On Location: Beaufort
A look at the Lowcountry’s starring role in the movies
The Prince of Tides (1991)
Nick Nolte as Tom Wingo, Barbra Streisand as Dr. Susan Lowenstein, Blythe Danner as Sallie Wingo, Kate Nelligan as Lila Wingo Newbury, Jeroen Krabbé as Herbert Woodruff, Kiki Runyan as Savannah Wingo and George Carlin as Eddie Detreville.
Nominated for seven Academy Awards, “The Prince of Tides” is a romantic drama based on Beaufort native Pat Conroy’s book of the same name. The film divides its time between New York City and South Carolina, and its opening sequence features a flyover of the Beaufort River. What was once the Bay Street Inn, located at 601 Bay Street, was used as Tom Wingo’s mother’s home in the movie. The former Beaufort High School football field was used as the backdrop for the football scenes in the film. The Naval Hospital stood in for New York’s Bellevue Hospital. Scenes also were shot on Fripp Island where the beach house in the movie is located and on St. Helena Island where the famous boat Tiderunner is moored in the marshes and featured in the film.
- Four actresses played the role of Savannah Wingo. The 13-year-old Savannah was played by then Hilton Head Island resident Kiki Runyan (now Kiki Patsch living in California). Many locals know her mom, Debi Lynes. Here she is shown on the set with Nick Nolte and two other actors from the film. “Barbra (Streisand) was really great to all of the people on the set, especially us kids,” Kiki said.
- Nick Nolte rode all over town on his rickety bicycle, dressed in green surgical scrubs. He chatted up shrimpers and downtown merchants and sat down with people in cafes and bars. “I’m really into this place,” Nolte said. “I want to know every street, every place to get a good burger. You’ll be sick of me by the time I have to leave!”
- The film was directed and co-produced by Streisand, who made a few changes to the historic mansion at 601 Bay Street. “Barbra didn’t think our fence was fancy enough, so she added post toppers,” homeowner Gwen Myers said. Streisand also moved around some landscaping to suit her eye.
Hilton Head Island to Beaufort’s Historic District
Drive time: 50 minutes (36.8 miles) via SC-170
Travel notes: Walk past the Prince of Tides house (601 Bay Street) and several other iconic landmarks with a self-guided walking tour of Beaufort’s historic district. For an even more memorable experience, book a 55-minute, fully narrated horse-drawn-carriage tour through Sea Island Carriage Company or Southern Rose Carriage Tours.
- Amazon Prime