With its cinematic landscapes ranging from snow-covered mountains to rugged coastline and picturesque small towns, it’s no wonder that so many movies are filmed in Oregon. This big screen-worthy scenery has featured in hundreds of movies and tv shows dating all the way back to the early 1900s. Want to see it for yourself? Pop that corn, and make yourself comfy, here are some of the most famous movies filmed in Oregon.
1. The Goonies (1985)
Best movie locations: Clatsop County Jail, Oregon Coast, Astoria
Produced by Steven Spielberg, this adventure-comedy is so popular that June 7th is “Goonies Day” in Astoria, the town where many scenes were filmed.
You will find the Oregon Film Museum in the historic Clatsop County Jail, which is also the site of the famous jailbreak in The Goonies. Once you’ve paid it a visit, head over to the coast and Ecola State Park to reenact some of the famous beach scenes and practice your truffle shuffle.
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Best movie locations: Oregon State Mental Hospital, Salem, Depoe Bay
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest stars Jack Nicholson and filming took place in the town of Salem, in the Oregon State Hospital mental-health facility. Jack plays McMurphy and he arrives here from prison after he pleads insanity to escape work duties. The hospital is now a museum with an exhibit dedicated to the film, which was adapted from the book of the same name written by Oregon native Ken Kesey.
3. Stand By Me (1986)
Best movie locations: Brownsville, Cottage Grove
Another classic movie filmed in the state of Oregon is Stand By Me which is actually based on Stephen King’s The Body. The coming-of-age movie follows four friends as they embark on a seminal journey to uncover a body. Fans of the movie should head to Brownsville and if you visit in July the town hosts a “Stand by Me” day.
Following a stroll around this historic town, head out to Row River Trail which follows the route of the now-abandoned Oregon Pacific & Eastern Railroad line. This is located outside Cottage Grove and is where you’ll find the red trestle bridge that Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern crossed in the movie.
4. Free Willy (1993)
Best movie locations: Burnside Skatepark, Oaks Amusement Park, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Hammond Marina on Oregon’s North Coast
Another family-favourite and a classic movie. Tissues at the ready as big-hearted Jesse befriends an orca whale called Willy. Jesse discovers that the amusement park owner is going to kill Willy for the insurance money. So, Jesse hatches a plan to set his friend free.
Filming of the memorable end scene, when Willy leaps over the seawall, took place at Hammond Marina on Oregon’s North Coast. However, throughout the film are shots from all over Oregon which give a great glimpse of the cities of Portland and Astoria.
5. Into the Wild (2007)
Best movie locations: Portland, Beaverton
Sean Penn adapted the book Into the Wild, by Oregonian Jon Krakauer, for the big screen. The movie follows the adventures of Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch). McCandless gives away his possessions and money and sets off in search of greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature. The film is based on a true story. Parts were filmed in Reed College in southeast Portland and in McCormick’s Fish House in Beaverton just west of Portland. Filming also took place in parts of Astoria, Mount Hood, the city of Sisters and George Fox University in Newberg.
6. Wild (2013)
Best movie locations: Portland, Ashland, Bend, Cascade Locks
Oregon’s raw natural beauty really shines through in the movie Wild. The movie is based on the memoir of Cheryl Strayed, played by Reese Witherspoon. It tells the story of her 1,770km (1,100-mile), solo hike across the Pacific Crest Trail. It is fitting that nearly all of the movie was filmed in Oregon, as this is Cheryl’s home state.
Locations include Mount Hood Ski Bowl and Crater Lake in Klamath County. The Papaya boutique in Ashland was the Moon Rising shop in the movie. Other filming locations include Portland, Smith Rock State Park and the beautiful Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks.
This is also one of the best movies to watch before travelling to somewhere new.
7. Twilight (2008)
Best movie locations: Portland, Oxbow Park, St. Helens, Carver
The setting for the books is in the town of Forks, Washington State, however, the Twilight movie locations are around Portland. Fancying visiting the cafe where Bella sips coffee with her father? Head to the Carver Cafe in Damascus. The Stone Cliff Inn in Carver, overlooking the Clackamas River, was the location for several scenes in the movie. Here you’ll find the tree that Edward climbs and the boulders that he jumps off. Plaques denote the areas so you can locate them easily. You’ll bump into lots of other Twilight fans here too.
Did we leave out one of your favourite Oregon movie places? Let us know which one in the comments below!