In recent years Georgia has become a hotspot for Hollywood filming locations with big hits like Vampire Diaries, Hunger Games, Walking Dead and more. However, the state has been a famous filming spot for ages due to its affordability and state tax credits. Georgia is home to many spots that help brings scenes to life from iconic road trip scenes in 70’s car flicks to historical events that led to the Civil Rights Act. Whether you’re already a film buff or are trying to learn more, some of these movies filmed in Georgia surprise you.
7 of the Most Famous Movies Filmed in Georgia
1. Sweet Home Alabama
Despite what the name suggests, the majority of Sweet Home Alabama was filmed in Georgia. The 2002 rom-com follows Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) as she confronts her past with high school sweetheart Jake (Josh Lucas).
The iconic 1880s Greek Revival home where Melanie pretends is her home is actually part of Berry College in Rome, Georgia. You can also see where the Civil War re-enactments were filmed in the verdant rolling hills of Georgia International Horse Park. Other notable filming locations include the small town of Crawfordville in eastern Georgia.
2. Fried Green Tomatoes
This 1991 feel-good movie starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Mary Stuart Masterson is filmed in Georgia. It tells the story of trapped housewife Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) who pays weekly visits to a wise old woman, Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) and helps her change her perspective on life.
The filming for this heartwarming movie took place in charming small town Senoia, Georgia. Highlights throughout the town include the Whistle Stop Cafe, where you can now enjoy actual fried green tomatoes with barbecue and peach cobbler.
3. My Cousin Vinny
Who doesn’t know and love this classic 90s court comedy starring Joe Pesci, Marisa Romei and Ralph Macchio? My Cousin Vinny follows an inexperienced but budding lawyer, Vinny who steps up to help his cousin Billy against a murder charge. Along the way, the pair run into all sorts of trouble making for a funny and entertaining experience about family, law and mishap.
One of the most iconic filming locations is the Sac-O-Suds located off Ocmulgee River. This convenience store sells everything from barbecue to bait and tackle and is where Stan and Billy stop for road snacks. The other main filming location is Monticello which functioned as the backdrop for the fictional town in the film. This town is not only famous as a set for the movie, but also for its historical significance as it was founded way back in the 1600s
4. Smokey and the Bandit
Smokey and the Bandit is simply one of the most iconic movies to ever come out of the South. It all starts when Big Enos (Pat McCormick) decides he wants to drink some Coors beer at a truck show. But since it was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi River without a permit, Bandit (Burt Reynolds) decides to drive the beer to him from Texas. The rest is late-70’s comedic genius.
Despite much of the film consisting of Bandit and Smowman’s journey from Atlanta to Texarkana and back, nearly all of the filming took place in Georgia. The most iconic scenes along their journey include the Lakewood Fairgrounds just outside Atlanta; and several locations across Jonesboro such as Flint Road where the famous bridge jump took place. You can even head to the exact spot where Buford and Junior have an unfortunate collision with a tractor-trailer on 7690 N Main Steet in Jonesboro. Other Jonesboro highlights include the backdrop for Texarkana on 104 Mainstreet and the place where Buford’s horn got stuck on 7748 N Main Street.
5. Driving Miss Daisy
1989’s Driving Miss Daisy follows the unlikely friendship between a wealthy old Jewish widow and her chauffeur. Over 20 years they develop a strong bond and teach one another lessons about love, death and racial discrimination. It’s heartwarming, cute and funny in all the right places.
The movie is largely filmed and set in Atlanta, Georgia. The most notable filming locations are Daisy’s home on Lullwater Road; the Fulton Supply Co off Nelson Street which was used as a set for Daisy’s son Boolie’s business; and the synagogue that Daisy attends which is The Temple off Peachtree Street.
One much more recent but equally as famous movie that was filmed in Georgia is Selma. This movie follows the desegregation of the South and the events that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The movie centers on Dr. Martin Luther King Kr’s plight during the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, which led to President Lyndon Johnson initiating the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The filming locations in Georgia include several sites in and around Atlanta, Georgia Tech, Marietta Square. Additional spots include the Marietta-Cobb Museum of Art and Rockdale County Courthouse. The most notable scenes include Rockdale County Courthouse in Conyers and Covington which served as the backdrop for Selma.
7. The Legend of Bagger Vance
This 2000 movie stars big shot actors such as Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron. The film follows Bagger Vance (Will Smith) as he tried to reignite Captain Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon)’s golfing career to compete in a high stakes match at a local socialite’s (Charlize Theron) golf course. More than that, though, the movie is about the meaning of life and what it means to find one’s purpose.
The filming spots for this movie are largely across Georgia’s stunning coastline. However, the most notable locations are Savannah’s Lucas Theatre, Forsyth Park and the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The Historic District of Savannah was also used for a variety of scenes to bring the 1930’s setting to life.