On location: Beaufort & Jasper Counties
Last Dance (1996)
Staring Sharon Stone as Cindy Liggett, Rob Morrow as Rick Hayes, Randy Quaid as Sam Burns, Peter Gallagher as John Hayes and Jack Thompson as The Governor.
A young lawyer (Rob Morrow) is assigned to a clemency case for Cindy Liggett (Sharon Stone), a woman on death row for first-degree murder. As he investigates her case, the two develop a friendship. As her execution date draws closer, he uncovers errors in her trial that his bosses would rather he ignore.
The crime drama thriller was mostly shot in Nashville, but you’ll see some familiar sites from Beaufort and Jasper counties. Several scenes were shot at “The Castle,” a mansion located at 411 Craven St. in Beaufort. Other scenes in the film were shot at Hunting Island State Park.
The film’s prison scenes were shot at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison in Ridgeland that opened in 1995, one year before this film was released. The crew party was held at Ned’s Pub-n-Grub, a popular mom-and-pop bar and restaurant in Ridgeland that closed in 2016 to make way for a Dollar Tree store. The wrap party was held at Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club on Lady’s Island.
- After appearing in Last Dance, “The Castle” mansion in Beaufort was featured in the 1999 American romantic comedy Forces of Nature, starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock. The mansion is said to be haunted by a ghostly 500-year-old French dwarf named Gauche. The ghost has been charged with tapping out messages in 16th-century French, moving furniture, opening and closing doors and leaving red handprints on windows.
- Bruce Beresford was the director of Last Dance. Other notable films he has directed include Breaker Morant (1980), Tender Mercies (1983), Crimes of the Heart (1986) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989).
- The film was largely ignored at the box office and suffered in comparison to the 1995 film Dead Man Walking, which was an Academy Award-winning drama whose treatment of the death penalty theme was still fresh in the minds of audiences when Last Dance was released.
Help change the future
Want to make a difference? Volunteer to work with inmates at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution. There is no special education or other requirements — just a desire to work with those less fortunate. Learn more at doc.sc.gov.
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