MEMPHIS, Tenn.– When most people think of filmmaking, Los Angeles (more specifically Hollywood), New York, and Atlanta, typically come to mind.

But a new location was added to that list in 1928: Memphis, Tennessee.

Yep, you read that right.

The modern wave of Memphis movie-making can be credited to the efforts of Memphis and Shelby County Film Commissioner Linn Sitler and Shelby County Government official Alonzo Woods.

Today, the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission continues to develop the film and television industries in the city.

Here are 23 movies that have left their mark on the Memphis area over the years.

1. Hallelujahl (1928)

Hallelujahl follows a young sharecropper turned preacher who must fight the temptations of a beautiful city girl played by actress Nina Mae McKinney.

Scenes of the black and white film were shots along the cobblestones, the Wolf River Bottom, near LeMoyne Owen College, and other parts of the Mid-South.

It was one of the first movies to use sound in the silent film area and features an entirely Black cast.

Hallelujahl was nominated for an Oscar in 1929. It was also named one of 25 most important motion pictures, added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, and was honored with its own postage stamp.

2. A Face in the Crowd (1957)

A Face in the Crowd follows Lonesome Rhodes, an Ozark folk singer, who gets turned into a TV superstar with the help of female radio reporter Sarah Lawrence.

One scene in the film was shot on the rooftop terrace of the historic Peabody Hotel. However, that isn’t the only Mid-South location that got some screen time. Other scenes were also shot in Paragould, Arkansas and Piggot, Arkansas.

Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video, Vudu,

3. Mystery Train (1989)

Mystery Train follows the strange stories of four visitors that are staying the night at a Memphis hotel.

The nationally-distributed feature film was shot at various locations across Memphis such as the Arcade Restaurant and Amtrak Memphis Station on South Main Street, the Arcade Hotel on GE Patterson Avenue, the Lamar Theater, Sun Studios, and much more.

Mystery Train later won producer/director Jim Jarmusch went on the win a major award at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival.

Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video

4. Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

Orion Pictures’ Great Balls of Fire was filmed in Memphis immediately after Mystery Train. The movie chronicles the life of Sun Studio legend Jerry Lee Lewis.

Various scenes were also shot across the Mississippi River in Marion and West Memphis, Arkansas.

Director: Sydney Pollack

Duration: 1 hour 48 minutes

5. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Silence of the Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins, an FBI cadet who seeks the help of incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer Hannibal Lecter to help catch another serial killer who is known to skin his victims after drowning them.

The motion picture went on to win five Oscars in the categories of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Motion Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director.

According to IMDb, stock footage of Memphis is featured in the iconic film. Who would’ve known?

Duration: 1 hour 58 minutes

Where you can watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Vudu

6. The Firm (1993)

The Firm, starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, is about a young lawyer who discovers that the law firm he joined has a more sinister side.

Various scenes were filmed at different Memphis including Front Street, the Peabody Hotel, the Cotton Exchange building on Union Avenue, Mud Island, Shelby Farms, and Elmwood Cemetery…just to name a few. Click here to see where other scenes were shot in Memphis.

Filming also took place in Marion and West Memphis, Arkansas.

Duration: 2 hours 34 minutes

Where you can watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max

7. The Thing Called Love (1993)

The Thing Called Love is a dramatic romantic comedy about a woman who leaves her life in New York to become a songwriter in Nashville. She later falls for a man who is also new to the country music business.

According to IMDb, one of the scenes was filmed in Memphis at Graceland.

Duration: 1 hour 54 minutes

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Paramount Plus, Vudu

8. The Client (1994)

The Client follows the adventure of a streetwise kit who finds himself wanted by the FBI and the mob and hires a lawyer to defend his right to not reveal what he knows about a mafia killing.

Scenes of the motion picture were filmed in Memphis and Clinton, Mississippi.

Duration: 2 hours

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video,

9. The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

The People vs. Larry Flynt follows the Hustler magazine vs. Falwell court case and the story of how the publisher of Hustler magazine Larry Flynt became a defender of freedom of speech. Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton star in the movie.

Scenes depicting the Cincinnati trial were actually filmed in Memphis. Other Mid-South locations featured in the film include Mississippi cities Oxford and Senatobia, and the Mississippi River.

Duration: 2 hours 9 minutes

Where you can watch: Starz, Hulu, Vudu

10. John Grisham’s The Rainmaker (1997)

The Rainmaker chronicles a young attorney who is trying to make a difference in the justice system and the challenges he faces in the courtroom with the help of a fellow lawyer who hasn’t passed his Bar exam.

