The beauty and majesty of Hilton Head Island make it a natural choice for movies. However, only a handful of features have taken advantage of the area’s lush scenery and put it on the big screen. Here are the titles that let you see the cinematic version of Hilton Head:
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) – A disillusioned war veteran, Captain Rannulph Junah, reluctantly agrees to play a game of golf. He finds the game futile until his caddy, Bagger Vance, teaches him the secret of the authentic golf stroke which turns out also to be the secret to mastering any challenge and finding meaning in life. Adapted from the book by Steven Pressfield, the film (pictured above) was directed by Robert Redford and stars Will Smith, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron and, in his final film, Jack Lemmon. Most of the golf scenes were filmed on the Dye course at Colleton River Plantation, just off Hilton Head Island.
“The Legend of Bagger Vance” Trivia
Matt Damon did not play golf when he took his role in the film. To prepare, he trained with Hilton Head pro Tim Moss for a month prior to filming.
The Longest Yard (1974) – A football player-turned-convict organizes a team of inmates to play against a team of prison guards. His dilemma is that the warden asks him to throw the game in return for an early release, but he is also concerned about the inmates’ lack of self-esteem. This classic football comedy stars Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert and, in only her second feature film, Bernadette Peters. It also features a number of real-life football players and actual convicts. While the prison scenes were lensed in Georgia, other parts of the film were shot in Hilton Head.
Doc Holliday’s Revenge (2014) – In 1882, Joseph and Elizabeth Cooley head west to reunite with Elizabeth’s family and are stranded in a logging camp just outside Tucson. Then, a wounded Indian stumbles into their camp and they must defend him against his would-be killer: Doc Holliday. Elizabeth considers Doc a stone-cold killer but, during the course of their tense standoff, she comes to find that this courtly, ailing man has a surprisingly well-honed sense of justice, frontier-style. The movie stars Eric Roberts, Tom Berenger and William McNamara, and uses Hilton Head to stand in for the more genteel parts of the Old West.
Come Away Home (2005) – Trendsetting 12-year-old Annie must adapt to a completely different scene when she’s coerced to leave New York City and spend the summer in Hilton Head, South Carolina, with her Grandpa Donald. The two get off to a rocky start, but with the guidance of a new friend, Annie grows close to her aging grandpa. The movie, which was shot entirely in Hilton Head, stars Lea Thompson, Thomas Gibson, Paul Dooley and Martin Mull. It was also adapted into the book “Come Away Home: Hilton Head is Calling You Home,” which remains a popular souvenir sold at Hilton Head Harbor.
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