: "Lean on Pete" by The Bureau

Lights, Camera, Oregon

March 21, 2020 (Updated March 24, 2022)

Need some inspiration to find a new place to visit in Oregon? Just look to the big screen. More than 450 films and TV projects that have been shot in the past several decades in Oregon — from “The Goonies” and “Free Willy” to “Kindergarten Cop,” “The Shining,” “Stand By Me,” “Point Break,” “The Hunted” and “Drugstore Cowboy,” plus dozens more.

In December 2014, the made-in-Oregon movie “Wild” premiered to the world, inspiring masses of hikers to trek the famous Pacific Crest Trail, featured in the film.

Why is Oregon so popular as a big-screen backdrop? It’s a combination of the state’s natural beauty and diverse landscape; its large talent base within the industry; and its ideal location nearby other West Coast hubs, says Tim Williams, executive director of the Oregon Film Office. “We have a nice little balanced system,” he says. “You can find everything here.”

Fred Armisen take a photo of Carrie Brownstein as they sit in a cafe.
“Portlandia” put Oregon’s largest city into the limelight, with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s humorous portrayals. (Photo credit: Augusta Quirk/ IFC)
Students study in the EMU, surrounded by glass windows.
The Erb Memorial Union Fishbowl is famously known for a scene in “Animal House.” (Photo credit: University of Oregon)

Add to Your Watch List

Think you’ve seen all of the movies and TV shows shot in Oregon? Not quite — some are brand new or lesser known. Add these new favorites to your must-watch list:

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (2020)

In this imaginative family comedy, based on the book series by Stephan Pastis, a quirky kid and his polar bear sidekick set out to solve mysteries in Portland. It’s anything but expected and will have both adults and kids giggling. Look for the likes of Craig Robinson, Kyle Bornheimer and Wallace Shawn — as well as some local Portland celebrities. Stream it on Disney+

Shrill (2019-now)

Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant produces and stars in this comedy series about a struggling young journalist in Portland who’s faced with tough — and empowering — situations. The show has engrossing storylines, topped with iconic Oregon locations, making it easy to binge-watch both seasons at home. Stream it on Hulu.

Stumptown (2019-now)

Based on a graphic novel series by Oni Press, “Stumptown” follows an Army veteran turned private investigator as she navigates the streets of Portland. It stars Cobie Smulders (of “How I Met Your Mother” fame) and is filled with action-packed scenes. Stream it on ABC and Hulu.

Phoenix, Oregon (2019)

Filmed in Klamath County but named after the Jackson County town, this movie centers around two friends who face mid-life crises and open an old bowling alley together. In partnership with theaters, the movie is now offered to watch from home in the U.S. and Canada. Purchase the theatrical-at-home for $6.50.

Everything Sucks (2018)

This short-lived comedy series gained a serious cult following. It was filmed mostly in Oregon City and set in the city of Boring. The teenage “Freaks and Geeks”-like story about rival cliques shot for a final week in the high desert of Southern Oregon at Fort Rock State Natural Area — using the large red rock as a backdrop as a tribute to the classic Star Trek alien landscape scenes. Stream it on Netflix.

Here and Now (2018)

This one-of-a-kind drama series, starring actors Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter, was filmed at various locations in North Portland. Directed by Alan Ball — of “True Blood” and “Six Feet Under” — the drama follows a couple navigating their life with adopted children (plus a few surprises). As in other recent Portland-made TV series, hundreds of Portland extras stood in as bike-riding, pet-walking hipsters, part of Stumptown’s allure. Stream it on HBO.

Leave No Trace (2018)

This movie starting actor Ben Foster, shot in Portland’s Forest Park in April 2017. Adapted by the book by Portland author Peter Rock, the film follows the story of a father raising his 13-year-old daughter off the grid, in the dense woods of the urban park. The pair spent four years in a homemade shelter surviving on their own and trying to avoid detection. Stream it on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Google Play.

Lean on Pete (2017)

Oregon’s wide-open spaces took center stage in the film “Lean on Pete.” Filmmakers spent two weeks in 2016 in Burns — the high desert of southeastern Oregon — filming horse racing scenes and a ranch with actors Chloe Sevigny, Charlie Plummer and Steve Buscemi as the surly horse trainer. The story takes place along the road from Portland to Wyoming, but all of the scenes were shot in Oregon. Stream it on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Google Play.

