Beaufort County has been a filming location for many movies over the years. The most iconic movies that have been filmed here include:
Forrest Gump (1994)
This classic movie starring Tom Hanks was filmed in several locations throughout Beaufort County, including Hunting Island State Park, Fripp Island and downtown Beaufort. Many locals were cast as extras in the film. Bubba’s mother, who fainted after Forrest handed her a check, was played by local singer and Gullah historian Marlena Smalls. The choir in the film is the Hallelujah Singers, a Beaufort-based group that Smalls founded. The group has performed for the U.S. Congress, Hillary Clinton and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The Big Chill (1983)
This movie also was filmed in various locations throughout Beaufort County, including the historic district of Beaufort and the University of South Carolina’s Beaufort campus. The Big Chill House, known as Tidalholm, is located at One Laurens St. in Beaufort. Actor Tom Berenger got married on the Tidalholm lawn in 1986 and has lived in the area ever since.
The Prince of Tides (1991)
This drama, based on the novel by Pat Conroy, was filmed in Beaufort County and features many local landmarks. Actor 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 Great Santini (1979)
This movie, also based on a novel by Pat Conroy, was filmed in various locations in Beaufort County, including the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort. Tidalholm (The Big Chill House) was first featured in this 1979 film featuring Robert Duvall. Country Living magazine labeled Tidalholm “the most famous historic house in South Carolina.”
G.I. Jane (1997)
This action movie starring Demi Moore had two filming locations in Beaufort County. The survival camp scenes were shot on Harbor Island, a small residential island located 14 miles east of Beaufort. The jungle and water camp scenes were filmed on nearby Hunting Island, the most popular state park in South Carolina.
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Some scenes for this golf-themed movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon were shot at Colleton River Plantation in Bluffton. Local golfing legend Tim Moss served as Damon’s golf instructor.