Film: Movies that make Oregon famous

(Creative Commons photo by Flickr user paulcole)

(Creative Commons photo by Flickr user paulcole)

Posted by Sam Bouchat on Thursday, Mar. 14 at 12:32 pm.

What do “The Goonies,” “Stand By Me” and “Animal House” have in common? Besides being awesome movies, they were also all shot in our favorite rainy state, Oregon. But you probably knew that — Eugene-based “Animal House” fills every fraternity at the UO with a special kind of pride, it’s hard to visit Astoria without someone making a “Goonies” reference, and “Stand By Me” featured scenes shot in towns from Brownsville to Cottage Grove to Eugene.

But the Oregon landscape provides a cinematic experience for more than just these three productions. Here are some films shot in the Beaver State you may not have known about:

— “Five Easy Pieces” (1970), starring Jack Nicholson, had scenes shot in Portland, Florence and Eugene. The diner scene was shot at Denny’s on 3652 Glenwood Dr. That Denny’s is still there.

— The 2008 horror film “Prom Night” has an opening scene showing the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.

— “Twilight,” in its need for sunless, gray skies, spent more time in Oregon than the actual setting of the books and films (Forks, Wash.) The set hopped around from Gresham and Portland to Oregon City, Cannon Beach and St. Helens.

— “The Road,” a post-apocalyptic survival story based on a novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy, was filmed in various locations of apparent desolation, including Fort Stevens State Park and the Columbia River Gorge.

— In Stanley Kubrick’s take on author Stephen King’s horror story, “The Shining,” the outside shots of the haunted Overlook Hotel is actually the Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood. Rather than bucketfuls of blood, the location is better known for snowboarding and skiing.

From horror and vampire romance to destruction and disaster, the Oregon landscape lends itself well to various genres as an ever-changeable location, perfect for the settings of good and bad movies alike. Film-loving Oregonians should keep an eye out for familiar backdrops when watching their favorite movies.



  • Sean

    You forgot Kindergarten Cop in Astoria.

    • Sam Bouchat

      You’re the second person to tell me that! Indeed, I did. Thanks for the heads up!

  • DuckLife

    Also Free Willy! The Ring 2!

    • Sam Bouchat

      Really! Wow! I’ll have to check those out! Thanks for reading.