• Oscar-winning films you may have forgotten feature Georgia

    By: Diana Bosch

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Georgia's history as the "Hollywood of the South" is nothing new, but the recent boom has only helped its notoriety in the film industry.

    In fact, if you look back at the 90-year history of the Academy Awards, you'll see many films either filmed in the Peach State or with ties directly to Atlanta.


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    'Gone With the Wind'

    Arguably the most famous film to feature Atlanta, the 1939 epic set a record at the 12th Academy Awards ceremony when it was nominated for 13 Oscars, the most at the time.

    The historical romance set against the backdrop of the Civil War ended up winning eight Oscars.

    While the film takes place in Atlanta, not a single scene was shot here.

    The film's premiere was a huge boost to the city. The grand event attracted 200,000 people to the historic Loew's Grand Theatre at Peachtree and Forsyth Street.

    The theater was demolished after a fire in 1978. The Georgia-Pacific Tower now stands at the former site. 

    'Driving Miss Daisy'

    The 1989 Best Picture winner was shot throughout the Atlanta area.

    The Druid Hills area had a significant role. It served as the site of main character Daisy Werthan's (Jessica Tandy) temple that was bombed in the film. In reality, the building had actually been bombed in 1958 because of the rabbi's support of civil rights.

    'Forrest Gump'

    The story of an ordinary man's extraordinary life received seven Oscar nominations and winning three, including Best Actor for Tom Hanks and Best Picture.

    Savannah's Chippewa Square plays a predominant part in the film as the place where Gump (Hanks) sits on a bench waiting for the bus while sharing colorful stories of his life.

    That bench now sits at the Savannah History Museum.

    'My Cousin Vinny'

    This memorable comedy spotlights small, country life in Alabama, but it's actually Georgia that stands in for the Heart of Dixie.

    A majority of "My Cousin Vinny" was filmed in Monticello. Marisa Tomei won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

    'Selma'

    Director Ava Duvernay told the story of Atlanta-born Dr. Martin Luther King and his march on Selma throughout Georgia, including Marietta Square and Rockdale County.

    While the site where King served as preacher, Ebenezer Baptist Church, still stands, Wheat Street Baptist Church was used as the cite of the church for the film. "Selma" was nominated for two Oscars and won for Best Original Song.

    'Ray'

    The final scene in this biopic of Ray Charles features the music legend at the Georgia State House when "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song, but in reality it was filmed in Louisiana.

    At the time of the film's production, other cities had passed aggressive tax incentive programs that had taken business away from Charles' home state.

    The film became a box office hit and earned Jamie Foxx an Oscar for Best Actor. Industry experts call the loss of "Ray" a wake-up call to the Georgia film industry. By the looks of it, it seems Georgia has learned its lesson.

    'Glory'

    Another film that benefited from Savannah is the 1988 film "Glory."

    The film tells the story of the first all-black volunteer company that served in the Civil War. Denzel Washington won his first Oscar, a statuette for Best Supporting Actor, for his work in the film. 

    'The Blind Side'

    This inspiring drama about an NFL football player who overcame homelessness takes place in Memphis, but was actually filmed in and around metro Atlanta.

    Decatur, Grant Park and Glenwood were all featured in the film, which won Sandra Bullock an Oscar for Best Actress.

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