Movies About Tennessee

Movies About Tennessee (List)

Tennessee is not just a haven for music lovers or nature enthusiasts; it has also played a significant role in the world of cinema. Over the years, the diverse landscapes and rich culture of Tennessee have attracted filmmakers from all over the globe. From biopics and dramas to horror films and Disney movies, the Volunteer State has been the backdrop for a wide variety of films that showcase its unique charm.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into the filmography of Tennessee, exploring the top movies set in the state and the impact they have had on the film industry. Whether you’re a film buff or simply curious about Tennessee’s on-screen presence, this comprehensive guide will take you on an exciting cinematic journey through the heartland of America.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tennessee has been a popular filming location for movies spanning various genres.
  • Western Tennessee has served as the setting for iconic films like “Elvis” and “Mystery Train.”
  • Memorable Middle Tennessee films include “Nashville” and “Green Mile.”
  • Eastern Tennessee has provided the backdrop for notable films like “All the Way Home” and “The Evil Dead.”
  • Tennessee has also been chosen for major motion pictures such as “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “The Firm.”

Iconic Tennessee Films Set in Western Tennessee

Western Tennessee has served as the backdrop for many iconic films, showcasing its unique charm and culture. From movies about music legends to gritty dramas, these films capture the spirit of the region. Here are some notable examples:


A biographical film that delves into the rise and fall of the legendary musician, Elvis Presley. Set in Western Tennessee, the movie takes viewers on a journey through his life, showcasing the impact he had on music and popular culture.

“Mystery Train”

An indie classic directed by Jim Jarmusch, “Mystery Train” is set in a romantically decrepit Memphis, a city in Western Tennessee. The film follows the intertwining stories of various characters, highlighting the city’s eclectic atmosphere and artistic vibe.

“Walk the Line”

A Johnny Cash biopic that explores the iconic musician’s life and career. Set in Memphis, Western Tennessee, the film showcases the struggles, triumphs, and enduring legacy of Johnny Cash, providing insight into his musical journey.

Movie Title Director Year
Elvis John Carpenter 1979
Mystery Train Jim Jarmusch 1989
Walk the Line James Mangold 2005

Memorable Middle Tennessee Films

Middle Tennessee has a rich history of being a popular filming location, attracting directors and producers with its vibrant music scene and picturesque landscapes. The region has served as the backdrop for several notable movies, showcasing the diversity and beauty of Middle Tennessee.


One of the most famous films set in Middle Tennessee is “Nashville,” a critically acclaimed ensemble drama that explores the lives of various Music City residents. Directed by Robert Altman and released in 1975, the film delves into the interconnected stories of musicians, politicians, and other individuals in the country music industry. Known for its authentic portrayal of Nashville’s music scene and political landscape, “Nashville” has become a beloved classic.

“The Thing Called Love”

“The Thing Called Love” is another notable movie filmed in Middle Tennessee. This country music-themed film, directed by Peter Bogdanovich and released in 1993, follows the lives of aspiring singer-songwriters in Nashville. Starring River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, and Sandra Bullock, the movie captures the raw emotions and challenges faced by talented artists trying to make it big in Music City.

“The Green Mile”

“The Green Mile”, directed by Frank Darabont and released in 1999, is a fantasy drama film based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. While the majority of the movie is set in a prison in Louisiana, several scenes were filmed in various locations in Middle Tennessee, including Shelbyville and Columbia. Starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, this emotionally powerful film tells the story of death row guards and their encounter with a seemingly miraculous prisoner.

These films showcase the enchanting qualities of Middle Tennessee, from the bustling music industry in Nashville to the quiet, rural landscapes that provide a compelling backdrop for storytelling.

Eastern Tennessee Films That Made an Impact

Eastern Tennessee’s natural beauty and rich history have provided the backdrop for several notable films. From heartfelt dramas to cult classics, the region has captured the imagination of filmmakers and audiences alike. Let’s explore some Eastern Tennessee movies that have left a lasting impression.

