News Column

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Sonya Sorich column

May 22, 2013


May 22--UPDATE: Thanks for your suggestions, everybody. I've added some items to this list.

It's OK if you're a little starstruck.

News that the Chattahoochee Valley is getting a taste of Hollywood is among our most-read stories online today. "The Homesman," a Tommy Lee Jones movie, is filming in Westville this week. In addition, a publicist confirmed Tuesday that the major motion picture "Need for Speed" will film in Columbus next month. Learn more here.

This isn't our area's first close-up. Many movies have filmed in the Columbus, LaGrange and Pine Mountain areas. Here's a list of highlights, based on information from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Check out the roundup, then weigh in: Which celebrity should consider filming a project in the Chattahoochee Valley? Also, let us know if we missed any major films.


"The Phenix City Story" (1955)

I overlooked this film in the original version of my story because I limited my search to Columbus. IMDb lists Phenix City as the sole filming location, but I believe the movie includes at least some footage of Columbus.

Filmed in: Phenix City

Genre: Feature film (crime/drama)

Stars: John McIntire, Richard Kiley, Kathryn Grant

IMDb summary: "A crime-busting lawyer and his initially reluctant attorney father take on the forces that run gambling and prostitution in their small Southern town."

"The Green Berets" (1968)

I also omitted this film from my initial list. The Georgia Department of Economic Development's list begins with the '70s, so that's why I overlooked it.

Filmed in: Columbus and Fort Benning, among other places, according to IMDb

Genre: Feature film (drama/war)

Stars: John Wayne, David Janssen, Jim Hutton

IMDb summary: "Col. Mike Kirby picks two teams of crack Green Berets for a mission in South Vietnam. First off is to build and control a camp that is trying to be taken by the enemy; the second mission is to kidnap a North Vietnamese General."

"Kiss of the Tarantula" (1976)

Filmed in: Columbus

Genre: Indie horror film

Stars: Suzanna Ling, Eric Mason, Herman Wallner

IMDb summary: "A disturbed teenage girl unleashes her pet tarantula against her 'enemies.'"

"Tank" (1984)

This is another film I omitted from my initial list. Thanks for the heads-up, readers.

Filmed in: Fort Benning and Zebulon, Ga., according to IMDb

Genre: Feature film (action/drama/comedy)

Stars: James Garner, Shirley Jones, C. Thomas Howell

Summary via Rotten Tomatoes: "James Garner plays an Army officer who puts his hobby to practical use in 'Tank.'"

"A Time to Triumph" (1985)

Filmed in: Columbus

Genre: TV movie (drama)

Stars: Patty Duke, Joseph Bologna, Julie Bovasso

IMDb summary: "Construction worker, Chuck Hassan, has a heart attack and is no longer able to work and support his family. After losing their home and savings, his wife, Concetta, looks for work and decides to join the Army, to take advantage of the security and benefits. She advances quickly and eventually becomes a helicopter pilot."

"A Killing Affair" (1986)

Filmed in: Atlanta, Columbus, Juliette, Ga.

Genre: Motion Picture Feature (indie/crime/drama)

Stars: Peter Weller, Kathy Baker, John Glover

IMDb summary: "The story of a widow (in West Virginia) who takes in a drifter who she believes killed her husband. She begins to fall for him but cannot be sure if she should trust him."

"Your Mother Wears Combat Boots" (1989)

Filmed in: Columbus

Genre: TV movie (comedy)

Stars: Barbara Eden, Hector Elizondo, Meagen Fay

IMDb summary: "An overprotective single mother tries to stop her son joining the parachute unit by sending him to the college...He secretly leaves the college and joins the Army, but the mother finds out and makes a bet with him that if she passes the basic training, he will leave the unit."

"The Witchcatcher" (1994)

Filmed in: Atlanta, Columbus

Genre: TV movie

Stars/summary: Unfortunately, this movie doesn't appear on IMDb and has virtually no Internet presence. But the folks at the Georgia Department of Economic Development include it in their list, so I'll take their word for it. Does anyone remember this one?

"We Were Soldiers" (2002)

Filmed in: Columbus

Genre: Feature film (action/drama/history)

Stars: Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear

IMDb summary: "The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it."

"A Haunting in Georgia" (2002)

Filmed in: Columbus

Genre: TV movie/documentary

Stars: Mary Barclay, Anthony Call, Michael Patrick Larson

Summary via Rotten Tomatoes: "It marked one of the strangest and most beguiling series of events in memory, and one convincing enough to challenge even the most hardened skeptics. Marrieds Andy and Lisa Wyrick found their world turned upside-down when their four-year-old daughter, Heidi, claimed to be enjoying regular visits with 'Mr. Gordy,' a gray-haired older man who would regularly chat with her and push her on a swing."

"The Fighting Temptations" (2003)

Filmed in: Columbus, Griffin, Senoia, Social Circle

Genre: Feature film (comedy/drama)

Stars: Nigel Washington, Cuba Gooding Jr., Mike Epps, Beyonce

IMDb summary: "A New York advertising executive travels to a small Southern town to collect an inheritance but finds he must create a gospel choir and lead it to success before he can collect."

"A Circle on the Cross" (2008)

Filmed in: LaGrange

Genre: Independent film (comedy/drama)

Stars: Terrence Mann, Steven Earl-Edwards, Ryan McWhorter

IMDb summary: "An American soldier, listed as Missing in Action in Vietnam since 1972, returns home after twenty years, to find quite the dysfunctional family."

"Lawless" (2012)

Filmed in: LaGrange, in addition to other Georgia cities

Genre: Feature film (crime/drama)

Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain

IMDb summary: "Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by a new deputy and other authorities who want a cut of their profits."

"Jayne Mansfield's Car" (2012)

Filmed in: LaGrange, in addition to other Georgia cities

Genre: Feature film (drama)

Stars: John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson; directed by Billy Bob Thornton

IMDb summary: "The drama is about two families from different countries whose cultures clash. The drama takes place in the 1960s."

Note: We covered the filming in 2011. Read our article here.


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