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10 Famous Movies Filmed in Oregon

“The Beaver State” has been part of some famous movie creations in the last 100 years. Here are ten famous movies filmed in Oregon from the oldest to the newest.

1. The General (1929): The comedic genius and amazing stuntman Buster Keaton starred in this silent black and white film. Part of the movie production was filmed in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The town of about 10k residents today still has a large mural of the film on the side of a downtown building.

2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975): Based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey and starring Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd, this interesting drama/comedy was filmed mostly around Salem, Oregon. It was also filmed around the coastal town of Depoe Bay. The Oregon State Hospital was used in the filming, which was an actual state mental hospital and the one depicted in the novel.

3. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978): This may be the most famous of all the movies, starring John Belushi, Donald Sutherland and many others, and filmed in Eugene, Oregon at the University of Oregon campus. The Dr. A.W. Patterson House on East 11th Ave. was the location of the Delta house, it was located between two fraternities used in the filming too; the building was demolished in 1986, yet there remains a plaque there to commemorate the filming.

4. The Black Stallion (1979): Oregon is a state where wild horses still run free, making it fitting to have this movie filmed here. This was an adventure/drama film based on a 1941 novel by Walter Farley. The film stars Kelly Reno and Mickey Rooney; it is a timepiece set in the 1940s. Part of the movie was filmed in Gearhart and Nehalem towns in Clatsop County, the most northwestern county in Oregon.

5. The Shinning (1980): Likely, the most infamous movie filmed in Oregon, the horror film by Stanley Kubrick starring Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall. The film depicted a hotel in the Rocky Mountains, yet the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood was used for some of the exterior shots in the film, thus establishing the look of what was called the remote Overlook Hotel in the film where all the horror took place.

6. The Goonies (1985): This was another classic movie filmed partly in Astoria, Oregon. The story written by Steven Spielberg also depicted the town of Astoria. The mid-80s adventure movie starred Corey Feldman, Sean Austin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton and Ke Huy Quan. The home is still intact in the same spot to this day and was recently brought to light again from someone’s vandalism of leaving a dead fish on the porch. The vandal was later rescued from a yacht that capsized at sea after the vandal stole it from someone nearby. I guess the adventure continues nearly 40 years later. Astoria is also in Clatsop County where “The Black Stallion” was filmed partly.

7. Stand By Me (1986): Based on a 1982 novella by Stephen King and directed by Rob Reiner, this famous coming-of-age drama/adventure was partly filmed in the small town of Brownsville, Oregon. The movie was a timepiece from the 1950s and the small town with less than 2,000 residents set the tone for this period. The movie starred child actors Corey Feldman, River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O’Connell.

8. Drugstore Cowboy (1989): This was an interesting crime drama filmed mainly around Portland, Oregon. Starring Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham and William S. Burroughs, the movie was based on an autobiographical novel by James Fogle and directed by the famous American filmmaker Gus Van Sant. The novel was published after the movie, as the author was still in prison during the filming. The movie timeframe was set in the early 70s and depicted drug addicts who robbed pharmacies and hospitals to support their addictions. Filmmaker Gus Van Sant also filmed “My Own Private Idaho,” “Elephant” and “Paranoid Park” in Oregon.

9. Free Willy (1993): One of the best family drama movies in the 90s was also filmed partly in Oregon. Specifically, the Hammond Marina in Warrenton, Oregon was used in some of the scenes. Jason James Richter stars as the orphan boy who befriended the captive orca languishing in a rundown amusement park.

10. Maverick (1994): It would seem fitting to have an American Western movie on the list, which is what this comedy movie starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner was. This movie was partly filmed on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon; specifically, the steamboat called the “Portland” was the last remaining sternwheel tugboat left in the U.S., so was used to depict a Mississippi-style gambling boat for the movie. After the filming, the boat was returned to the Oregon Maritime Museum in Portland.


This list may bring back some good memories for movie watchers and Oregonians alike. It also may give us some ideas of what movies to watch next or what areas in Oregon to travel to and visit. One thing is for sure, Oregon has not been left out on the big screen as this list shows.


Originally published at NewsBreak

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