archives.

*wails inconsolably*

Now designated a nature reserve, Dornoch, a blue hole in geographical context, marks the source of the powerful Rio Bueno River.

The source of the modern-day Rio Bueno, the Secret Dornoch River ‘Blue Hole’ in Trelawny (Photo:

The film, American silent fantasy drama, was written and directed by the great Herbert Brenon.

What’s more, A Daughter of the Gods was Hollywood’s most controversial film at the time because of the sequences of what was regarded as ‘superfluous nudity’ by the character Anitia, played by Kellerman.

The scene is regarded as the first complete nude scene by a major star, which occurred during a waterfall sequence in Trelawny, though most of Kellerman’s body is covered by her long, flowing hair.

Interestingly, A Daughter of the Gods, by the Fox Film Corporation, is also credited as the first US production to cost $1 million to produce.

The man behind ‘A Daughter of the Gods’, writer and director Herbert Brenon, circa 1916. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Word has it, studio head William Fox was so infuriated with the cost of production he removed Herbert Brenon’s name from the film.

Brenon later sued, however, to have his name restored to the film’s credits, and won.

Actress Annette Kellerman in the 1916 film ‘A Daughter of the Gods’ (Photo: Wikipedia & Fox Films)

Much of the cost was reportedly absorbed in creating a sanitary of mosquito-proofing over sections of Kingston for filming.

The grandiose sets consumed 2,500 barrels (400 cubic metres) of plaster, 500 barrels (79 cubic metres) of cement, 2,000,000 board feet (5,000 cubic metres) of lumber, and ten tons of paper!

Over 20,000 people, mostly Americans and Jamaicans, were employed by visionary Brenon during the eight months of production and used 220,000 feet (67,000 m) of film to shoot the picture.

An original score, composed by Robert Hood Bowers, was played by a live orchestra during each screening. It was considered the most memorable movie score-ups in its time.

Did you know about this amazing history, BUZZ fam? Do you wish you could see it as we do? Sound off in the comments section!