According to IMDb, filming locations include Memphis and Shelby County.

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, Vudu

11. Cast Away (2000)

Cast Away follows a FedEx operations executive who ends up on a deserted island after his plane crashes into the south Pacific. The thought of the love of his life keeps him motivated to do whatever he can to be rescued.

A home located at 74 Devon Way in Memphis was featured in the motion picture as the home of characters Jerry and Kelly Lovett.

Duration: 2 hours 23 minutes

Where you can watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play Movies

12. The Poor and Hungry (2000)

The Poor and Hungry, an indie film entirely shot in Memphis, tells the tale of a car thief who falls in love with one of his victims.

Duration: 1 hour 58 minutes

13. 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)

3000 Miles to Graceland is about a group of ex-cons who rob a casino during an Elvis impersonator convention but things go wrong when one of them decides to run off with the money.

Although a decent amount of the movie was filmed in Canada, some scenes were filmed in Memphis, IMDb says.

Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies

14. 21 Grams (2003)

21 Grams is a crime drama about a mathematician, a grieving mother, and an ex-con who were brought together and had their lives changed by a terrible accident.

Despite the majority of the motion picture being filmed in New Mexico, filming also took place in Memphis, IMDb says.

Duration: 2 hours 4 minutes

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu

15. Black Snake Moan (2005)

Black Snake Moan is about a former blues musician who takes a young girl with an abusive past under his wing offering fatherly advice, educating her in blues music, and helping her resurrect her romantic relationship.

Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes

Where you can watch: Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu

16. Elizabethtown (2005)

Elizabethtown is a romantic comedy about a shoe designer who travels to Elizabethtown where his father died and meets a flight attendant who changes his view and perspective about life.

Some scenes were filmed in various Mid-South locations including Memphis, Hot Springs, AR, and Eureka Springs, AR.

Duration: 2 hours 3 minutes

Where you can watch: Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Apple TV

17. Hustle & Flow (2005)

Hustle & Flow, filmed in Memphis and directed by fellow Memphian Craig Brewer, tells the story of a Memphis pimp that attempts to become a successful rapper with some help from his friends.

The movie received 25 awards including an Oscar in 2006 for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song for “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp”. It also earned Craig Brewer an Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at the Nashville Film Festival in 2005.

Duration: 1 hour 56 minutes

Where you can watch: Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu

18. Forty Shades of Blue (2005)

Forty Shade of Blue, filmed in Memphis and directed by Memphian Ira Sachs, tells the story of a Russian woman living in Memphis with an older rock-n-roll legend who experiences a personal awakening when her husband’s estranged son comes to visit.

The movie won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. It was also nominated for an award at the Deauville Film Festival in 2005 and the Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2006.

Duration: 1 hour 48 minutes

19. Walk the Line (2005)

Walk the Line tells the story of Sun Studio legend Johnny Cash, from his early life on an Arkansas Cotton farm to his rise to fame in Memphis.

Not only was the movie shot in Memphis, but some exterior scenes were also filmed in Covington.

The film earned Reese Witherspoon an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2006.

Fun Fact: Visitors can tour Johnny Cash’s childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas.

Duration: 2 hours 16 minutes

Where you can watch: Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu

20. The Guilt Trip (2012)

The Guilt Trip, starring Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand, is a comedy about an inventor who embarks on a road trip but his mother unexpectedly comes along for the ride.

Duration: 1 hour 35 minutes

Where you can watch: Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies

21. Mississippi Grind (2015)

Mississippi Grind follows a man down on his luck teaming up with a poker player in an attempt to turn his luck around and set off on a road trip through the South.

According to IMDb, filming locations include Memphis and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Duration: 1 hour 48 minutes

Where you can watch: Paramount+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu

22. Christmas at Graceland (2018)

Christmas at Graceland focuses on a Chicago-based executive that travels to Memphis to secure one of the city’s oldest banks but reunites with an old flame.

Graceland, a known Memphis attraction, was the main filming location, according to IMDb.

Duration: 1 hour 25 minutes

Where you can watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Vudu

23. Uncorked (2020)

Uncorked is about a man that has to balance his dreams of becoming a master sommelier with his father’s expectations that he carries on his family’s Memphis BBQ restaurant.

Filming and production for the Netflix film took place in Memphis and Paris, France.

Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes

Where you can watch: Netflix