Even though Louisiana’s film and television industry has experienced a downturn since the state cut tax credit for filmmakers, New Orleans still shows up a lot on the big screen and has for years.
Here are 8 movies set or filmed in New Orleans that span more than six decades.
1. Based on the play by Tennessee Williams, this renowned drama follows troubled former schoolteacher Blanche DuBois as she leaves small-town Mississippi and moves in with her sister, Stella Kowalski and her husband, Stanley in New Orleans. Blanche's flirtatious Southern-belle presence causes problems for Stella and Stanley, who already have a volatile relationship, leading to even greater conflict in the Kowalski household. The movie won four Academy Awards including Best Actress for Vivien Leigh. (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951)
2. Two Harley-riding hippies complete a drug deal in Southern California and decide to travel cross-country in search of spiritual truth. On their journey, they experience bigotry and hatred from the inhabitants of small-town America and also meet with other travelers seeking alternative lifestyles. After a terrifying drug experience in New Orleans, the two travelers wonder if they will ever find a way to live peacefully in America. (Easy Rider, 1969)
3. James Bond investigates the murders of three fellow agents and finds himself a target, evading vicious assassins as he closes in on powerful Kananga, who’s coordinating a global threat, using tons of self-produced heroin. As Bond tries to unravel the mastermind's plan, he meets Solitaire, a beautiful tarot-card reader, whose magic is crucial to the crime lord. (Live and Let Die, 1973)
4. This acclaimed Oliver Stone drama presents the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy led by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison. When Garrison begins to doubt conventional thinking on the murder, he faces government resistance, and, after the killing of suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, he closes the case. Later, however, Garrison reopens the investigation, finding evidence of an extensive conspiracy behind Kennedy's death. (JFK, 1991)
5. Mercenary leader Barney Ross and his loyal men take on what they think is a routine assignment: a covert operation to invade the South American country of Vilena and overthrow its dictator. But, when they learn that the job will be a suicide mission, they must choose redemption or the destruction of their brotherhood. (The Expendables, 2010)
6. In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner, he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. Then in the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada changes Solomon's life forever. The movie won three Academy Awards including Best Picture. (12 Years a Slave, 2012)
7. Two years before the Civil War, Django, a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz on a mission to capture the vicious Brittle brothers. Their mission successful, Schultz frees Django, and together they hunt the South's most-wanted criminals. Their travels take them to the infamous plantation of shady Calvin Candie, where Django's long-lost wife is still a slave. Director Quentin Tarantino won an Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. (Django Unchained, 2012)
8. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, igniting a massive fireball that killed several crew members. Chief electronics technician Mike Williams and his colleagues find themselves fighting for survival as the heat and the flames become stifling and overwhelming. Banding together, the co-workers must use their wits to make it out alive amid all the chaos. (Deepwater Horizon, 2016)
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