Home Movies 19 Oregon-filmed movies that take you on a virtual tour around the state

19 Oregon-filmed movies that take you on a virtual tour around the state

19 Oregon-filmed movies that take you on a virtual tour around the state

Whether you go to your local cineplex, check out revival programming, or discover new and vintage titles via streaming services, these chilly, cloudy months are a good time to travel around Oregon without braving the weather. Here’s a round-up of films — some classic, others more recent — that can take you on a virtual tour around the state.

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“Wild” (2014): The ultimate explore-while-staying-indoors movie, the adaptation of Portland-based writer Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail stars Reese Witherspoon. In addition to bringing Strayed’s affecting book to the screen, the film takes us to locations that include Ashland, Bend, Cascade Locks and Portland. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and DirecTV)

“The Goonies” (1985): It may have been released decades ago, but, as we know, “Goonies never say die!” Fans of the movie about friends who try and save a family home have been making tracks to ogle locations in Astoria, including the Astoria home featured in the film. Astoria officials have tried to discourage tourists from visiting the house, which is a private residence. The recent sale of the house made national news, as The Oregonian/OregonLive reported, when an entrepreneur who’s a fan of “The Goonies” paid a reported $1,650,777 for the property. Oh, and before we forget — when you watch the film, check out the Astoria locations. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and iTunes.)

“Twilight” (2008): A lot has happened since Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison were two relative unknowns playing Bella and Edward, a human and a vampire who fell in love in the first of what became a blockbuster franchise. The “Twilight” sequels grew increasingly dumb, but the original is still romantic in a YA way, and Stewart and Pattinson both seem downright puppy-ish in their youthful enthusiasm. The overcast, vampire-friendly locations include Carver, Oxbow Park, St. Helens and Portland. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV)

“Pig” (2021): Lots of people poked fun at the idea of Nicolas Cage, an actor known for his often-eccentric choice of projects, playing a man who goes in search of his missing truffle-hunting pig. But, in a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan, when “Pig” was shown to critics, plenty of them came away impressed. The movie, which was filmed in Estacada and the Portland area, has its ups and downs (an underground fight club in which Portland chefs duke it out is a fairly ridiculous idea, for example), but darned if Cage isn’t understated and effective. And the Oregon locales add to the mournful tone. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Apple TV)

Read more: Bandon-filmed ‘The Rental’: Director Dave Franco calls the thriller’s Oregon location beautiful and ‘ominous’

“The Rental” (2020): Released when the pandemic was keeping many of us at home, this thriller about two couples who head off on what’s intended to be a fun vacation at the Oregon coast offered some much-needed glimpses of nature, along with a too-familiar sense of inside-the-house claustrophobia. Director Dave Franco draws good performances from a talented cast consisting of Alison Brie, Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White, whose career has revved up thanks to his starring role in the terrific series, “The Bear.” All that, plus location filming in Bandon, one of the most beautiful spots along the Oregon coast. How can you go wrong? (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Netflix)

“Significant Other” (2022): Is this suspense/horror tale, about a couple whose Northwest hiking trip goes very wrong, a good movie? No. It is definitely not. But if you’re in the mood for a goofy laugh, with some Oregon scenery thrown in, Maika Monroe and Jake Lacy (“The White Lotus”) are here as the couple, serving up one of the wackier plots we’ve seen in a while. You can roll your eyes at the silliness of it all while taking in picturesque images of damp woods and coastal cliffs, filmed in such spots as Silver Falls State Park, Silverton, Nehalem, Cloverdale, Estacada, Sublimity, Eagle Creek, Sandy and Cornelius. (Stream on Paramount+)

“The Postman” (1997): Kevin Costner is currently riding high as the star of the huge TV hit, “Yellowstone.” But when this post-apocalyptic drama was released, it was a big-budget bomb for the leading man. So, watch it now to marvel at Costner’s comeback, and to soak in the Central Oregon scenery, even if the plot may make you want to check your cell phone. A lot. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video and iTunes)

“Maverick” (1994): If Kevin Costner’s fame has been rekindled, Mel Gibson’s reputation has fallen, thanks to Gibson’s offensive comments about women, Jews and Black people, and allegations of domestic abuse. Gibson has apologized for his remarks, but he’s far from the star he was when “Maverick,” a big-screen adventure inspired by the classic TV series, filmed. Like “The Shining,” “Maverick” only did some filming in the Northwest, but at least there are views of the gorgeous Columbia Gorge to distract couch-bound viewers. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV)

“Animal House” (1978): Speaking of things that haven’t always aged well, “Animal House” often looks to contemporary eyes like it’s making sexist, racially insensitive jokes. However, like “The Goonies,” “Animal House” remains for many fans a cherished classic, with John Belushi and his castmates committing mayhem as members of an early ‘60s fictional fraternity, dealing with food fights, toga parties and threats of “double secret probation.” The Library of Congress apparently liked “Animal House” enough to add it to the National Film Registry. And it’s bound to bring back nostalgic memories of when the film shot in Eugene, Cottage Grove, and other Lane County locations. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and iTunes)