Reese Witherspoon at Crater Lake in "Wild" by Fox Searchlight

Filmed in Oregon

From the 1909 silent drama “The Fisherman’s Bride” to the 2020 imaginative family comedy “Timmy Failure,” Oregon has provided captivating backdrops for decades. For a full list of movies and television series filmed in Oregon, visit OregonFilm.org; below are some of the most notable titles.


“Shrill” (2019-now) – Portland, Beaverton

“Trinkets” (2019-now) – Portland, Clackamas

“Documentary Now!” (2019) – Portland, Scotts Mills

“Phoenix, OR” (2019) – Klamath Falls

“Missing Link” (2019) – animated

“The Perfectionists” (2019) – Forest Grove, Portland, Estacada

“Lean on Pete” (2018) – Portland, Harney County

“Here and Now” (2018) – Portland

“Everything Sucks!” (2018) – Oregon City, Boring, Fort Rock

“Bad Samaritan” (2018) – Portland

“Leave No Trace” (2018) – Estacada, Portland, Newberg

“Portlandia” (2011-2018) – Portland Region

“The Librarians” (2014-present) – Portland, Clackamas

“Original Fare” (2013-present) – Portland, Eastern Oregon

“Little People Big World” (2006-present) – Portland Region

“The Watchman’s Canoe” (2017)  – Coos Bay, Florence

“Tracktown” (2017) – Eugene

“Wei is de Moi?” (2017) – Portland Region, statewide

“I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore” (2017) – Portland, Wilsonville, Lake Oswego

“Grimm” (2011-2017) – Portland Region

“Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove” (2016) – Newport, Coos Bay

