Jessica, Preston | February 1, 2020
When I took a trip to New Orleans last year, I was careful to do my research beforehand: I read guide books, listened to informative podcasts, and scoured the internet for tips. But the most useful method of familiarizing myself with the city’s landmarks and history was by watching feature films set in New Orleans.
Whether you're planning a trip or you just want to feel like you've been there, a movie marathon is a great way to see New Orleans. Read on for our recommendations:
Interview with the Vampire was also filmed in Paris, London, and San Francisco, but the best parts of the movie were set in New Orleans. Brad Pitt’s mopey vampire Louis starts out as the slave owner at Oak Alley Plantation, just outside of the city. After Brad Pitt burns down his plantation house, he and Tom Cruise hide out in Lafayette Cemetery #1 before moving into the French Quarter.
It may be animated, but The Princess and the Frog features more New Orleans locations than any other movie on this list. The French Quarter, Treme, and the Garden District have never looked better. Keep an eye out for landmarks such as Café du Monde, St. Louis Cathedral, the Steamboat Natchez, Lafayette Cemetery #1, and the St. Charles Streetcar.
Flossy Posse are busy repairing their friendship in Girls Trip, but that doesn’t stop them from seeing a lot of New Orleans. They start out their trip at the Hotel Monteleone, with its famous Carousel Bar. Other stops include Tropical Isle (where they pick up their green grenade cocktails), the House of Blues, Essence Fest, and Frenchmen Street.
The best season of American Horror Story was not only filmed in New Orleans, but also incorporates the city’s history and mythology into the plot with characters like Madame LaLaurie (played by Cathy Bates) and Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (played by Angela Bassett). The Buckner Mansion in the Garden District famously became Miss Robichaux’s Academy. Gallier House and the Hermann-Grima House in the French Quarter stood in for the Lalaurie Mansion, since the owner of the notoriously haunted house refuses to allow the public inside.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button follows the unusual life of its title character, it also illustrates the evolution of New Orleans from the end of the Great War to the onset of Hurricane Katrina. In fact, this was one of the first movies to film on location there following the devastating 2005 hurricane. Rumour has it director David Fincher paid a handsome price to turn the Nolan House in the Garden District into the retirement home where Benjamin Button grows up. Other locations include the Lanaux Mansion in the Marigny, City Park, and the Orleans Criminal District Court.
Have you ever taken a silver screen holiday? Which movie locations have you spotted on your vacations? Tell us in the comments below!