New Orleans is one of those cities in the United States you might really like to see, even if you’re a resident of that country; and you would especially if you are a bit of a film buff. These are some of the movies from different decades that are supposed to be based and shot in New Orleans.
The plot of Elia Kazan’s film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, is definitely supposed to be set in the backstreets of a French quarter in New Orleans, with the factory worker Stanley Kowalski, a Polish American, as one of its main characters. The important initial shots of a streetcar were actually taken in New Orleans, and because streetcars did not run anymore the production required the city to have a streetcar run on the road just for the movie; the streetcar, Perley Thomas #922, still exists in New Orleans. Before and after that movie were numerous musical films, starring the most renowned jazz musicians ever, including Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Charles Bronson’s big role as a lone boxer came in the movie Hard Times, about the rough lives of New Orleans boxers. In the late 60s Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper wrote, produced, directed and starred (alongside Jack Nicholson) in the movie Easy Rider, also set and shot in the city. The first Roger Moore Bond film, Live and Let Die was shot in New Orleans in 1973.
The 90s were rich in legal thrillers, crime thrillers, as well as human and prison dramas; and several of them were shot in New Orleans. Miller’s Crossing, for example, is a notable crime thriller, a critically acclaimed movie of the Coen brothers. Oliver Stone’s most successful movie about a president, JFK, was shot in 1991 and was enjoyed by many despite the factual controversies. The Client, 1994, was a representative legal thriller of the decade, and Lolita, 1997, was a very refreshing attempt after Kubrick’s, starring the admirable Jeremy Irons. In 2004, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was dramatized for TV in New Orleans, as was Elvis Presley’s life in 2005 in the same location. Benjamin Button was one of the most memorable characters on screen in 2008.
A noteworthy movie is a sports drama from 1969, starring Charlton Heston as a quarterback in need of rehabilitation; he belongs to the New Orleans Saints, a former champion in the NFL. Since the real Saints were not even in existence until a couple of years prior to the movie, the movie probably had specific motivations for the good of the newly established franchise of New Orleans. The team plays against the Dallas Cowboys in the movie, which uses actual players of the team, in their real uniform, in the Tulane Stadium, which was then the home for the Saints. Though not especially acclaimed or admired, it is a very interesting work starring a Hollywood hero character perhaps to promote the New Orleans Saints. The players who acted on the movie mostly played as the Dallas Cowboys, ironically. To see the actual team play, take a look at the New Orleans saints schedule. The team is one of the few sports teams in the world to have a whole movie made on it.