CATEGORIES FeaturesWith it's blues and jazz, voodoo and mystery, it's no wonder that New Orleans is used as the backdrop for so many movies. New Orleans is one of the few cities in the U.S. that still has the same building facades from the turn of the 19th century. From Bourbon Street to Mardi Gras, here is a list of the 10 best New Orleans movies. With it's blues and jazz, voodoo and mystery, it's no wonder that New Orleans is used as the backdrop for so many movies. New Orleans is one of the few cities in the U.S. that still has the same building facades from the turn of the 19th century. From Bourbon Street to Mardi Gras, here is a list of the 10 best New Orleans movies.
10. 'Interview With the Vampire' (1994) is based on the cult classic novel by Anne Rice (who was born in New Orleans) about the enigmatic tales of a centuries-old vampire. Not necessarily the greatest book-to-film ever made, but any shortcomings were overcome by production designer Dante Ferretti's transformation of New Orleans into a disturbingly dark, romantic feeding playground for vampires.
9. 'Suddenly, Last Summer' (1959) is set in 1930s New Orleans and stars film icons Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn. Catherine (Taylor) has witnessed the tragic death of her cousin and is deeply disturbed. The boy's mother (Hepburn) tries to force a surgeon to perform a lobotomy on Catherine to hide a deep secret she is afraid Catherine will reveal.
8. 'Easy Rider'(1969) is the quintessential 1960s era film. Written by and starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, who also directed, 'Easy Rider' tells the story of two hippie bikers riding cross country from Los Angeles to New Orleans just in time for Mardi Gras. The scene in the Lafayette Cemetery highlights New Orleans.
7. 'Panic in the Streets'(1950) is a classic film noir set in the waterfronts of New Orleans. Two cops (Richard Widmark and Paul Douglas) must track down a killer -- carrying a deadly plague -- in 48 hours before he infects everyone in the city. Director Elia Kazan, who adored New Orleans, honored the city with this movie.
6. 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' (2008) gives New Orleans a magical and harmonious glow. Throughout Button's travels he always returns to New Orleans to find his true love, Daisy. Director David Fincher decided against the original short story's location of Baltimore and opted for New Orleans. The appeal of post-Katrina support and the state's filming discount persuaded both Fincher and writer Eric Roth to change the story to center around New Orleans.
5. 'Miller's Crossing' (1990) is set in a fictional town but was shot in New Orleans. The Coen brothers thought that New Orleans was one of the few cities whose streets and buildings still looked the same as they did during 1930s Prohibition, when the film takes place.
4. 'The Cincinnati Kid' (1965) is revered as one of the best movies about poker. The Cincinnati Kid (Steve McQueen) is a young hotshot who travels to New Orleans to compete against the greatest poker player in the country, Lancey Howard (Edward G. Robinson). This high stakes game is set in 1930s and also stars a very young Ann-Margret.
3. 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1951), based on Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, makes the French Quarter its backdrop. Blanche Dubois (Vivien Leigh) is the antagonist to the brutish Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando) when she goes to live with him and her sister after she is accused of seducing her 17-year-old student. New Orleans is portrayed as a sweltering post World War II city. Who could forget the sweaty Brando screaming "Stella!"
2. 'King Creole' (1958) is a favorite among Elvis Presley fans and is noted to be one of his best films. Filmed in the French Quarter and prominently showcasing the nightlife in New Orleans, 'King Creole' tells the story of a young busboy working at a nightclub of the same name. One night he is given the chance to perform on stage and becomes a sensation. Presley performs quite a few songs, including 'Trouble and New Orleans.' Walter Matthau also stars as the gangster who threatens Presley's new career.
1. 'The Big Easy' (1986) is the film that comes to mind most when people think about New Orleans and movies. This sexy thriller starring Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin has more steam than a humid day in New Orleans. A little bit of police corruption, a little bit of mafia assassinations, and a whole lot of French Quarter shots. Perhaps the best portrayal of New Orleans in film and certainly one of the sexiest.