By Tori Linville
It’s called Sweet Home Alabama for a reason – it’s sweet and it’s home to almost five million Americans. Alabama has a story unlike any other state in the nation, which is probably while the silver screen is always drawn back to the southern roots that run deep through the Alabama dirt. The movies below were all set in Alabama and are classics that shouldn’t be missed.
To Kill A Mockingbird
Perhaps one of Alabama’s biggest literary accomplishments comes to life in the movie named for the book “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Anyone who’s ever survived a high school English class knows the deal. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), lawyer father to Scout (Mary Badham), is to defend a man who has been falsely accused of sexual assault. Scout attempts to navigate through her childhood while confronting the world around her. The classic highlights the struggles of overcoming racism and ignorance all while set in Monroeville, Alabama.
Ed Bloom, Jr. has lived in the shadow of his father’s tales and legends throughout his entire life. Based on the novel “Big Fish,” Ed (Ewan McGregor) relives the stories told to him order to find a way to reconnect to his dying father. Directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish has Siamese twin dancers, a town that walks around only barefoot and, of course, one really big fish. Tumbling through a fantasy world that only gets confusing if you ask too many questions, Big Fish doesn’t rely on making sense. Which only makes sense, in the end.
Alabama natives are given a birth certificate and a copy of Forrest Gump when they enter the world. True? No, but it should be. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) is a man with a low I.Q. who has life experiences that can only be classified as legend. Forrest’s story includes a miraculous spinal disease cure, making it through an all-girls’ dorm, making it through Bear Bryant’s coaching, making it through Vietnam and then making a shrimping company for kicks. Set in Greenbow, Alabama and with unforgettable characters like Bubba (Mykelti Williamson), Jenny (Robin Wright) and Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise), Forrest Gump is a movie for the ages (all of them).
Fried Green Tomatoes
Evelyn (Kathy Bates) is down and out about her body, her marriage and her life. Then, she meets Ninny (Jessica Tandy). Ninny introduces Evelyn to Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) and Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) through her stories of the two women who used to run the Whistle Stop Café. Based on the novel, “Fried Green Tomatoes,” the film adaptation is just as delicious. Ninny tells Evelyn of Idgie’s adventurous ways and of Ruth’s steadfast friendship that inspires Evelyn to change for the better. This classic never disappoints and is set in Anderson, Alabama.
Sweet Home Alabama
Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) has changed. After leaving her hometown of Pigeon Creek, Alabama, she becomes a fashion designer from Greenville, Alabama and never looks back. Until she gets engaged. Before she can marry her groom-to-be, she has to divorce her high school sweetheart, Jake (Josh Lucas). When she comes home, Melanie discovers she’s not the only thing that’s changed. “Sweet Home Alabama” shows just how deep the Alabama roots can be, even if you have grown wings.
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