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Published March 24, 2014

The Silver Screen of the North Carolina Mountains

Everyone knows that Wilmington is a hot bed for film production in North Carolina. Charlotte is a current hotspot, boasting popular the television shows Homeland and Sleepy Hollow.

A lot of people don’t know that the NC mountains have hosted blockbuster productions and television series, as well. Check out some of the most stunning and memorable productions based in North Carolina.

Let’s start with The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford. The most memorable scene in the film features Ford “jumping” from the Cheoah Dam in Tapoco. You might recall a chase scene through tunnels leads up to this leap.

However, Cheoah doesn’t have any tunnels. That part of the sequence was filmed in Chicago. As a result, when you see Kimble falling, it’s pretty obvious there’s no tunnel mouth for him to be falling out of.

RELATED: Racism In Raleigh: Remnants of Segregation At Umstead Park.

The hospital scene after the train derailment (Dillsboro, NC), was shot at C. J. Harris Hospital (Now Harrison Regional Hospital), in Sylva. My sister and mom have particular tales of seeing Ford in the ambulance scene on Highway 74, in Bryson City.

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The first movie shot in Asheville was The Conquest of Canaan. Shot in what is now Pack Square in downtown Asheville, the 1920s film tells the story of a lawyer who makes good in a small town.

Popular in the late 1960s, Disney’s Daniel Boone series, starring Fess Parker, had scenes shot in Whittier, NC. Along Sam Dills Road, a tiny cabin still sits, the scene of exterior and interior shots for the series. Locals (thanks Mom!) recall the story of a neighbor who wired the cabin just so it could be used in the production.

The Last of the Mohicans was predominantly shot in Linville, Lake Lure, and Chimney Rock Park.

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The Winter People starring Kelly Mcgillis and Kurt Russell was filmed in Plumtree, in Avery County.

The Hunger Games featured many locations in western NC, including Henry River Mill Village, Black Mountain, Concord, Asheville, Cedar Mountain, and Pisgah National Forest.

While many were wowed by the Triangle sites that pop up in Bull Durham, few recall that Asheville’s McCormick Field hosted scenes from the film. Before renovations, the park was the second-oldest major league facility in the United States.

RELATED: The Magic of Words: North Carolina’s First Witch Trial.

A favorite from my childhood, The Private Eyesstarring Don Knotts and Tim Conway was filmed at Biltmore Estate. Other films with scenes there include Richie Rich, Patch Adams, and Hannibal.

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Let us never put Baby in a … yes, Dirty Dancing was filmed at Lake Lure.

Anyone who’s ever hiked up Grandfather Mountain can attest that the scene in which Forest Gump runs up the main road is a lot harder than it looks.

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  • Kelley Harrell


  • Kelley Harrell is a bestselling author in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. A lifelong intuitive, she has worked with a local and international client base soul tending since 2000. Find her blog, Intentional Insights, at Soul Intent Arts. All my articles.

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