The Films of Astoria


Wikipedia Pic

Wikipedia Pic

To finish off my week of posts on Astoria (Oregon), I’ve put together a brief blog about all of the movies that have been shot there. This is a pop-culture blog after all!

Astoria is sometimes referred to as San Francisco of the north. It’s easy to see why. It sits on the ocean and on a bay, it’s hilly, and it largely revolves around fishing. It’s quaint small-town feel is quite a bit different than San Fran however. But it has so many interesting aspects to it: Lewis and Clark history, Civil War and World War II history, Columbia River barge traffic, Pacific Ocean, shanghaied sailors, a beautiful bridge and movie locations! It makes a great place for shooting movies…

Several films have been made in the little town, as I discussed earlier this week. Let’s take a look:

  • The Fisherman’s Bride (1908) – The first movie Wikipedia lists has having been filmed in Oregon at all was shot in Astoria. A silent short that I’ve never seen about a young couple in Astoria. They fall in love and he gets shanghaied. Can she rescue him in time?
  • California Mix (1981) – I can’t find any info anywhere on the interweb about this one. Seriously, I have no idea what this movie is, but several sites say it was made in Astoria in 1981.
  • The Goonies (1985) – This classic about a group of kids on a hunt for pirate treasure is a must-see movie. I don’t need a summary because you’ve seen it already. If not, stop reading this blog and go watch it now!
  • Short Circuit (1986) – When a military robot is hit by lightning, it takes on a life of its own. While Ally Sheedy teaches it how to be human, its creator Steve Gutenberg is trying to find it. Fun comedy adventure!
  • Benji the Hunted (1986) – Benji the dog, lost in the wilderness, helps a set of motherless cougar cubs survive.
  • Come See the Paradise (1990) – A WWII movie about a theater projectionist that married a Japanese woman.
  • Kindergarten Cop (1990) – Schwarzenegger stars as a tough cop undercover in an Astoria kindergarten as he searches for a boy being hunted by a killer.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) – Follow up to the original hits. The turtles go back in time to Japan.
  • Free Willy (1993) – A boy wants to help set a whale free. Spawned several sequels.
  • Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995) – Told you so!
  • The Ring 2 (2004) – Horror movie about the ghost of a girl that kills whoever watches a certain video tape.
  • Cthulhu (2005) – Tori Spelling horror movie about a man returning to his hometown and learning about his father’s cult.
  • The Guardian (2006) – Costner and Kutcher in an adventure film about two men in the Coast Guard.

There have been a few others over the years, including several low budget art films and even an episode of Route 66, but those are some of the highlights (and I use that term loosely). Some of these movies feature Astoria much more prominently than others. But I gotta give them all props for using my favorite town!

This is not actually the last Astoria post… Tomorrow is a quiz about The Goonies!

Have you seen some of these movies? Comment me!


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