All the Way Home

All the Way Home is a classic film based on James Agee’s novel, set in Knoxville. This poignant drama delves into themes of family and loss, offering a heartfelt exploration of the human experience. The film beautifully captures the essence of Eastern Tennessee, showcasing its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture.

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead is a cult classic horror film that was shot in a remote part of Morristown, Eastern Tennessee. Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell, this low-budget indie flick has since gained a dedicated following. Its success not only launched the careers of its creators but also put Eastern Tennessee on the map as a viable filming location.

Wild River

Wild River takes audiences back to 1960 and tells the story of a family forced to relocate due to the construction of a dam. Filmed in Charleston on the Hiwassee River, this powerful drama showcases the region’s natural beauty and explores the impact of progress on individuals and communities. The film serves as a testament to the significance of Eastern Tennessee’s historical and environmental heritage.

Eastern Tennessee’s contribution to the world of cinema cannot be underestimated. Through films like All the Way Home, The Evil Dead, and Wild River, this region has captured the hearts and minds of filmmakers and audiences alike. Whether it’s the stunning landscapes or the rich history, Eastern Tennessee continues to inspire and provide the perfect setting for unforgettable movies.

Major Motion Pictures Shot Across Tennessee

In addition to movies specifically set in Tennessee, the state has also been a popular filming location for a wide range of films. The diverse landscapes and vibrant cities of Tennessee provide a versatile backdrop for filmmakers from all genres. Let’s take a look at some major motion pictures that have been shot in various locations across the state.

Films Shot in Nashville

Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, has been a bustling hub for film productions. One iconic film that was shot in Nashville is “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” a biographical film about country singer Loretta Lynn. The movie features concert footage filmed at the legendary Ryman Auditorium, a venue steeped in music history.

Films Set in Memphis

Memphis, known for its vibrant music scene and rich cultural heritage, has also attracted filmmakers over the years. Tom Cruise starred in two films set in Memphis, “The Firm” and “The Client,” both based on John Grisham novels. These thrilling dramas showcase the city’s unique character and landmarks.

Other Notable Films Shot in Tennessee

Tennessee’s appeal as a filming location extends beyond Nashville and Memphis. Several notable films have been shot in various parts of the state, showcasing its diverse landscapes and historical significance. Some examples include:

  • “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” a biographical drama filmed in several locations in Tennessee, including Knoxville and Memphis.
  • “Cast Away,” a gripping survival film featuring Tom Hanks, was shot partly on a secluded island in Tennessee’s Pickwick Lake.
  • “In the Heat of the Night,” a classic crime drama set in Mississippi but shot primarily in Tennessee, including Sparta and Dyersburg.

These films highlight the versatility of Tennessee as a filming location, with its urban centers, picturesque landscapes, and historical sites attracting filmmakers from around the world.

Disney Movies Set in Tennessee

Tennessee has also served as the backdrop for several Disney films. From heartwarming adventures to musical tales, these movies showcase the charm of the state and its vibrant culture. Let’s take a look at some of the Disney movies filmed in Tennessee:

The Country Bears

Based on the popular Disney World attraction, “The Country Bears” takes viewers on a musical journey with a band of animatronic bears. Filming took place in Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, where the towns’ scenic beauty adds to the film’s delightful storytelling.

Hannah Montana: The Movie

Following the success of the Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” Miley Cyrus brought the beloved character to the big screen in “Hannah Montana: The Movie.” The film includes scenes shot in Columbia, Franklin, and Nashville, capturing the essence of Tennessee’s vibrant music scene and picturesque landscapes.

Tennessee State Penitentiary in Other Disney Films

The historic Tennessee State Penitentiary, located in Nashville, has made appearances in multiple Disney films. The prison serves as a setting in both “Walk the Line,” a biographical film about Johnny Cash, and “Ernest Goes to Jail,” a comedy starring Jim Varney.

