If you’ve ever been to the Great Smoky Mountains, or if you’re thinking about visiting some time this year, one of the main reasons for your trip probably has something to do with the mountains, the beauty and the unique character of the area. You’re not the only one who feels that attraction. Over the years, Hollywood has found this area irresistible as well, to the extent that a number of motion pictures and television shows have been shot on location in our many scenic locales. It’s really the only way to capture imagery that you just can’t re-create on a studio soundstage.
This week, we thought we’d pass along a few tidbits about some notable films and TV shows that have been shot in this area within the last 20 years or so. So next time you watch those programs, you can look to see if you can spot any recognizable sights. And next time you come to the area and stay in one of our cabins in Pigeon Forge, TN, you can look around and maybe see some of the same locations that were used in these productions.
A number of major motion pictures have been shot in the Smokies, Knoxville and other parts of East Tennessee. That Evening Sun, starring Hal Holbrook, was a critical hit just a few years ago and was produced by a Knoxville-based company. And most of us are probably familiar with the hit film October Sky, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, much of which was shot near Coalwood, TN. Other notable film titles produced in East Tennessee include The Evil Dead, Box of Moonlight, Road Trip and The Dollmaker.
In addition to these widely distributed studio and independent films, there have been a number of smaller-scale indy films that have been shot and produced around here. These titles may not have the name recognition as some of the bigger productions, but they still enjoy worldwide distribution, and they’re proof that there’s plenty of writing, acting and producing talent right here in the Smokies. When you’re online some time, check out films like Something/Anything, Bandit & The Saints Of Dogwood, Amateurs, Boys Of Summerville, Bell Witch The Movie, Prison Break-In and The Little Ponderosa Zoo.
The most notable television series to be produced in the Smokies was the TV hit Christy, which aired on CBS in the mid-1990s. Starring Kellie Martin, the series followed the story of 17-year-old school teacher Christy Huddleston, who set out from her hometown Asheville, NC, to teach at a mission schoolhouse in a rural Appalachian community. Most of the exterior scenes were shot in and around Townsend, TN.