The Biltmore Estate takes the prize for being the locale of the most movies shot in the Asheville area. At least 15 movies have been filmed at least partly at Biltmore House or elsewhere on Biltmore Estate, including Being There, The Swan, Richie Rich, The Last of the Mohicans and Patch Adams.
Note that Cold Mountain (2003) from the best-selling novel by Charles Frazier, though set in the North Carolina mountains during the Civil War, was actually shot in Romania.
Movies filmed in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains are listed in alphabetical order.
A Breed Apart is a 1984 movie starring Rutger Hauer, Kathleen Turner and Donald Pleasance, much of which was filmed in Asheville. It was not a success.
All the Real Girls, featuring Zooey Deschanel and Paul Schneider, about a stud who falls in love with a small town girl, was filmed in Asheville and released in 2004. The film bombed at the box office.
American Masters: The Day Carl Sandburg Died is a documentary partly filmed at the Carl Sandburg house in Flat Rock, was released in 2012 on PBS.
Being There was filmed on the Biltmore Estate. It stars Peter Sellers stars as a half-witted gardener whose simplistic comments are considered profound. Shirley MacLaine and Melvyn Douglas also appear in film based on a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, who also wrote the screenplay. Released in 1979, it was a critical and box office hit.
Bull Durham, the popular 1988 movie about baseball, had a small segment filmed at McCormick Field in Asheville, before the minor league stadium was renovated. It stars Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.
The Clearing, despite its big-name cast that included Robert Redford, Daniel Defoe and Helen Mirren, did a modest box office when it was released in 2004. It had something to do with a kidnapped executive. Most of the movie was filmed in Georgia, but some segments were filmed in and near Asheville.
Conquest of Canaan, a silent movie released in 1921, was probably the first movie filmed in Asheville. It was considered lost until a print was found in a Russian archive in 2010.
Dirty Dancing (1987), with Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and Roy Orbach, was shot around Lake Lure. On a summer camp holiday, Grey’s character falls in love with a dance instructor played by Swayze. Dirty Dancing grossed around $60 million in its first release but has become a cult film, and the movie’s locations have become minor tourist attractions.
A segment of 1994’s Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks, was filmed at the Biltmore Estate. The movie was a huge hit, grossing almost $700 million worldwide.
A number of scenes of the 1993 movie version of the hit 1960s TV show, The Fugitive, were shot in Western North Carolina. See the stars Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones in Dillsboro and Bryson City and on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and Cheoah Dam.
The Green Mile (1999) starring Tom Hanks, about a prisoner on death row, was filmed in Blowing Rock, on the Blue Ridge Parkway and elsewhere in the mountains.
Hannibal the cannibal, played by Anthony Hopkins, was creepily shot at the Biltmore House. The 2001 movie wasn’t as well received as 1991’s Silence of the Lambs featuring Jodie Foster and Hopkins.
The Hunger Games (2012), the first film not released by one of the Big Six studios to gross over $400 million, was primarily filmed in Central and Western North Carolina, including Charlotte, Shelby, Black Mountain and Asheville. One of the author’s nephews was an extra in it.
The Journey of August King (1995), based on the novel by Canton native John Ehle, was filmed at various locations in the North Carolina mountains.
The Last of the Mohicans (1992), starring Daniel Day-Lewis, was filmed entirely at various locations in Western North Carolina, including the Biltmore Estate, Chimney Rock Park, the Manor Inn in Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Weaverville, the Pisgah National Forest and other spots.
Mr. Destiny (1990), starring James Belushi and Michael Caine, was filmed on the Biltmore Estate.
My Fellow Americans (1996), featuring Jack Lemmon and James Garner playing two former U.S. presidents, and Dan Akroyd, was mostly filmed in Western North Carolina, with locations at the Black Mountain train station, Biltmore Estate, Marshall and Waynesville.
Nell (1994) stars Jodie Foster as a hermit discovered in the forest. It was filmed around Robbinsville, in Franklin and at Fontana Lake.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012) had segments filmed at the Biltmore Estate.
Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, was filmed at the Biltmore Estate and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in California. It was released in 1998 to moderate success.
Private Eyes was an awful 1980 Sherlock Holmes spoof and a terrible vehicle for Don Knotts and Tim Conway. It is redeemed only by Biltmore House as a haunted mansion.
Richie Rich (1994) was another bomb -- though a fun watch for kids -- shot at Biltmore House (and at a mansion in Beverly Hills). It stars a 13-year-old Macaulay Culkin as one of the richest kids in the world, who just wants other kids with whom to play.
Songcatcher (2000), directed by Maggie Greenwald, stars Janet McTeer, a brilliant musicologist who is based on the real-life Olive Dame Campbell, co-founder of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown near Murphy. The film was shot in the Asheville area.
The incredibly beautiful Grace Kelly graces the Biltmore House in 1956’s The Swan, which also starred Louis Jourdan and Alec Guinness. This was the film that helped give a boost to Biltmore attendance.
28 Days (2000), starring Sandra Bullock in rehab. Among other locations, it was shot at the Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain and in Asheville.
Tap Roots is a 1948 Western with Van Heflin, Susan Hayward, Julie London and Boris Karloff as the horse – just kidding. It was filmed in the Great Smokies National Park.
Thunder Road (1958), a B-movie about moonshine runners in the mountains, originally a mainstay on the drive-in circuit, has become a cult classic. Starring Robert Mitchum, with a small role as his brother by his real-life son James Mitchum, was filmed in and around Asheville. Some scenes were shot in what is now the River Arts District and also in the Downtown area. In some of the most famous scenes Robert Mitchum drives a souped-up 1951 Ford. Russ Offhaus, a popular Asheville and Boston radio personality known as Farmer Russ, appears as a drunk in a scene filmed at the original Sky Club, a well-known nightclub on Town Mountain in Asheville.
Winter People (1989), filmed in Asheville, featured Kurt Russell, Lloyd Bridges and Kelly McGillis, later of Top Gun fame. The film is set in the 1930s and involves feuding mountain clans. McGillis eventually made the Asheville area her home.
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