“Buddymoon” (2016) – Mt. Hood & the Columbia River Gorge

“Green Room” (2015) – Clackamas, Astoria

“Significant Mother” (2015) – Portland

“Wild” (2013) – Portland, Ashland, Bend, Cascade Locks

“Redwood Highway” (2013) – Southern Oregon, Oregon Coast

“Leverage” (2008-2012) – Portland Region, Mt. Hood


“Something Wicked” (2009) – Eugene

“Twilight” (2008) – Portland, Oxbow Park, St. Helens, Carver

“The River Why” (2008) – Portland Area, Wilson River

“Without a Paddle: Nature’s Calling” (2008) – Portland Region, Clackamas County

“The Road” (2008) – Portland Region, Fort Stevens

“Dark Horizon” (2006) – Salem

“Mr. Brooks” (2006) – Portland

“Paranoid Park” (2006) – Portland

“My Name is Bruce” (2006) – Medford

“Into The Wild” (2006) – Astoria, Cascade Mountains

“Feast of Love” (2006) – Portland

“The Music Within” (2006) – Portland

“Are We There Yet?” (2005) – Portland

“The Ring Two” (2004) – Astoria

“Bigger Than the Sky” (2004)  Portland

“Mean Creek” (2003) – Estacada, Troutdale

“Thumbsucker” (2003) – Tigard, Vernonia, Portland

“Elephant” (2002) – Portland

“What the Bleep Do We Know!?” (2002) – Portland

“The Ring” (2002) – Newport, Columbia River Gorge

“AI” (2001) – Gresham

“Bandits” (2001) – Salem, Wilsonville

“Swordfish” (2001) – Redmond

“Antitrust” (2001) – Portland

“Pay It Forward” (2000) – Portland


“Men of Honor” (1999) – Rainier, Portland

“Halloweentown” (1998) – St. Helens, Portland

“Double Jeopardy” (1998) – Salem

“Zero Effect” (1997) – Portland

“The Postman” (1997) – Central Oregon

“Without Limits” (1996 ) – Eugene

“From Oregon With Love” (1984-1996) – Central Oregon

“8 Seconds” (1994) – Pendleton

“Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home” (1994) – Astoria

“Mr. Holland’s Opus” (1994) – Portland

“The River Wild” (1994) – Grants Pass

“Maverick” (1994) – Columbia River Gorge

“Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” (1992) – Bend, Portland

“Free Willy” (1992) Portland, Astoria

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” (1992) – Astoria

“Body of Evidence” (1993) – Portland

Homeward Bound: Incredible Journey” (1991) – Portland, Wallowa County, Bend

“Point Break” (1991) – Wheeler, Ecola State Park

“My Own Private Idaho” (1990) – Portland, Maupin

“The Favor” (1990) – Portland

“Kindergarten Cop” (1990) – Astoria


“Spirit of the Eagle” (1988) – Grants Pass

“Drugstore Cowboy” (1988) – Portland

“Homer and Eddie” (1988) – Mt. Hood, Oregon City

“Permanent Record” (1987) – Portland

“Benji the Hunted” (1986) – Statewide

“Overboard” (1987) – Newport

“Short Circuit” (1985) – Astoria, Portland, Columbia River Gorge

“Stand By Me” (1985) – Eugene, Cottage Grove, Brownsville, Veneta, Cheshire

“The Dream Chasers” (1984) – Medford, Jacksonville

“Goonies” (1984) – Astoria

“Quarterback Princess” (1983) – McMinnville


“Animal House” (1978) – Eugene

“The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” (1977) – Yaquina Head

“The Shining” (1977) – Timberline Lodge

“The Possessed” (1977) – Reed College, Portland

“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) – Salem, Central Coast

“The Apple Dumpling Gang” (1974) – Deschutes National Forest

“Rooster Cogburn” (1974) – Bend, Grants Pass

“Lost Horizon” (1972) – Mt. Hood

“Napoleon and Samantha” (1972) – John Day

“Drive, He Said” (1970) – Eugene

“Sometimes a Great Notion” (1970) – Central Coast

“Getting Straight” (1970) – Eugene


“Paint Your Wagon” (1969) – Baker County

“True Grit” (1969) – Bend, Grant’s Pass

“The Way West” (1967) – Crooked River Canyon, Lane County

“Shenandoah” (1965)

“The Great Race” (1965) – Gearhart

“Mara of the Wilderness” (1965) – Deschutes National Forest

“Ring of Fire” (1961) – Vernonia


“The Day of the Outlaw” (1959) – Bend

“Tonka” (1958) – Bend

“The Day Called X” (1957) – Portland

“Oregon Passage” (1957) – Bend

“Portland Expose” (1957) – Portland, Gresham

“Bend of the River” (1952) – Mt. Hood


“Rachel and the Stranger” (1949) – Eugene

“Golden Earrings” (1946) – Corbett

“Canyon Passage” (1946)

“Abe Lincoln in Illinois” (1939) – Eugene, McKenzie River

“Call of the Wild” (1935) – Mt. Baker Lodge

Singing Waters” (1931) – Pendleton

“The Big Trail” (1930) – Pendleton

“Ed’s Coed” (1929) – Eugene

“City Girl” (1928) – Pendleton

“The Old Oregon Trail” (1928) – Condon, John Day River

Buster Keaton’s “The General” (1926) – Cottage Grove

“Winds of Chance” (1925) – Wallowa

“Rin-Tin-Tin: Find Your Man” (1924) – Klamath Falls

“Covered Wagon” (1923)

“Grace’s Visit to the Rogue Valley” (1915) – Jackson County

“The Fisherman’s Bride” (1909)

Plan a future trip

You can easily plan your next trip to Oregon around some of these cult classics: Set out on a film tour of “Animal House” in Cottage Grove, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in Salem, or “Portlandia” and “The Librarians” in Portland.

Goonies fans should also make a pilgrimage to the Oregon Film Museum in Astoria, housed in the old Clatsop County Jail from the film’s opening scene. Here, you can geek out to the history and pop culture of filming in Oregon, and find out how to take a film tour of Astoria while you’re in town.

About The

Jen Anderson
Jen Anderson is a longtime journalist and travel writer/editor who is now Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager, helping to align content for visitors via social media, print and web. She’s called Oregon home for 25 years and loves finding the latest places to eat, drink and play around the state with her husband and two boys. Brewpubs, beaches and bike trails top the list.

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