ACTION! Louisiana Plantations are in the movies!
There have been many movies set on Louisiana plantations I'm sure I've missed some. If you’ve visited a plantation, it could have been a setting in a movie. If you haven’t visited, you’ve probably seen one or more of them in the movies. These majestic antebellum homes are part of the history in our great state of Louisiana and I hope you get a chance to visit them in person. Many of the plantations where your favorite movies were made can be enjoyed with a plantation tour as many of our plantations have survived and have been lovingly restored. Louisiana Plantations offering tours are furnished with period furnishings so you can step back in time and get a glimpse of our past. You can find a complete list on our Louisiana Plantations Tours category page and see which ones offer tours, overnight stays, wedding venues and more.
Hollywood has loved using Louisiana Plantations for movie settings since the 1950s and are still doing so to present day. It all began in 1957 with Band of Angels starring Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Efren Zimbalist Jr. and Sidney Poitier. It was filmed at the Ashland-Belle Helene Plantation in Geismar, Louisiana. The story is pre Civil War and revolves around the daughter (DeCarlo) of a wealthy plantation owner who was raised privileged. Upon her father’s death she discovers that there is no wealth, that her mother was black and that she’s part of the property which has to be sold. Clark Gable buys her in New Orleans and thus sets the stage for the growth of both characters seeking to forget the past and to find their futures.
Also in 1957 was Drango starring Jeff Chandler and Julie London. This movie was filmed at the Greenville Plantation in St Francisville, Louisiana. The movie reflects the reconstruction era in the U. S. after the Civil War. It gives us a glimpse of the hardships which the Southern people faced and how one honorable Yankee military Major attempts to handle it after he is sent to governor and restore order in one burned out town in Georgia.
Many movies have been filmed at the popular Ashland-Belle Helene Plantation including The Beguilded, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Mandingo, The Long Hot Summer and Fletch Lives.
The Beguilded starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page in 1971 was set during the Civil War. Clint Eastwood plays severely injured Yankee soldier who is saved by a group of girls at a Southern Confederate boarding school. As he heals from his wounds, all the school’s females vie for his attentions which he freely shares. They hide him and protect him until they do the unthinkable.
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman starring Cicely Tyson and Katherine Helmond in 1974. This is the story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. She's 110 years old when interviewed by a New York journalist and reflects on her past which is seen as flashbacks. Excellently played by Cicely Tyson.
Mandingo with James Mason, Susan George and Ken Norton in 1975, A slave owner (Mason) in the 1840s trains one of his slaves (Norton) to be a bare-knuckle fighter. This movie is a blunt look at slavery which evokes the best and the worst in its viewers. Loved by a couple critics and hated by most, it’s still a movie audiences responded to in the ‘70s.
The Long Hot Summer in 1985 with Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Ava Gardner and Cybill Shepherd. Here we have a taste of Southern life based on William Faulkner's works. This TV version is a remake of the 1958 fiml by the same name. Life is changed on the old home estate when a drifter comes to town. Taken in by the father, the family dynamics are drastically changed for the weaselly son. Enjoyed for its locations, soundtrack and love story. Some scenes are on the famous Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana.
Fletch Lives with Chevy Chase, Hal Holbrook and Lee Ermey in 1989. Here we have a totally different movie with lighthearted humor. Our beloved character, Fletch inherits a plantation mansion in Louisiana, quits his job and moves so the fun begins. Lots of jokes, disguises & Chevy doing his thing. As they say, a good time was had by all!
The Greenville Plantation was also a filming location for 2 other movies besides Django: Louisiana in 1984 and North and South in 1985. Margot Kidder starred in Louisiana while Kirstie Alley, David Carradine and Lesley-Anne Down were in North and South. Both of these films were mini-series filmed for television.
