Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Handy Guide To The Cosmopolitan Side Of Oregon Film

December 24th, 2010 by Anne Richardson · 2 Comments · Handy guide series

For people who like contemplating how international Oregon’s film history really is – here is my Christmas present to you: a list of directors who came from afar to the big scenic back lot we call home to make movies. I include the photo of Sean Connery teaching a handstand because that is the way I sometimes feel myself. I want to turn you upside down. No, Oregon film history is not an endlessly excruciating list of mediocrities. Yes, I think we have a legacy we can learn from.

So, to balance out the post documenting the fondness Europeans have for Oregon directors,  I compile here a list of directors from other countries who chose Oregon as the location for their films.

Germany: F. W. Murnau,  City Girl (1930)

France: Jacques Tourneur, Canyon Passage (1946)

Hungary: Andre De Toth,  Indian Fighter (1955) &  Day Of The Outlaw (1959)

England:  J. Lee Thompson, MacKenna’s Gold (1969)

Czechslovakia: Milos Forman, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest ( 1975)

Scotland: Bill Forsythe, Breaking In (1988)

Canada: Ivan Reitman, Kindergarten Cop (1990)

Australia: Simon Wincer, Free Willy (1993)

Germany: Uli Edel, Body Of Evidence ( 1993)

To be clear – there are some turkeys on this list. But I will leave you the fun of sorting out which movies you like, and which you would like to disown.

In the literary category: these directors stayed home, but adapted works by Oregon authors.

Russia: Sergei Eisenstein,  Oktyabr (1928) based on John Reed’s Ten Days Which Shook The World

Japan: Goro Miyazaki, Gedo Senki (2006)  based on Ursula LeGuin’s Tales of Earthsea

I am sure there are more! I am especially interested in foreign directors who have adapted Oregon authors, so please let me know if there is a film which should be on this list.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 brett // Jan 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    stumbled upon your site looking for information on harry smith in portland. lots of great stuff about oregon artistic heritage here. also, i’m from portland, now live in new york, and am buddies with walt curtis. oh world!

  • 2 Anne Richardson // Jan 15, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Harry Smith was born in Portland but grew up in Washington. I am happy to claim him as an Oregon filmmaker based purely on his birth. As far as I know, he never spent a single minute in Oregon as an adult. Still, what an august artist to be able to claim!

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