. . . it is also for historical film lovers.
Those of us who love history, look forward to movies or television programs that feature an era, event, location, or person we find fascinating. It’s even more fun if it is filmed in a location where you live or work. And, there is always the chance that you might get a chance to be a walk on or an extra. Here are some movies filmed in Virginia.
REVOLUTIONARY WAR ERA FILMS
TURN ~ A Revolutionary War era series shown on AMC about the Culper Ring, America’s first intelligence organization. It was based on the Alexander Rose book Washington’s Spies.
TURN was filmed in numerous Virginia locations, Doswell, Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown near Ashland, Kittiewan Plantation, Westover Plantation, CentreHillMuseum, Farmer’s Bank, Petersburg Farmer’s Market, Shirley Plantation, Southside Railroad Depot.
JOHN ADAMS ~ A miniseries based on the David McCullough’s Pulitzer prize winning biography of John Adams.
JOHN ADAMS was filmed in various Colonial Williamsburg locations
including The Wren Chapel in the Christopher Wren Building at the College of William & Mary.
There is nothing unusual about seeing folks wandering around in period garb anyplace in the greater Williamsburg, Virginia area. One day, while some scenes of John Adams were being filmed, I happened to be doing some errands downtown. When I glanced across the street at the set, I was taken aback a bit by the snow-covered lawn in the middle of summer.
CIVIL WAR ERA FILMS
GODS AND GENERALS ~ An epic movie, based on Jeff Shaara’s God’s and Generals detailing many of the battles that led up to Gettysburg.
GODS AND GENERALS was filmed in Lexington, Richmond,
Chancellorsville, and Fredericksburg. One of the filming locations was Robert Duvall’s estate in Virginia. He played Robert E. Lee in the film.
GODS AND GENERALS was released in 2003 and is the prequel to the 1993 film Gettysburg. The movie is predominantly about Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson when he experienced numerous successes against the Union from 1861 to 1863. One of the film locations was The Virginia Military Institute (VMI). After Jackson graduated from West Point and served in the Mexican-American War he became a professor at VMI. When the Civil War began, Jackson re-entered the Army and took command of the VMI Corps of Cadets, where the students began training recruits to fight.
My younger son, a student at VMI at the time was one of the many cadet extras in the film. VMI looks much as it did during the Civil War so it did not require many alterations to the façade of the University.
LINCOLN ~ Addresses the last few months of Lincoln’s life that focuses his efforts to pass the 13th Amendment. It was based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns-Goodwin.
LINCOLN was filmed in multiple locations in and around Richmond and Petersburg.
COLD MOUNTAIN ~ A Civil War era novel based on the book Cold Mountain written by Charles Frazier.
COLDMOUNTAIN was filmed in location near Petersburg, Carter’s Grove Plantation in Williamsburg, and Belle Isle in the James River near Richmond
Back in the early seventies, the filming of a scene from HAROLD AND MAUDE took place in downtown Palo Alto, California next to my office. Many of us who worked in the area would spend our lunch time watching part of the fascinating process of making movies.
Have you ever had the opportunity to live or work where you could observe a television program or movie being filmed?