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Georgia Films Celebrating Big Anniversaries

  • Stan Shaw & Mary Stuart Masterson in Fried Green Tomatoes

    Stan Shaw as Big George with Mary Stuart Masterson (Idgie Threadgoode) in Fried Green Tomatoes

Georgia may seem to have become Hollywood's second home overnight, but the film industry actually dates back decades. Five of the state's most iconic films are celebrating big anniversaries this year. There has never been a better time to give them a watch! Click on the itineraries below to learn more about the filming locations connected to the movies.

Sweet Home Alabama: 15 Years

Reese Witherspoon made a name for herself in "Sweet Home Alabama," a romantic comedy about a fashion designer who leaves her New York life and fiance to get a divorce from her high school sweetheart. Despite the name, the movie was filmed extensively in Georgia, including the small town of Crawfordville. The Carmichael Mansion was actually Oak Hill, former home of Martha Berry, in Rome.

Follow this itinerary to visit film locations for Sweet Home Alabama

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: 20 Years

Before the film was produced by Clint Eastwood, “The Book” by John Berendt left its mark on Savannah. It tells the true story of Jim Williams, who was arrested for the murder of Danny Hansford in his home. Some of the names were altered for the film, which stars Jude Law, Kevin Spacey and John Cusack. The “Bird Girl” statue and the Mercer-Williams House have become synonymous with the book and film, and are must-sees for any visitor to Savannah.

Follow this itinerary to visit film locations for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Fried Green Tomatoes: 25 Years

This story of strong Southern women spans decades. A housewife underestimated by her husband meets an old woman who tells her about her past. In another storyline, Idgie protects best friend Ruth against her abusive husband. Stop by Juliette to try the famous fried green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Follow this itinerary to visit film locations for Fried Green Tomatoes

My Cousin Vinny: 25 Years

Two "yutes" from New York find themselves on trial for murder after a stop in a small Southern town. They must bring in their inept cousin Vinny to defend them. Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio and Marisa Tomei star in the movie, which filmed mostly in the town of Monticello. Here, you can still visit the Sac O Suds. Just don't take any tuna! 

Follow this itinerary to visit film locations for My Cousin Vinny

Smokey and the Bandit: 40 Years

Burt Reynolds ("Bandit") and Jerry Reed ("Cledus") get "Eastbound and Down" in this 1977 classic that also starred Sally Field. Bandit and Cledus are truck drivers who are dared to race to pick up a truck of beer in Texas and are chased along the way by "Sheriff Buford T. Justice," played by Jackie Gleason. Filming locations include Unicoi State Park and Lodge, downtown Jonesboro, and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Caroline Eubanks

Caroline Eubanks is a freelance writer, travel blogger and film geek from Atlanta. She writes about travel in the South and beyond for BBC Travel, Afar, AAA, and her websites, This Is My South and Caroline in the City.

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