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Capturing the Smoky Mountains on Film

Due to its position on the edge of the national park, Gatlinburg is known as the gateway to the Smoky Mountains. For decades, filmmakers have come to the area to capture the amazing scenery that the park provides. Here are a few results:

Blaze (1989) – A middle-aged Louisiana governor (Paul Newman) falls in love with Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich), a young stripper, which jeopardizes his political career and the radical policies which have made him a controversial figure. Scenes shot in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the only part of the movie not filmed in Louisiana.

Girl in Woods (2015) – After a tragic accident, a young woman is lost and alone in the Smoky Mountains. Her struggle for survival is made more complicated by her troubled past; battling the demons in her mind may be the only way to come out alive. This horror-thriller was filmed on location in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Dollmaker (1984) – Jane Fonda gives an Emmy-winning performance as Gertie Nevels, a pioneer woman and the mother of five from the Kentucky hills who is forced to uproot her children to follow her husband to Detroit when he finds work during World War II. One setback follows another and shattering tragedy strikes the family. It’s all up to Gertie to find new strength, courage and determination to keep her family together and strong. Filmed in Cades Cove.

A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970) – Libby Meredith and her husband Roger, a college professor, have a quiet, comfortable marriage. They journey to the Great Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee, where Roger will spend his sabbatical year writing a book. Their neighbor, an unhappily married mountain man falls in love with Libby at first sight. Although plagued by guilt, Libby cannot deny the sudden, overwhelming passion and exuberance she feels as a result of the mountain man’s confession of love. Starring Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Quinn and Fritz Weaver, the movie was filmed on location in Gatlinburg and at Cades Cove.

Christy (1994) – A TV movie and series based on the best-selling book by Catherine Marshall. An idealistic 19-year-old leaves the comforts of her city home to teach school in the impoverished Appalachian community of Cutter Gap, Tennessee in 1912. Strength, determination, and faith guide young Christy through unforeseen difficulties, help her to gain understanding of the proud mountain people, and win her mentorship, friendship, and the love of two men. Both projects used Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a backdrop.

Tap Roots (1948) – The story of a Mississippi plantation family that tries to remain neutral during the Civil War, and the woman who is torn between her fiancé, a Confederate soldier, and a newspaperman who supports her family’s cause. The film stars Van Heflin, Susan Hayward, Boris Karloff and Ward Bond and, despite its Mississippi setting, was filmed exclusively in Hollywood and in the Smoky Mountains.

Sheffey (1977) – A dramatization of the life and works of 19th-century Christian evangelist, preacher, and circuit rider Robert Sayers Sheffey, who ministered to the mountain folk of the central Appalachian region. Primarily filmed in the Carolinas, some scenes were shot at Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Point of Fear (2006) – When four friends decide to go camping in the small town of Pleasant Point, they find the town has much to offer… including a string of brutal murders. When one of the friends is kidnapped by a psychotic doctor, the other three must rescue her, team up with the local police to bring down the killer and escape with their own lives before they are pushed past the point of fear. This micro-budget horror flick was filmed in various locations around Tennessee, including Gatlinburg.

Regen (2015) – The true story of Regen Morris, a 12-year-old boy from Gatlinburg who captured the hearts of millions during his battle with cancer. The film was shot, in many cases, in the actual locations where the events originally took place.

Wishful Thinking (2010) – Samantha borrowed $100,000 from an occultist loan shark to finance her student horror flick. She had no intention of paying back the money, and now she’s on the run from the loan shark’s enforcers: a dark, shadowy fallen angel and a violent, bitterly disgruntled genie. Before it’s all over, she will have to rescue her friends, outwit a dangerous criminal, avoid corrupt Canadian policemen, shut down a vampire’s public access cannibalistic cooking show and have an encounter with the princess of darkness herself. Many of the scenes in this wacky action comedy were filmed in Gatlinburg, including shots atop the Space Needle.

So if you’re in the mood to chew up the scenery yourself, in Gatlinburg or any of our other 40+ picturesque destinations, drop us a line at