When Paramount Pictures swept into Beaufort SC in August of 1993, everyone was excited that a new movie was filming with Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright and a newer actor named Gary Sinese.
Forrest Gump movie locations in Beaufort SC
When Paramount Pictures swept into Beaufort SC in August of 1993, everyone was excited that a new movie was filming with Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright and a newer actor named Gary Sinese. Although most of the film is set in Alabama, a good deal of filming took place mainly in and around Beaufort.
Dozens and dozens of locals were cast as extras in the movie, and location spotters were dispatched all over the Beaufort area to take photographs to determine which local spots were ideal for filming the movie.
They must've found what they were looking for because the rest is history.
After the film was released, the 5 month filming in the Beaufort area turned up quite a few local spots that were made into very prominent locations in the movie.
Here are several prominent locations that you can still visit, and recognize, 26 years later.
Gump Medical Center was actually the University of South Carolina Beaufort campus Center for the Arts on Carteret Street in downtown Beaufort. The building remained the same in the movie, but the wonders of CGI (computer generated imagery) changed the sign to say Gump Medical Center.
Part of Sea Island Parkway connecting Lady's Island to St. Helena Island that crosses Chowan Creek was used as the setting where Forrest enters Mississippi while he was running across the U.S.A. The road has since been redone, but you still drive right through this spot when you're on your way to Hunting, Harbor and Fripp Islands.
Forrest Gump’s beautiful shrimp boat scenes weren't filmed in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. They were shot on location along Lucy Creek right here on Lady's Island. The boat house on Coosaw Island on the other side of Lucy Creek was the setting for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. It was destroyed in Hurricane Matthew but has been rebuilt.
The Vietnam scenes, where Forrest first meets both Bubba and Lieutenant Dan were filmed on Fripp Island and Hunting Island State Park. Also, the spot where Forrest dropped off all of his wounded comrades was along the popular lagoon at Hunting Island.
That wasn't the Mississippi River that Forrest was crossing as he was running across the U.S.A. It was the Beaufort River, and they were running over the iconic Woods Memorial Bridge in downtown Beaufort. They didn't have to do anything to change the look of the bridge, but they did add the Mississippi River sign to it.
Bubba Blue's house is located on Alston Road on Lady's Island. You'll remember in the movie, Forrest made good on his and Bubba's idea to start a shrimping business. After Bubba died in Vietnam, Forrest kept his promise and then visited Bubba's mother and gave her a check, and she fainted.
When Forrest's hobbies included cutting grass at the local football stadium in Alabama, he was actually cutting the grass at Basil Green Sports Complex, a local city park here in Beaufort. CGI turned it from a baseball field to a football field for the movie.
Forrest's shrimp boat, which he named "Jenny" after the love of his life belonged belonged to a local Beaufort shrimper named Jimmy Stanley.
There are several other local Lowcountry spots just outside of Beaufort that made big appearances in the film.
The Stoney Creek Independent Presbyterian Church in McPhersonville was used as the church in the film. The practice football field where the University of Alabama football team was practicing when Forrest's speed was first noticed was actually Wade Hampton High School in Varnville and the town that young Forrest and his momma lived in was the town of Varnville. Jennys house was off of Twickenham Plantation Road in Yemassee, but has been torn down since filming.
Forrest's family house and the famous tree are also located in Yemassee. The house was built for the movie and was torn down after production, but the tree is still there and its actual whereabouts are relatively unknown to most and the property owner prefers to keep it that way.
Over 15 major Hollywood movies have been filmed in Beaufort SC and more are sure to come. Living in Beaufort is somewhat like living on a movie set and you'll be happy rubbing elbows with actors and actresses who come to town to film. You too will be able to brag to your friends and family...."that's the town I live in."
If you're considering relocating to the Beaufort SC area, Century 21 Carolina Realty can help make your dream a reality by helping you find your forever home here in the Lowcountry. Call us at 843-521-2121 and one of our experienced agents can assist you in becoming a Beaufort local.
We live the Lowcountry life, and we want to share it with you.
*Article images courtesy Yvette Pryor and Paramount Pictures
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