Here’s 12 Movies You May Not Know Were Filmed in Oregon

by | Jan 28, 2016 | History, Interesting, Movies/TV Shows, News, Oregon Coast, Portland | 12 comments

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With so many beautiful places in Oregon, magical forests and perfect small towns, filmmakers couldn't pick a better place to shoot a movie. Today, we've put together a list of some movies that you may not know were filmed in Oregon. If you are as fascinated by seeing Oregon locations in big movies like these as I am, maybe it's a perfect time to plan a road trip to see some of these places!

Movies Filmed In Oregon

1. Into The Wild


Filmed in 2007, Into the Wild is a biographical drama written and directed by Sean Penn, about Christopher McCandless journey's across North America. Of the 54 filming locations in the United States several are in Oregon, including:  Astoria, Beaverton, Portland, Mount Hood, Reed College, Sisters, George Fox University in Newberg.

2. Animal House

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Filmed in 1978 primarily in locations around Eugene Oregon, Animal House is considered by some a classic film about a college fraternity. Filming locations included: 715 East 11th Street Eugene (now demolished), Autzen Stadium at U of O, 729 East 11th street Eugene, Cottage Grove, Hayward Field=15th Ave and Agate Street U of O,

3. The Goonies


Goonies is that classic movie we've all seen as children at some point. Tourists even make it a point to travel to Astoria to see the movie's various locations. The Goonies is about lost treasure and modern day pirates, and was filmed in numerous locations around Cannon Beach, Astoria, and highway 30.

RELATED: The Goonies Road Trip: Visit These 11 Filming Locations

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4. One Flew Over The Cookoos Nest


One Flew Over The Cookoos Nest is a 1975 movie about a criminal who has made a plea of insanity and then decided to stir up trouble once admitted to the mental hospital, was filmed in the Oregon State Mental Hospital in Salem and also Depoe Bay. Jack Nicholson

5. Kindergarten Cop


Another one of those movies from my childhood that I absolutely adored. It had a good story from start to finish. Who wouldn't want the governator to be your Kindergarten teacher? Come on, you know it would have been awesome. Kindergarten Cop was filmed at John Jacob Astor Elementary School in Astoria and Ecola State Park on Highway 101 at Canon Beach.

6. Stand By Me


Stand by Me is a classic coming-of-age film released in 1986, based on the novella "The Body" by Stephen King. The movie was directed by Rob Reiner and starred Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell as four friends on a journey to find a missing boy's body. The film is widely considered one of the best of its genre and is remembered for its coming-of-age themes, touching moments, and its memorable soundtrack.

Something you might find interesting should you so choose to watch the movie again: watch the iconic scene where the boys are running from the train, and they're crying and seem absolutely terrified.

The train was only moving at a snail's pace, and the kids couldn't fake being scared when the train was barely crawling. So the director yelled, cursed at, and threatened the child actors until they were properly scared and told the camera's to start rolling. The director apologized later.

Where Was Stand By Me Filmed?

Stand by me was filmed in many locations in Oregon including: Cottage Grove, Gooseline Railroad, Brownsville, Eugene, Franklin, and Veneta. Brownsville, Oregon, where the film was primarily filmed in and around, served as Castle Rock Oregon in the movie. The production team chose the location for its natural beauty and rural feel, which fit perfectly with the film's themes and setting. The film's opening scene was filmed in the nearby town of Scappoose, and the majority of the film's exterior shots were filmed in and around the town of Brownsville.

One of the most iconic locations used in the film is the bridge over the Nehalem River, which is where the boys cross on their journey to find the body. This bridge is a popular tourist destination for fans of the film and is located just outside of Brownsville. Another key location in the film is the tree house, where the boys take a break from their journey, and the railroad tracks, which play a crucial role in the story.

In addition to the natural beauty of the area, the film's producers were drawn to the small-town feel of Brownsville and the surrounding areas, which perfectly captured the film's coming-of-age themes. The tight-knit community, the rural setting, and the quaint architecture of the town all contributed to the film's warm and nostalgic feel.

Despite the film's popularity, many of the filming locations in Brownsville have changed over the years, and some of them have been destroyed or fallen into disrepair. However, the town of Brownsville and its residents have embraced the film and its legacy, and they have worked hard to preserve the memory of the movie and its impact on the town.

Today, the film remains a beloved classic, and its impact on the town of Brownsville and its residents is still felt decades after its release.

7. Short Circuit


I watched this movie countless times as a child, and I never had any idea until recently that Short Circuit was filmed in various locations around Oregon, including: Astoria, Cascade Locks, Crown Point, and Portland.

8. The Shining


Another classic movie filmed in Oregon, starring Jack Nicholson, was The Shining. This freaky movie from 1980 was filmed not only across the United States, but also in other countries including England. One of the locations it was shot at however was our very own Mount Hood at Timberline Lodge. The Shining is easily one of my favorite horror films ever made by Stephen King.

9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3


Both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and 3 were shot in Astoria Oregon in 1993.

10. Wild

One of the most recent films shot in Oregon is Wild (2014) with Reese Witherspoon, featuring a host of back country Oregon locations. You can check out the trailer for Wild here:

People have been filming movies in Oregon since 1908, and as you can see there have been some truly amazing movies shot here. One thing is for certain, there will be more to come because Oregon is an amazing place with raw natural beauty that deserves to be seen.

11. Swordfish


Swordfish is a 2001 American action crime thriller film directed by Dominic Sena and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle and Vinnie Jones. The film will leave you on the edge of your seat, and centers on Stanley Jobson, an ex-con and computer hacker who is targeted for recruitment into a bank robbery conspiracy because of his formidable hacking skills. Parts of this movie were filmed at both Smith Rock and Terrebonne in Oregon.

12. Twilight


Stephenie Meyer’s series of hugely popular vampire novels is set in Forks,Washington State, in the heart of the Pacific Northwest’s Olympic Peninsula. Although Forks is a real town, and the book mentions recognisable locations, the film was made for practical reasons, largely around Portland in Oregon, with just a little Washington and even California.


At one scene in Twilight, Bella catches up with the locals at Carver Cafe in Damascus, Oregon.


One of the coolest parts about the movie is definitely Hoke Residence, which is a gorgeous contemporary 4,800 square foot private residence you will find in Twilight. The home resides at the border of Portland's Forest Park and has been designed by Skylab Architects and built by Metcalf Construction, with Lucy Metcalf as the interior designer and landscaper.
From the architects, “The residence provides a venue for interplay between the vibrant outdoor environment and dramatic interior spaces that simultaneously shelter occupants, and frame the expanse of the surroundings. The sloping site presented technical challenges, and demanded an innovative approach to marry a desire for a relatively small building footprint and generous and flowing spaces.”

A few other movies you might recognize but not realize were filmed in Oregon are:

  • Rooster Cogburn (1975) filmed in Bend and Grants Pass.
  • The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) filmed in Bend
  • Free Willy (1993) filmed in Portland and Astoria and also Free Willy 2 filmed in Astoria
  • Mr. Holland's Opus (1994) filmed in Portland
  • Double Jeopardy (1998) filmed in Salem
  • Halloweentown (1998) filmed in St Helens and Portland
  • Pay It Forward (2000) filmed in Portland
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2000) filmed in Gresham
  • The Ring (2002) filmed in Newport and the Columbia River Gorge and also The Ring 2 (2004) filmed in Astoria
  • Farenheit 9/11 (2004) filmed in Florence

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Written By Tyler James

Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.

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