What movies have been shot in Asheville area? Here's a list of 26 films since 1956

With picturesque views of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains, Western North Carolina has been used as the backdrop for dozens of films throughout the years. Several films have been shot on the historic Biltmore Estate while others have used other parts of Western North Carolina as sets.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but take a look at a some of the movies filmed in the area since 1956, as well as an upcoming Christmas film.

Movies filmed at Biltmore

“The Swan” (1956)

Grace Kelly’s last film was the Biltmore House’s first. In this film, Kelly looks for marriage with the historic house serving as the backdrop for her home.

“Being There” (1979)

Peter Sellers' last film follows his character Chauncey Gardener as he becomes well-known for his simple ideas. Shirley McLaine also stars in this move filmed on the Biltmore Estate.

“The Private Eyes” (1980)

A comedy mystery movie starring Tim Conway and Don Knotts sees the Biltmore House acting as a mansion in England.

“Mr. Destiny” (1990)

Inspired by “It’s a Wonderful Life,” this film stars James Bulushi, who has all of his life’s wishes granted after he was transported into an alternate reality. The movie was shot around Biltmore’s property.

“Richie Rich” (1994)

Starring Macaulay Culkin, interior and exterior shots for this movie were filmed at the house.

“Forrest Gump” (1994)

Scenes of Tom Hanks’ title character running were shot in and around Asheville, including on the Biltmore Estate.

“My Fellow Americans” (1996)

Jack Lemmon and James Garner lead this political comedy shot on the grounds of the estate while also filming in other location around Asheville, including downtown.

“Patch Adams” (1998)

Starring Robin Williams, this film was shot largely on Biltmore Estate. Scenes of the Appalachian Mountains shot from the Blue Ridge Parkway can also be seen in the film.

“Hannibal” (2001)

The sequel to “The Silence of the Lambs” has several scenes filmed throughout Biltmore Estate as the home of Mason Verger, played by Gary Oldman.

“A Biltmore Christmas” (2023)

The Hallmark Channel’s new production, “A Biltmore Christmas,” was filming January 23 at the Biltmore in Asheville.
The Hallmark Channel’s new production, “A Biltmore Christmas,” was filming January 23 at the Biltmore in Asheville.

This upcoming Hallmark Channel original was filmed this past January at the historic estate and surrounding Asheville area. Not only was the movie filmed at Biltmore Estate, it is also set there. Screenwriter Lucy Collins, played by Bethany Joy Lenz, is working on a remake of a fictional movie filmed at the estate when she knocks over an hourglass and is transported back in time to the original set in 1946. “A Biltmore Christmas" premieres this holiday season on the Hallmark Channel.

More: Celebrity sightings in Asheville, Hendersonville: Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates filming movie

Other movies filmed in WNC

“Thunder Road” (1958)

The Robert Mitchum-led film follows a family in the moonshine business as the work to evade law enforcement. Most of the film was shot in Asheville, with a few scenes at Lake Lure.

“Dirty Dancing” (1987)

Filmed primarily in and around Lake Lure, "Dirty Dancing" features an iconic scene where Patrick Swayze lifts Jennifer Grey. The move and film inspired and annual festival in the area. Once known as the Dirty Dancing Festival, the now Lake Lure Dance Festival highlights different types of dance. In honor of the iconic lift, the festival hosts a lake lift competition to close out the festivities.

“Bull Durham” (1988)

Though set in Durham, this film starring Kevin Costner was filmed at Asheville’s own McCormick Field in place of the real-life Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Scenes of downtown Asheville and the River Arts District are also scattered throughout the film.

Tim Robbins, left as Eppy Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, and Kevin Costner as Crash Davis in the 1988 movie "Bull Durham."
Tim Robbins, left as Eppy Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, and Kevin Costner as Crash Davis in the 1988 movie "Bull Durham."

“Winter People” (1989)

This romantic-drama stars Kurt Russell and Kelly McGillis as a couple falling in love in a North Carolina mountain town. Barnardsville, specifically the Big Ivy neighborhood, served as the backdrop for the film.

“The Last of the Mohicans” (1992)

Though this film takes place in upstate New York, it was filmed solely in Western North Carolina. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and based on a novel by James Fennimore Cooper, the film put Chimney Rock State Park on full display while also filming a few scenes at Biltmore.

“The Fugitive” (1993)

Early in the film, Harrison Ford’s character Richard Kimble is being transported to death row via bus when other prisoners attempt to escape, sending the bus into the path of an oncoming train. This train scene was filmed in Dillsboro on the Great Smoky Mountain Railway. Remains of the crash can still be seen today.

“Nell” (1994)

Jodie Foster starred in this film shot at Fontana Lake about a young woman forced to interact with society for the first time after being raised in isolation in a cabin.

“Heavyweights” (1995)

Primarily shot in Asheville and Henderson County, Ben Stiller plays an ex-fitness instructor luring children to a camp with the promise to help them lose weight.

“The Journey of August King” (1995)

Asheville native John Ehle wrote the book this film was based on, telling the story of an enslaved person played by Thandie Newton who has run away and is being helped by Jason Patric’s character.

“28 Days” (2000)

"28 Days" starring Sandra Bullock
"28 Days" starring Sandra Bullock

This Sandra Bullock film follows a New York journalist as she is forced into a rehabilitation facility by a judge for her substance abuse. The YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain served as the set for this facility.

“SongCatcher” (2000)

Aidan Quinn and Janet McTeer play rural Appalachian musicians in this film shot in the mountains surrounding Asheville.

“The Clearing” (2004)

Willem Dafoe stars in this film shot at the former Camp Sequoyah in the Asheville forest.

“The Hunger Games” (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth appear in a scene from “The Hunger Games,” much of which was filmed in WNC.
Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth appear in a scene from “The Hunger Games,” much of which was filmed in WNC.

Jennifer Lawrence leads this dystopian film that was shot in the Henry River mill village near Morganton as well as DuPont State Forest, specifically Triple Falls.

“The World Made Straight” (2015)

Adapted from Ron Rash’s novel, scenes from the movie were filmed in Black Mountain and Madison County. The Town Pump Tavern and Old Depot in Black Mountain can be seen in the film.

“Masterminds” (2016)

This heist movie starring North Carolina native Zach Galifianakis filmed many scenes in downtown Asheville, including the Harrah’s Cherokee Center. Other filming locations include Swannanoa, Waynesville and Old Fort.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017)

Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson star in this film centering around a mother looking for answers about her daughter’s death. Sylva was transformed into Ebbing, Missouri, for several days of filming. The three billboards mentioned in the title could temporarily be found only a few miles from downtown Black Mountain, where the Town Pump Tavern was turned into The Ebbing Bar.

A few others

  • "D.A.R.Y.L." (1985)

  • "The Winter People" (1989)

  • "The Hunt for Red October" (1990)

  • "Chapter Perfect" (1997)

  • "A Good Baby" (1999)

  • "The Green Mile" (1999)

  • "All the Real Girls" (2003)

  • "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" (2012)

  • "Alone Yet Not Alone" (2013)

  • "The World Made Straight" (2015)

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: What movies have been shot in Asheville, Western North Carolina?