Newport County and East Bay Feature


Filming in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is no stranger to the big screen. With a reputation for beautiful, diverse scenery, Little Rhody has become a bona fide movie star with more than 100 films to its credit. Keep an eye open for locations you may recognize from the following shows and films:

The Great Gatsby (1974). In this film that brings F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel to life, Mia Farrow stars as the object of millionaire Jay Gatsby's (Robert Redford) affections. Many remember Gatsby's stunning mansion, his yellow Rolls-Royce, and the party scene in which revelers danced in the fountain. These scenes were shot at Newport's Rosecliff mansion on Bellevue Avenue, and the costumes Redford and Farrow wore are on display there.

Reversal of Fortune (1990). Jeremy Irons won the Academy Award for best actor in 1990 for his performance as Claus von Bülow, accused of putting his wife, Sunny (Glenn Close), into a coma with an insulin overdose. At the time, the von Bülows lived at Clarendon Court on Bellevue Avenue, and the film's opening aerial shots show the immense mansions on that street, perched above the water's edge.

True Lies (1994). In this romantic action comedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger played a spy, unbeknownst to his wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The film's opening Swiss Alps scene was shot at Ochre Court at Salve Regina University. (As a neighborly gesture, Salve students sent a pizza to Schwarzenegger's trailer.) Schwarzenegger also tangoed with Tia Carrere in the ballroom at Rosecliff mansion on Bellevue Avenue.

Amistad (1997). Steven Spielberg directed this story about the 1839 slave revolt aboard a Spanish slave ship. An African-born slave leads a mutiny and a U.S. court decides the slaves' fate. Much of the film was shot in Rhode Island, including the scene where African slaves row ashore to a rocky beach (Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown). Other film locations include Providence's Governor's State Room in the Rhode Island State House and Bristol's Mount Hope Farm. To create the look of Colonial times in Newport, Washington Square's streets were covered in dirt, and modern elements, such as shops' signs, were taken down. In the Old Colony House John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins) argued for the Africans' freedom.

Me, Myself & Irene (2000). Scenes include: Jim Carrey driving over the Newport Bridge; a wedding dream scene at St. John's Episcopal Church on Washington Street in Newport's Point section; and shots on Narragansett Avenue in Jamestown as well as on Great Island in Narragansett.

Thirteen Days (2000). The film borrowed a ship from the Naval War College in Newport for a water scene, and naval officers were used as extras on board.

Dan in Real Life (2007). Steve Carell plays a widower who falls for his brother’s girlfriend in this comedy drama with scenes filmed in various locations including Sachuest Point Road in Middletown and inside Jimmy’s Saloon in Newport.

Evening (2007). Claire Danes met future husband Hugh Dancy on the set of this drama based on Susan Minot’s novel of the same name. Scenes from the 1950s were filmed at Brenton Point State Park and on Ocean Drive.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012). Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, and Harvey Keitel were among the stars of this film that included scenes shot at Trinity Church and in Ballard Park in Newport, Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, and Fogland Beach in Tiverton.

Updated: 2014-05-06

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