Southern Movies

Over more than a century, mainstream movies have offered portrayals of the American South that range from the darkness of 1918’s Birth of a Nation to the fluffiness of 2002’s Sweet Home Alabama. Many Americans who have never visited the South (and know little to nothing about it) take their understanding of our complicated culture not from history books by Shelby Foote or C. Vann Woodward, but from the images, characters, and story lines in popular films, like Gone with the Wind, Forrest GumpThe Help, and Fried Green Tomatoes. (Personally, I don’t know anybody who ever killed and barbecued an abusive husband.) Whether they are set in the South, feature Southern characters, or both, movies feed and fuel how Americans view and treat the South, and also perpetuate and protect misinterpretations. Below is a list of Southern Movie posts. Just click on the title to read:

 tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . (1970)  •  Intruder in the Dust (1949)  •  Black Snake Moan (2006)

The Black Klansman (1966)  •  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)  •  Way Down South (1939)

The Waterboy (1998)  •  Greased Lightning (1977)  •  The Green Pastures (1936)

The Southerner (1945)  •  Down by Law (1986)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)  •  The Phenix City Story (1955)

The Children’s Hour (1961)  •  Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)

Norma Rae (1979)  •  Walking Tall (1973)  •  Radio (2003)

 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)  •  Sounder (1972)

Sophie and the Rising Sun (2017)  •  Mud Bound (2017)  •  Ode to Billy Joe (1976)

Straw Dogs (2013)  •  Black Like Me (1964)  •  Shy People (1987)  •  Slaves (1969)

Moonshine County Express (1977)  •  Angel Heart (1987)

Wise Blood (1979)  • Baby Doll (1956)  •  Preacherman (1971)

Southern Comfort (1981)  •  White Lightning (1973)  •  Paris Trout (1991)

Drums in the Deep South (1951)  •  Hot Summer in Barefoot County (1974)

Free State of Jones (2016)  •  French Quarter (1978)

Coming:

The Dynamiter (2011) • Cool Hand Luke (1967) • Ellie (1984)

Other Southern Movies:

Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) • Mississippi Damned (2015) • God’s Little Acre (1958) • Skeleton Key (2005) • The Beguiled (1970) • Beasts of the Southern Wild (2011) • Poor Pretty Eddie (1975) • Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) • Long, Hot Summer (1958) • The Chase (1966) • Cape Fear (1962, remake 1991) • Old Yeller (1957) • The Intruder (1962) • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968) • Member of the Wedding (1952) • Two Thousand Maniacs (1964) and the sequel 2001 Maniacs (2005) • Gator (1976) • WW & the Dixie Dance Kings (1975) • Gator Bait (1974) • Buster and Billie (1974) • The Young One (1960) • Hurry Sundown (1967) • The Night of the Hunter (1955) • Blackbird (2014) • The Cardinal (1963) • Hatchet (1983) • The Beast Within (1982) • Bad Georgia Road (1975) • The Night They Robbed Big Bertha’s (1975) • Preacherman Meets Widderwoman (1973) • Truckin’ Man, or Trucker’s Woman (1975) • The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) and its sequel Boggy Creek II (1984) • Death Driver (1977) • Moonrunners 1975 • Macon County Line (1974) and Return to Macon County (1975) • Seabo, or Buckstone County Prison (1978) • Ellie (1984) • Emma Mae (1976) • Good intentions (2010) • The Liberation of LB Jones (1970) • Stroker Ace (1983) • Squirm (1976) • Pretty Baby (1978) • Conrack (1974) • Mystery Train (1989) • Rosewood (1997) • The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia (1981) • Six Pack (1982) • School Daze (1988) • Tank (1984) • The Last Confederate (2015) • Hard Times (1975) • Redneck Miller (1977) • The Fix (1985) • Streetcar Named Desire (1951) • This Property is Condemned (1966) •The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976) • Deliverance (1972) • Thunder Road (1958) • The Yearling (1946) and the biopic Cross Creek (1983) • Lil Abner (1959) • Mud (2012) • The Fugitive Kind (1960) • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) • Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) • 12 Years a Slave (2013) • Louisiana Story (1948) • Wild River (1960) • My Cousin Vinny (1992) • The Apostle (1997) • Sling Blade (1994) • Ramblin’ Rose (1991) • Forrest Gump (1991) • Gone With the Wind (1939) • Steel Magnolias (1989) • A Gathering of Old Men (1983) • The Notebook (2004) • The Defiant Ones (1958) • Ray (2004) • The Miracle Worker (1962) • The Blind Side (2009) • The Firm (1993) • The Prince of Tides (1991) • The Rainmaker (1997) • A Time to Kill (1996) • The Chamber (1996) • Driving Miss Daisy (1989) • Mississippi Burning (1988) • The Secret Life of Bees (2008) • Bastard out of Carolina (1996) • All the King’s Men (1949, remake 2006) • Junebug (2016) • Jessabelle (2014) • Evergreen (2014) • Virginia (2010) • Stalled (2000) • the pornographic 1970s “hicksploitation” films Tobacco Roody, Southern Comforts, Country Cuzzins, Sweet Georgia, Country Hooker, and Midnight Plowboy


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