“Wendy & Lucy (2008): If you’re now in need of more quiet, thoughtful choices, director Kelly Reichardt’s “Wendy and Lucy” is perhaps the best of several movies Reichardt has made in Oregon. Michelle Williams, who’s currently being touted as an Oscar nominee for her role in Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” stars as Wendy, a young woman traveling with her dog, Lucy, to what she hopes will be a job in Alaska. Wendy doesn’t have much money, so when her car breaks down, and she can’t afford to get it fixed, things start spiraling downward for her. Based on a story by Reichardt’s frequent collaborator, Portland-based writer Jon Raymond, “Wendy and Lucy” can be achingly sad. But it’s also moving, and the moody locations, which include Astoria, Portland, Salem and Woodburn, add to the film’s melancholy power. Later this year, watch for “Showing Up,” another Portland-filmed collaboration between Reichardt and Williams, which is a lot lighter in tone. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Peacock)

“Stand By Me” (1986): A Stephen King novel seems like the least likely inspiration for a sniffle-inducing, sensitively made story about a group of boys who search for a dead body, and, along the way, reveal and discover some truths about themselves. Rob Reiner directed this much-loved film, and the excellent cast includes Wil Wheaton, the late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell. “Stand By Me” will also summon up affection for the Willamette Valley, with locations including Brownsville, Cottage Grove, Eugene and Veneta. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Paramount+)

“Without Limits” (1998): Before he went on to such roles as the manipulative TV executive in “The Morning Show,” Billy Crudup starred as the late track star Steve Prefontaine in a biopic. Donald Sutherland costarred as Bill Bowerman, Prefontaine’s University of Oregon track coach and the co-founder of Nike. “Without Limits” was partially filmed in the Eugene area, and is likely to inspire nostalgia among U of O alums. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV)

“Into the Wild” (2007): Actor Sean Penn showed he has a talent for directing with this fact-based drama based on the life of Christopher McCandless, a young man who wanted to see the world, only to meet a tragic end. The Oregon locations include Astoria, and areas in the Cascades. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video and iTunes)

“The Shining” (1980): We know, Stanley Kubrick’s scary adaptation of the Stephen King novel only did a bit of filming in Oregon. But we’ll bask in the reflected glory, anyway, since the snowy exteriors of the supposed Overlook Hotel were shot at Timberline Lodge. Not even Jack Nicholson’s jaw-dropping performance as a caretaker who loses his marbles can totally upstage Mount Hood. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Instant Video and iTunes)

“The Ring” (2002): This is another example of a movie that was only partially filmed in Oregon, but we’re including it just because. Surrender to the suspense of watching Naomi Watts as a Seattle reporter trying to figure out why a videotape is connected to terrible things that keep happening. Oregon locations include the Columbia Gorge and Newport. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Paramount+)

“Night Moves” (2013): Another of director Kelly Reichardt’s Oregon-filmed movies, this drama doesn’t feature the more familiar locations of the coast, or the Portland area. Instead, the study of environmental activists who decide to blow up a dam was filmed in areas around Roseburg, Medford and Ashland. The cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Peacock)

“The River Wild” (1994): In addition to the unlikely casting of super-thespian Meryl Streep as a river-rafting action heroine threatened by a pair of bad guys (played by Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly), this thriller also boasts glimpses of the Grants Pass area, though the film only did some partial shooting in Oregon. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video)

“Sometimes a Great Notion” (1971): As “The Last Movie Stars,” the recent documentary about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, indicates, the filming of “Sometimes a Great Notion” was difficult for Newman. He starred as logger Hank Stamper in the adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel, and wound up taking over direction of the film when the original director was fired. The resulting movie is uneven, but it’s also something of a time capsule, with images filmed on location in the central Oregon coast, including Kernville, Lincoln City, Newport and Toledo, where an Oregon Film Trail sign commemorating the making of “Sometimes a Great Notion” has been placed. (Streaming options include Amazon Prime Video)

“Paint Your Wagon” (1969): Going way back in the Wayback Machine, we find this misguided musical adaptation of a Broadway show, which producers no doubt hoped would mint money, just as “The Sound of Music,” also inspired by a stage musical, did. Not only did that not happen, but the filming of this tale about gold miners in the Old West was reportedly a chaotic mess behind the scenes. Those notable singing stars Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg (sarcasm intended) were the leads, and the would-be epic was a bomb. But at least “Paint Your Wagon” filmed on location in scenic Eastern Oregon, in and around Baker City, so it has that going for it. (Streaming platforms include Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV)

— Kristi Turnquist

503-221-8227; kturnquist@oregonian.com; @Kristiturnquist

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