AND ACTION: ADD THESE EIGHT “MADE IN TENNESSEE” MOVIES TO YOUR SUMMER WATCHLIST, THEN VISIT THE PLACES THEY WERE FILMED
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Photo Credit: Tennessee Tourism
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 29, 2022) – With its deep-rooted music scene, beautiful outdoor assets and charming small towns, Tennessee has drawn filmmakers to the state to create movies for years. To beat the summer heat, add these iconic made in Tennessee to your watchlist, and then visit the places they were filmed.
1. WATCH: “Born in Bristol”
In celebration of the 95th anniversary of the “Big Band” of country music, Tennessee Tourism is partnering with Tenn.-based networks circle and DittyTV to tell the story of county music’s most historical event in a one-hour docudrama, “Born in Bristol.” The special is set to premiere Saturday, July 30 at 10/9c on Circle Network, with repeats throughout August. It will also debut on connected devices worldwide on Ditty TV on Saturday, July 30 at 8/7c, with repeats in August. The docudrama features cinematic reenactments and new interviews with artists including Ashley Campbell, Ashley Monroe, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Eric Church, Marty Stuart, Shannon Campbell, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle and Vince Gill, as well as Grammy-winning producer Carl Jackson.
Music and history buffs can commemorate the 95th anniversary by visiting the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol. The museum explores how evolving technology shaped the success of the Bristol Sessions and how this rich musical heritage still thrives in the Appalachian region today. The sessions are also celebrated annually during the second week in September at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival.
2. WATCH: “ELVIS”
While not filmed in Memphis, the filmmaker Baz Luhrmann captures the musical history and charm of the Home of the Blues, Soul & Rock ‘N’ Roll in his latest box office hit, “ELVIS,” starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks. “ELVIS” is filled with many iconic stops found only in Memphis, including the Presleys’ apartment in Uptown Square, historic Beale Street Entertainment District, Sun Studios, The Arcade, one of Elvis’ favorite restaurants and the singer’s famous mansion, Graceland.
3. WATCH: “Wild River”
VISIT: Charleston, Cleveland and the Hiwassee River
“Wild River” was the first major motion picture filmed entirely in Tennessee. Film lovers can take a movie tour with a local researcher through the small town of Charleston, the banks of the river and other nearby places that were used in the film. Hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, picnicking and scenic drives are all available alongside the Hiwassee River. Cleveland, located only 32 miles from Chattanooga, is filled with boutique shopping, outdoor adventure, rich Native American history and the Museum Center at 5ive Points.
4. WATCH: “The Green Mile”
VISIT: Shelbyville, College Grove, Round Hill Cemetry, Caney Fork River, Tennessee State Prison
Shelbyville is located 50 miles southeast of Nashville in the hills of Tennessee. Rich in cultural history and natural beauty, the town is known worldwide for its annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. College Grove is a rural paradise filled with charming public farms, including Hatcher Family Dairy and Delvin Farm, which supplies fresh vegetables to restaurants and grocery stores across middle Tennessee. The rural community is also home to College Grove United Methodist Church; the church featured in the film. A major tributary to the Cumberland River, the Caney Fork River is known for its beauty and peacefulness. Rent a canoe or kayak, glide down the relaxing water, or go fishing for trout. While not open to the public, drive by the beautiful Tennessee State Prison, located right outside the city of Nashville.
The Tennessee State Prison has been a backdrop for many other films, including "Last Dance" and "Walk the Line."
5. WATCH: “The Last Movie Star”
Knoxville is filled with big-city fun and a small-town mentality. Action-packed outdoor experiences, history heritage and rich music and arts. Bask in its sweet southern charm and visit the places featured throughout the film "The Last Movie Star", which includes the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium, the lively Market Square, Gay Street and the historic Tennessee Theatre.
6. WATCH: “U.S. Marshals”
VISIT: Reelfoot Lake State Park
Relive the action of the 1998 film U.S. Marshall when you visit Northwest Tennessee's Reelfoot Lake, which is featured in the film's swamp scenes. Visit the lake and its natural beauty by visiting Reelfoot Lake State Park, where visitors can fish, boat and view wildlife. A series of violent earthquakes created the 15,000-acre lake, and the ecosystem is unlike any other as the lake is a flooded forest.
7. WATCH: “The Jungle Book” – 1994
VISIT: Fall Creek Falls State Parks, Ozone Falls State Natural Area
Channel your inner child and explore the great canopy of Tennessee where the 1994 adaption of "The Jungle Book" was filmed. First, adventure out to one of the largest state parks in Tennessee, Fall Creek Falls State Park, home to several waterfalls, hiking trails, rock climbing and a canopy challenge course with more than 70 aerial obstacles like ladders, wobbly bridges and rope swings. Then head to Ozone Falls, where the 43-acre natural area around the falls is home to dense forests and bluffs that overlook breathing scenery. The 110-foo falls also have a rock house behind the falls for more exploration.
8. WATCH: “Water for Elephants”
Fans of “Water for Elephants” can take a journey through transportation history at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, where you can see exhibits and hear stories about train travel in Tennessee. Hop aboard the Missionary Ridge Local for a six-mile, 55-minute train ride and, along the way, hear local history and railroad operations from a tour guide.
ABOUT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.
Mary Katelyn Price