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Exploring Louisiana on Screen: Top Movies Set in the Bayou State Vol. 2

Top movies set in Louisiana

By Ostap Bender

Movies are like real estate: location, location, location. The setting of a film can act like a foundation on which all other elements are built on. Characters speak a certain way, eat certain foods, dress in a particular fashion because of the region they’re from. People don’t immediately think of Louisiana as a prime cinema setting, but that all changes once you look into the great films set in the Bayou State. Here is our second volume of top movies set in Louisiana:


Hard Target (1993)


As the uber-rich hunt homeless vets in New Orleans, we’re reminded of the classic story: The Most Dangerous Game. What else besides a partnership of Jean-Claude Van Damme and John Woo could bring this timeless story to life in a classy way? What we get is a fun time, super stylized filmmaking, and a mullet that captivates you and delivers you to a magical kingdom of WTF.  


The Long, Hot Summer (1958)


Anywhere you look in this movie you have an all-star actor fighting for your attention: Paul Newman, Orson Welles, Joanne Woodward and Lee Remick. It’s a movie that makes you feel nostalgic for your own summers, when the sweat didn’t bother you as much and you weren’t thinking about tomorrow as much. There would always be another summer. 


Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)


Set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the film revolves around four characters whose lives intersect in complex ways. James Spader plays a mysterious and introspective man who has an unusual habit of recording women talking about their sexual experiences on videotape. Through intimate conversations and revelations, the film explores themes of desire, intimacy, and the complexities of human relationships, offering a compelling look at the ways people connect and disconnect emotionally.


The Green Mile (1999)


A powerful drama set in a Louisiana prison during the 1930s, the film tells the story of a compassionate prison guard who oversees death row inmates. What sparks the story is his friendship with a gentle-giant inmate who happens to have supernatural healing powers. Learning that the inmate has been framed, the prison guard develops a conflicting view of the justice system.


The Apostle (1997)


A compelling drama that follows the turbulent journey of Sonny Dewey, a charismatic and fervent Pentecostal preacher. After committing a violent act of passion, Sonny flees his Texas town and adopts a new identity as "The Apostle E.F." in rural Louisiana. The movie is an incredible view of the hypocrisy behind religious hustlers, while still forcing you to ask if it negates the power of faith.   


The Cincinnati Kid (1965)


A classic drama set in the world of high-stakes poker during the Great Depression. Steve McQueen stars as Eric "The Cincinnati Kid" Stoner, a talented young poker player aiming to establish himself as the best in the game. His ultimate challenge comes in the form of Lancey "The Man" Howard, played by Edward G. Robinson, a seasoned and respected veteran. It’s not the first depression-era film set in Louisiana showcasing desperate souls competing for money and that tells us a lot about the Bayou State.

Watch THE DIRTY KIND from executive producer Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill).

Now available on DVD and streaming courtesy of BayView Entertainment.


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