The Long Hot Summer is a 1958 classic movie made by 20th Century Fox and directed by Martin Ritt, starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Orson Welles. That tells the story of a land-owning family and an ambitious drifter who walks in and starts a path of social climbing in the conquest of the daughter of the landowner.
The movie grossed $3.5 million dollars in its theatrical release, it is considered one of the best acting roles for Joanne Woodward, and the performances of Welles, Newman, and Angela Lansbury in a supporting roles, coupled with the filming locations, make this one hell of a movie from the 1950s worth your attention.
As such, we’re going to focus today on the places where this movie was shot. So, let’s take a trip down to Louisiana in the Southern United States.
The Long Hot Summer Filming Locations
The Long Hot Summer was filmed on location with director Martin Ritt taking the cast and crew to different places across Louisiana, United States, in places like Clinton, Baton Rouge, Vacherie with its beautiful plantations, and other places across that beautiful, history-rich state in the Southern United States.
Louisiana became part of the United States in 1803 when then-US President Thomas Jefferson bought the territory from the French for $15 million, thinking that those initial 828,000 square miles —at four cents an acre, making it one of the sweetest real estate deals in recorded history— west of the Mississippi River would be just that.
In fact, Jefferson doubled the US territory in size because, in fact, that stretch of the land went from Lousiana all the way through the central US up to the Canadian border: that mass land purchase that was initially Louisiana became Arkansas, Oklahoma, a part of Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, The Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana.
Martin Ritt chose Clinton, Louisiana’s landscapes and exteriors to give the impressions and characteristics of a vast terrain full of vibrant nature that help viewers more context about the story in which Newman’s character interacts with Woodward’s and with the participation of Orson Welles the entire stage was set in Clinton to recreate the town where the story takes place “Frenchman’s Bend.” Other productions were also shot here, like the hit series “True Blood” from HBO.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital city of the State of Louisiana; it was founded on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River back in 1699, the place is full of vibrant history, and with its background, it is a melting pot of French, American, Creole and Cajun culture.
It is a major industrial hub home to petrochemical companies, and thanks to the incentives that the city has given to filmmakers since the 1950s, it’s been a frequent filming location for several productions like Greyhound, The Magnificent Seven, Dallas Buyer’s Club, and Pitch Perfect.
Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana, USA
Located in Vacherie, Louisiana, the Oak Alley Plantation is a historic landmark in Louisiana initially owned by Jacques and Celina Roman in the 1830s that dedicated its territory to planting sugarcane.
Inspired by Greek revival architecture, the mansion is a beautiful structure, and this place has been the filming location for such movies as The Long Hot Summer, Interview With The Vampire, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, and it was also used in Red Dead Redemption 2
The Long Hot Summer is a story of love, ambition, and social climbing set against the backdrop of the Louisiana rural lands and its capital city, directed by Martin Ritt and his production crew, who carefully chose the filming locations to give a better sense of depth and layers of stunning visual imagery, the filming locations for The Long Hot Summer, in many ways also become protagonists to this story.
If you’re interested in watching this film, you can find it on Apple TV, Amazon Direct Video, Google Play, Directv Streaming, and AMC on Demand.
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