These Disney movies filmed in Tennessee not only entertain audiences but also showcase the state’s unique character and diverse filming locations. From the charming small towns to the historic prison, Tennessee adds a touch of magic to these beloved films.

Other Notable Films Shot in Tennessee

Tennessee has established itself as a prime filming location for a wide range of notable films over the years. From sci-fi action to supernatural horror, the state’s diverse landscapes and vibrant cities have provided the perfect backdrop for these memorable movies.

The Matrix

The Matrix, a groundbreaking sci-fi action film released in 1999, features a brief scene set in Nashville’s skyline. Directed by the Wachowski siblings, the movie revolutionized visual effects and captivated audiences worldwide with its gripping storyline and mind-bending concepts.

Raw Deal

Raw Deal, an Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick released in 1986, includes a thrilling shootout scene filmed in Gallatin’s rock quarry. The movie follows a former FBI agent seeking revenge on the mafia for betraying him, combining intense action sequences with Schwarzenegger’s signature charisma.

Country Strong

Country Strong, a critically acclaimed drama released in 2010, used Nashville as its primary filming location. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, the film explores the struggles of a country music star battling personal demons and striving for a comeback. With a powerful performance by Paltrow and a captivating portrayal of the country music scene, Country Strong captures the essence of Tennessee’s rich musical heritage.

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead, a supernatural horror film released in 1981, was shot in Morristown, Tennessee, and went on to become a cult classic, launching a successful franchise. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film follows a group of friends who encounter demonic spirits while vacationing in a remote cabin. With its visceral scares and innovative filmmaking techniques, The Evil Dead has become a staple in the horror genre.

Film Genre Year Released Filming Location
The Matrix Sci-Fi, Action 1999 Nashville
Raw Deal Action 1986 Gallatin
Country Strong Drama, Music 2010 Nashville
The Evil Dead Horror 1981 Morristown

These films showcase the versatility of Tennessee as a filming destination, attracting filmmakers from different genres to capture the state’s unique ambiance and contribute to its vibrant movie industry.


Tennessee’s vibrant culture and diverse landscapes have made it a favored destination for filmmakers. Whether it’s the connection to music in Western Tennessee, the picturesque beauty of Middle Tennessee, or the rich history of Eastern Tennessee, each region offers its own unique charm for movie productions. From biopics exploring the lives of music legends to thrilling horror films, Tennessee has played a significant role in the film industry.

Movies about Tennessee not only highlight the state’s allure on the silver screen but also showcase the talent and creativity of filmmakers who have chosen to capture the essence of this remarkable state. The filmography of Tennessee is a testament to its contributions to the cinematic world, with each movie capturing the spirit and character of the region.

As Tennessee continues to attract filmmakers from all over the world, its place in the movie industry remains unquestionable. The state’s captivating locations and vibrant culture provide filmmakers with endless possibilities, making Tennessee a promising destination for future film productions. The movies set in Tennessee not only entertain audiences but also serve as a reminder of the state’s rich heritage and its impact on popular culture.


What are some iconic movies set in Western Tennessee?

Some iconic movies set in Western Tennessee include “Elvis,” “Mystery Train,” and “Walk the Line.”

What are some memorable movies set in Middle Tennessee?

Some memorable movies set in Middle Tennessee include “Nashville,” “The Thing Called Love,” and “Green Mile.”

What are some notable films set in Eastern Tennessee?

Some notable films set in Eastern Tennessee include “All the Way Home,” “The Evil Dead,” and “Wild River.”

What are some major motion pictures shot across Tennessee?

Some major motion pictures shot across Tennessee include “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The Firm,” and “In the Heat of the Night.”

Are there any Disney movies set in Tennessee?

Yes, there are! Some Disney movies set in Tennessee include “The Country Bears” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie.”

What are some other notable films shot in Tennessee?

Some other notable films shot in Tennessee include “The Matrix,” “Raw Deal,” and “Country Strong.”

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