In 1964 Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotton and Agnes Moorehead appeared in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte filmed at two Louisiana plantations One being the most well-known historic plantation, Oak Alley in Vacherie, Louisiana and the other being the Houmas House in Darrow, Louisiana. This thriller film opens with a flashback scene on the plantation from 37 years earlier when Charlotte's (Davis) married lover (Dern) is murdered crushing their plans to run away and be together. Did her father kill him as he was against the relationship or was it Charlotte who was being dumped by her lover? We're left to wonder as it zooms forward to the present day and Charlotte is fighting to keep her waning home from being demolished by the government for a new road. Unstable Charlotte brings in her cousin (de Havilland) to help her in the fight. We watch as the character descends into madness. A must see!
Oak Alley Plantation was also a location for the following films: Dixie: Changing Habits, Netherworld, Interview With the Vampire, Primary Colors and Midnight Bayou.
Dixie: Changing Habits with Suzanne Pleshette , Cloris Leachman and Geraldine Fitzgerald in 1985 is a comedy with Pleshette as a madam sentenced to 90 days in a convent run by Mother Superior (Leachman) and Sister Agnes (Fitzgerald) to change her evil ways.
Netherworld with Michael Bendetti and Anjanette Comer in 1992 is a bayou horror flick. This is an out-there film by David Schmoeller with a Gothic setting in the Louisiana swamps.
Interview With the Vampire starring Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Tom Cruise in 1994 is a fantasy, drama, horror film based on Anne Rice’s book. A vampire tells his epic life story. The estate of Louis (Pitt) in the film’s beginning is the historic Oak Alley Plantation located on the River Road in Vacherie, Louisiana, which is near New Orleans. The plantation's "guest book" is on display and was signed by Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.
Primary Colors with John Travolta, Billy Bob Thornton, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates, Larry Hagman, Diane Ladd and Rob Reiner in 1998 with a political comedy loosely (tho denied) based on Hillary and Bill. From Southern accents, sex scandals, big mansions & big egos, this is a fun filled time for those who venture to watch.
Midnight Bayou with Jerry O’Connell, Laura Stamile and Faye Dunnaway in 2009 is based on a Nora Roberts Novel. It features a haunted plantation, falling in love and some gasps from the past.
Now the Oaklawn Manor located on Bayou Teche near Franklin, Louisiana was the backdrop for The Drowning Pool in 1975 which had two of my favorite stars, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward as well as Tony Franciosa and Melanie Griffith. Newman once again plays the private investigator Lew Harper in a mystery thriller. Also one of the first films for Melanie Griffith who was 17.
In 1987 Sister, Sister was filmed at Greenwood Plantion and Madewood Plantation with Jason Leigh and Eric Stoltz, Kelly McGillis and Ellen Burstyn appeared in Grand Isle 1991 at Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana. This property is a working sugar cane plantation today.
The Albania Plantation was used in 2006 just outside of Jeanerette, Louisiana for All the Kings Men and starred Sean Penn, Jude Law, our own Patricia Clarkson, Anthony Hopkins and the late James Gandolfini. Based on the Robert Penn Warren novel and loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana. The Skeleton Key was filmed on Felicity Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana in 2005 and starred Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands and John Hurt.
The Houmas House Plantation located in Darrow, Louisiana has appeared in several movies including the aforementioned Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, Mandingo, Fletch Lives and also Revenge of the Bridesmaids in 2010 starring Raven-Symone.
Now Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana was the setting for Django Unchained in 2012 and featured Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio and Samuel Jackson. With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
12 Years a Slave in 2013 was filmed at five plantation locations: St Joseph Plantation (Vacherie, Louisiana), Felicity Plantation (Vacherie, Louisiana). Magnolia Plantation (Schriever, Louisiana), Magnolia Lane Plantation (Bridge City, Louisiana) and Bocage Plantation (Darrow, Louisiana) and starred Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Paul Giamatti.
Ardoyne Plantation in Schriever, Louisiana has been the location for several movies including Crazy in Alabama in 1999 starring Melanie Griffith, Margaret Shaffer, I personally am crazy for this film which made me cry at times and roar with laughter too. Marlene Shaffer and Emily Francis, Deadline from 2009 starring Britney Murphy and Thora Birch and finally Tribute in 2009 starring Britney Murphy.
Louisiana Plantations have a great ambiance, classic Southern style, a unique atmosphere and are brimming with history which means they will continue to be the perfect location for many films to come.