Louisiana Movies

There have been numerous movies made which portray the unique culture and customs of Louisiana. These are some of my personal favorites. Just click on the movie title and you will link to Amazon.com where you can purchase any of these great films.

The Big Easy (1987)
Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin

     A great police drama set in New Orleans in the 1980's with Dennis Quaid as a Cajun speaking head of homicide for the N.O.P.D. and Ellen Barkin as the sexy new District Attorney out to fight corruption in the Police Department. This movie has a great musical score and is filled with lots of Cajun and New Orleans "ism's" thrown in. Very entertaining.
The Buccaneer (1958)
Yul Brynner, Charlton Heston, Claire Bloom

     The Cecil B. DeMille production of the story of the pirate Jean Laffite, Andy Jackson, and the Battle of New Orleans. Has a great battle scene of the British attacking the battle line on the plains of Chalmette.
Belizare the Cajun (1986)
Armand Assante, Gail Youngs, Robert Duvall

     Set in the Cajun Country of South Louisiana prior to the Civil War, this film centers around a murder mystery and is a wonderful look at Cajun culture and customs during this time. Armand Assante is outstanding as the Cajun rogue, Belizare, in this down home Louisiana film.
Pretty Baby (1978)
Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine

     This was Brook Shields' first major starring role as a 13 year old prostitute in the Storyville district of New Orleans in 1917. It gives a real insight into the life and times of the people who lived in this infamous New Orleans red light district. It has a wonderful Jazz musical score.
No Mercy (1986)
Richard Gere, Kim Basinger

     A fast paced murder mystery about a Chicago cop searching in New Orleans for the murderer of his partner. Very intense with a sexy love tryst involving Kim Basinger. Some very good shots of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter.
Interview With a Vampire (1994)
Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt

     A most provocative vampire movie set in 18th century New Orleans about the life of a French Creole vampire and his journey through the Ages. Based upon the popular novel by New Orleans writer Anne Rice.
Band of Angels (1957)
Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier

     An interesting movie for its day based upon the Civil War novel by Robert Penn Warren. Set in Louisiana during the Civil War, Clark Gable plays a Southern Gentleman who was a former slave trader in love with Yvonne De Carlo who finds out that she has black blood in her lineage. Sidney Poitier has a great performance as Clark Gable's adopted son and overseer.
Jezebel (1938)
Bette Davis, Henry Fonda

     Poor Bette Davis didn't get the lead in Gone with the Wind but she did have an outstanding role in this melodrama set in New Orleans prior to the Civil War. Davis is great as a scandalous Southern Belle and Henry Fonda is excellent as a proper New Orleans Gentleman. Bette Davis won her second Academy Award for this film.
Evangeline (1929)
Delores Del Rio

     A wonderful silent film starring the great Delores Del Rio based on the epic poem Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This movie is about the tragic yet triumphant struggle of the Acadian people in Nova Scotia and their forced migration from Canada to Louisiana in the 18th Century. It is a historical drama that includes some of the finest images in all of the silent cinema.
Napoleon (1927)
Abel Grance (Director)

     This great silent film was thought to have been lost but was found and restored in the 1980's by Francis Ford Coppola. Abel Grance was a film genius who was the first director to use split screen, moving camera, and Poly vision. This film is a real epic and covers the live of Napoleon up through his invasion of Italy in the 1790's. It is absolutely amazing to see how this film is put together and how well made it is. When it was re-released in the 80's it was extremely popular in New Orleans since that city was sold to the United States by Napoleon and has a Bonapartist tradition.
Storyville — The Naked Dance (2000)
Documentary

     This film is the first documentary to be made about the infamous red light district of New Orleans known as Storyville. The Storyville district was a 16 block area in which prostitution and gambling were quarantined within the city and operated legally from 1898 until 1917. The District became famous for having luxurious mansions devoted to the "Sportin' Life" as it was called then and also to being the birthplace of Jazz music. A most interesting documentary set against the backdrop of Victorian morality.
Kingfish: The Story of Huey P. Long (1995)
John Goodman

     John Goodman is outstanding as the controversial Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long in this riveting film which covers Long's rise to power in the 1920's and eventual assassination in 1935. A very well made film about the life of this Populist Southern Demagogue.
America — Huey Long (1987)
Documentary

     A great documentary on the rise and fall of Louisiana Politician Huey P. Long by that great filmmaker Ken Burns. This is a wonderful film filled with interviews of people who knew Long and lived during his reign as virtual dictator of Louisiana. An extremely well made film about a powerful, and controversial, politician.
Biography — Huey Long
Documentary

     Another well made documentary about Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long which appeared on the Biography Channel. This film is a fascinating look at the life and politics of Governor Long who rose to power in Louisiana in the 1920's and became virtual dictator of the State until he was assassinated in 1935.

  

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