Mississippi has become a popular destination for feature films and television productions in recent years, and the momentum is growing thanks to our diverse range of locations and the creativity and dedication of accomplished writers, filmmakers, and production teams. Below are some major film projects that have come to our state and the unique places they have featured on-screen.
When the producers of True Blood needed a mansion befitting the Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, they found the perfect location in Natchez. Longwood, a majestic six-story, 30,000-square-foot home was built in 1860 but never finished due to the outbreak of the Civil War. While all of the sleek modern interiors shown on the series were filmed on a set, Longwood does makes a stunning backdrop for a daring escape scene seen in episode six of the show’s third season.
The 2014 biopic, Get on Up, features a wide range of Mississippi locations that were used to represent important places in the life of the “hardest working man in show business,” James Brown. Under the direction of Mississippi native, Tate Taylor, the Mississippi Coliseum stood in for Boston Gardens, Thalia Mara Hall for the Paris Theatre in France, and Dunleith Historic Inn for a 1940s-era country club. Various other locations portrayed places in New York, Ohio, Georgia, and South Carolina.
When director Tate Taylor asked Kathryn Stockett for the film rights to her novel, The Help, he knew that the adaptation would have to be filmed in Mississippi, where the two had met as children and grown to become lifelong friends. Notable locations include Brent’s Drugs, the Mississippi Capitol building, and the Mayflower Café, in Jackson, and the former Press Register building in Clarksdale. The Help was nominated for four Academy Awards, with an Oscar going to Octavia Spencer for her portrayal of “Minny” Jackson.
The Coen Brothers’ epic retelling of Homer’s Odyssey was shot almost entirely in Mississippi. Locations featured in the movie include D’Lo Water Park where the sirens charmed Everett, Delmar, and Pete. A short drive north to Canton is the old-time Courthouse Square, site of Homer Stokes’ political rally. The old Bank of Yazoo City building serves as the site of a bank robbery by George “Babyface” Nelson. Alligator Lake, near Vicksburg, is where Delmer is baptized. Additional sites from Natchez to Leland are also featured, with a picturesque railroad bridge in Edwards providing the closing scene.
My Dog Skip, an adaptation of Willie Morris’ memoir of the same name, was shot at various locations in Mississippi. A key scene, where Willie and Skip spend the night next to the crypt of the legendary Witch of Yazoo, was shot at Jackson’s Greenwood Cemetery (not at the similarly named Glenwood Cemetery, in Yazoo, where both the author and the witch are buried). The crypt was fabricated for the movie and is on display at the Canton Movie Museum. Other Canton locations include the city’s town square and a private residence, representing Willie’s boyhood home.
The film adaptation of John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was filmed almost entirely on location in Canton, Mississippi. The city’s historic square is featured prominently in the film, including shots of the Madison County Courthouse and also a building representing the law office of the film’s lawyer protagonist, played by a young Matthew McConaughey. The Canton Movie Museum is now located in that building, preserving sets that represented both the legal office and a diner shown in the film, as well as an extensive collection of props from the movie.
The Lifetime made-for-TV movie, Christmas in Mississippi, is set in Gulfport and was shot there, as well. The movie’s plot revolves around planning for the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, a real event that has taken place at Gulfport’s Jones Park since 2015. Additional locations shown in the movie include the lookout deck at the Island View Casino’s beach tower, Fishbone Alley, and the barbecue restaurant Murky Waters. The movie also includes a boat ride on Ship Island Excursions to visit Mississippi’s most popular barrier island.
The Hallmark TV Christmas movie, Every Time a Bell Rings, was shot in Natchez in 2021. The movie’s plot is centered around three sisters who go on an elaborate scavenger hunt planned by their late father. Featured locations include the “Under the Hill” district leading to the Mississippi River, Longwood, Smoot’s Grocery, the Butter Cakery, The Kitchen Bistro & Piano Bar, Under-the-Hill Saloon, and the Bluff Park bandstand.
The titles below are just a few more of the films and series featuring Mississippi locations.
To learn more about film production in Mississippi including locations, production services, and incentives, contact the Mississippi Film Office.