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What Movies Were Filmed on Oregon Coast? A Massive List

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What Movies Were Filmed on Oregon Coast? A Massive List

(Oregon Coast) – This shoreline shows up in some unexpected places, thanks to Hollywood. Some spots on the Oregon coast are a little more famous than others, but just about every spot has shown up on the big and small screen. (Above: the rock with the hole in it was renamed Goonies Rock in recent decades).

According to the Oregon Film & Video Office, the Oregon coast connection to celluloid goes back all the way to 1908 with "The Fisherman's Bride" in Astoria - the first film on record to be made here.

Lincoln City saw the first wave of filming since that initial flick. It took another 60 years after Fisherman's Bride, but the second movie filmed on the Oregon coast was Ken Kesey's "Sometimes A Great Notion" in 1970 (not counting parts of "The Great Race" just north of Seaside in 1965). That featured a building along the Siletz River in Lincoln City that hasn't been there in decades (the same spot where a restaurant stood until a recent fire).

In 1975, the Central Coast also hosted part of Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." That included some of Depoe Bay, although most famously the film was shot in Salem.

Above: a scene from 1941, showing a very undeveloped view of midtown.

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A little-known fact is that the opening shot of the 1979 John Belushi flick 1941 was filmed in Cannon Beach. This is interesting because – well, aside from it being such a bad movie – the shot features a spot around midtown which is completely undeveloped at the time.

In Newport: "Hysterical" was filmed here in 1981, as well as in Depoe Bay and Cannon Beach. "The Hardy Boys" filmed a Halloween episode inside the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport in the '70s. The production crew was later sued by state authorities because they trashed it. You'll also find 1991's "Frameup" and the first "The Ring" with tidbits of this area. "Fahrenheit 9-11" had a bit filmed in Florence.

1982 saw the atrocious horror flick “Cry for the Strangers” showing off parts of Florence, including Devil's Elbow State Park. A house used in the movie still sits just north of there, near Tokatee Klootchman wayside.

Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay had The Burning Plain filmed in the restaurant in 2008. The movie starred Charlize Theron and John Corbett.

The erotic "Claire of the Moon" has chunks of the northern coastline in it. Parts of "Point Break," starring Keanu Reeves, were made in Cannon Beach and Wheeler. Until the 2000's, there was an antique shop in Wheeler that had an autographed photo of Reeves on the wall, signed to the owner, calling her "Mom.” "The Temp" came out of this area in the early '90s as well.

Indie film “Legend of the Tillamook Treasure” was made in Tillamook and Manzanita in 2006, based partially on the legends of the Neahkahnie Mountain treasure.

Astoria didn't show up again in the annals of film history until 1981, with "California Mix." Shortly after, it grabbed the lion's share of films produced on the coast. "Short Circuit," both installments of "Free Willy," "Kindergarten Cop," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III" and of course, "Goonies" are part of this town's history now. Parts of "Goonies" were made in Cannon Beach and Bandon as well. Part of the first “The Ring” was shot there as well as "The Ring II."

Another bad horror flick, “Cthulu,” was made around Astoria and just north of Gearhart.

In the early 2000's, the first Twilight movie was filmed in the Cannon Beach area, mostly Ecola State Park. Some locals had parts as extras that were milling about.

Not long after that, the post-apocalypse thriller “The Road” with Viggo Mortensen featured the Wreck of the Peter Iredale at Warrenton as part of the nuclear wasteland.

A few years back, the dark and disturbing “Bates Motel” TV series had taken to the Florence and Yachats area. While not actually filmed there, it did use incidental scenes above Yachats and that wild stretch of Highway 101 between the two towns, in order to portray the general coastal landscapes. (An example of that area below).

Most recently, parts of season 2 of the spectacular Netflix series The OA were filmed in Tierra Del Mar. Those heartwrenching scenes on the beaches took place here. The pair who created that series, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, are undoubtedly two of the most brilliant filmmakers of our time. Hopefully they'll find reason to return and grace this state once more.


Tierra Del Mar: yes, Brit Marling probably walked these beaches

On the southern Oregon coast, there are numerous highlights as well. The Steve Prefrontaine movie, Without Limits, had some scenes done around Coos Bay.

Coos Bay’s time in the spotlight goes all the way back to 1925 with a silent film called The Ancient Highway. According to IMDB it’s a “lost” movie at this time. There were some scenes filmed in river rapids in the area. A cameraman working the scene drowned during filming.


Coos Bay and its Prefontaine mural at night, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

A 1982 film called Blood Song is listed by IMDB as having some Coos Bay connections - about a psychopath who escapes from prison and goes on a killing spree.

The animated Batman: Abyss is also listed as having some Coos Bay connections, but it’s unclear why. The series The Wild Life With Jeremy also touched down here.

In Bandon, the Big Wheel General Store was part of 2017’s comedy / drama More Than Only. 2020's The Rental horror / mystery flick was filmed in Bandon as well.

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