Below is a small sampling of the films made in or about Louisiana. Have fun watching these and all the other films now out on video. I have watched and collected these and many more about Louisiana and the comments/reviews are my own.
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) C-110 min, John Korty, Cicely Tyson, Richart Dysart. Covers memories of a 110 year old former slave, the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. Nine Emmy Awards. I have used this in class.
Belizaire the Cajun (1986) C-100 min Glen Pitre, Armand Assante, Gail Youngs. A charismatic herbal dealer in love with the Cajun wife of a wealthy Anglo. PG rated, be careful of words "bastard children", "nigger", and "shit", otherwise fairly tame movie. I suggest you buy the book, edit parts and then have students read through the "bad" section. Otherwise, I show large parts in class and do several worksheets on folk medicines, curses, women's rights in 1850 Louisiana.
Big Easy (1987) C-108 Dennis Quaid, Ned Beatty , Highly original crime story center in New Orleans, terrific Cajun music score, R rated, great scenes of New Orleans but NOT classroom fare!
Blaze (1989) C-119 Paul Newman, Lolita Davidovich. Newmans gives a flashy performance as Earl K. Long and his love of Blaze Starr. Real life Blaze Starr appears in movie as stripper Lily which Newman kisses on shoulder backstage. R rated, nudity, language, and corrupted history Hollywood style. I bought the film and made a HIGHLY edited copy to use sections just to explain the type of character Earl was.
The Blob (1988) Kevin Dillon, Candy Clark, Joe Seneca. Stupid remake of a silly movie. Oversexed teenagers. Filmed in Abbeville. R rated. Good downtown scenes of Abbeville.
The Buccaneer (1958 and 1938) 1938 BW, 1958 C, Retells the story of Battle of New Orleans and Jean LaFitte. I like the 1958 version better. After chapter study and film, I make the kids sing "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton. Then we do a comparative study on differences between film, song, and book.
Casey's Shadow (1978) Walter Matthau, Alexis Smith. Film of a never do well horse trainer who has to raise three sons after his wife leaves him. PG rated (side note: a former Vinton Northside student's father had a bit part in this film)
The Drowning Pool, (1976) Paul Newman, Joanne Woodard. Newman is a private detective in a poor whodunit. Locations filmed include Lake Charles bridge, beach, and Broad Street bars. PG rated. Watch drive from downtown to Newman's hotel - he crosses entire state, Pontchartrain Bridge, Atchafalaya Bridge, LC bridge, Westlake refineries to get to New Orleans Hotel.
Everybody's AllAmerican, (1988) Dennis Quaid, Timothy Hutton, Jessica Hutton, 25 year saga of a football hero, uses Louisiana plantation home sites, plus state capital. R rated
Horse Soldiers (1959) John Wayne, William Holden, Based on real story of Union Horse Soldier's raid into Rebel territory. Film around Natchitoches.
Huey Long (1985) by Ken Burns, Fascinating documentary of Huey Long crammed with priceless footage.
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965) Bette Davis, Movie is very confusing at times but great to watch for it's plantation footage.
King Creole Early Elvis movie with catchy opening song, Filmed in New Orleans with wonderful footage of Jackson Square. After the kids get past the "Black and White???" they actually like the film.
Mandingo (1975) James Mason, Ken Norton. Trashy movie about a bigoted plantation owner. Beware of lots of sex and nudity. However, great footage of Belle-Helene Plantation and Beauregard-Keys House in New Orleans.
Man in the Moon (1991) Tess Harper, Saw Waterston. Old fashioned tear-jerker set in rural Louisiana (Natchitoches) in 1957.
Pretty Baby (1978) Brooke Sheilds, Keith Carradine Set in New Orleans Storyville district, Brooke plays a 12 year old prostitute. NOT for the easily offended .
Shy People (1987) Jill Clayburgh, Barbara Hershey. NYC journalist returns to interview her long lost family in Louisiana bayous.
Soldier's Story 1984) Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington. Prize winning story of a black soldier murdered at Southern army post in 1940s.
Sounder (1972) Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson. Story of a black sharecropper in the 1930s. Great story of growing up.
Steel Magnolias (1989) Sally Fields, Dolly Parton, others. Story based around several North Louisiana women's lives. Sassy to tear-jerker. Filmed on location in Natchitoches. Great city shots but beware of language.
Streetcar Named Desire (1959) Marlon Brando, Super film that won lots of awards but Brando has the remembered role and line yelling "Stella, Stella!" A must see.
Heaven's Prisoner - starring Alex Balwin, not the greatest film I've ever seen. has a few good shots from Nottoway plantation and New Orleans. Beware of the racy first scene at Nottoway. I don't think the original owners of Nottoway would have liked that scene.
Louisiana - starring Margo Kidder, not much of a film as the story goes. It is not even rated - it's that poor. However it does have a few good scenes of 1800 New Orleans - the open air market and around the cathedral. It also has some good footage of Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville.
louisiana101.com website copyright © 2009 Greg English