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Top Ten Films Featuring the Hudson Valley

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Cold in July (2014)

This 2014 thriller starring Michael C. Hall was filmed in several areas in Ulster County including Woodstock, Kingston, and Esopus. Director Jim Mickle set the movie in East Texas, however he decided after visiting the Midwest that it looked very much like upstate New York-very close to where he and his film crew are based. He decided to film in Ulster County based off of its close resemblance to the scenery of East Texas with its wet, marshy look and tall pines.

Super Troopers (2001)

This comedy about the Vermont State Police was actually filmed largely in areas of southern Dutchess County including Beacon as well as areas of Rockefeller State Park preserve as well. Several other areas were included in filming as well. Also, several local business were used for filming including the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls.

Taking Woodstock (2009)

This comedy-drama starring comedian Demetri Martin used several areas in the Hudson Valley to add authenticity to this film. Areas included Schodack as well as Hillsdale which were used to help recreate the scenery of the actual Woodstock venue. The film is based off of Elliot Tiber’s memoir about how he helped set the venue for the famous festival as well as his experiences there.

The Road to Wellville (1994)

This film was largely set in the Mohonk Mountain House located in New Paltz. Director Alan Parker realized that the Mountain House was the perfect place to recreate John Harvey Kellog’s sanitarium located in Battle Creek, Michigan. During filming, over 150 of the hotel and resorts rooms were used and staffers of the hotel were also used as extras when needed.

Niagara, Niagara (1997)

This film chronicling a young woman with Tourette syndrome and a male accomplice’s journey through New York towards Niagara Falls was filmed heavily in the Town of Lloyd area. A local auto repairman from the West Park Service Center helped filmmakers get their tow truck to do what it needed to do in one particular scene where the two main characters crash their vehicle.  Additionally, the Poughkeepsie Galleria is scene towards to end of the movie and is used as a stand in for the Toronto Mall.

The World According to Garp (1982)

This Robin Williams movie used Millbrook Private School for filming. The school was used as “Steering School” where Williams’ character spent his formative years.

Regarding Henry (1991)

Starring Harrison Ford and Annette Benning, this film also used Millbrook Private School for filming. Additionally, the Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains was used for much of the shots as well. Being a Medical-Drama, the Burke Center was a large part of the setting for the film.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2009)

Shot largely in Poughkeepsie, this Slasher film was shot in the “Blair Witch” style. Looking like a real documentary, this film used footage of the Poughkeepsie area that seems to look like authentic home video to help give this fictitious horror film an element of realness. In widely distributed trailer for the film, several shots of the Poughkeepsie area are shown as well as a street sign marking where these supposed killings occurred around.

Sisterhood of Night (2014)

This film which has been recently picked up by Freestyle was shot entirely in the Kingston area. Kingston High School was a massive part of the film production as well as the movie centers around the formation of a group titled “The Sisterhood of Night” by a group of teenage girls. In the trailer for the film one can see shots of the Kingston area readily as well as inside the halls of Kingston High School.

Higher Ground (2011)

This film was the directorial debut of Vena Farmiga, an Ulster County resident. Farmiga also starred in the movie (and other more well-known movies like The Conjuring) which was filmed in the Kingston, Kerhonkson, and Ellenville areas. The film opened to largely positive reviews and film critic Roger Ebert even said about the setting: “Ask yourself during the film where you think it takes place — which American state? I looked up the locations on IMDb and was surprised. Its location doesn’t fit regional stereotypes.”

The main resource I used for compiling this list was http://www.hudsonvalleyfilmcommission.org/ which has a wealth of information about films that were set in the Hudson Valley. It was very difficult to decide which films to include in this list and which to leave out, however I felt as though these films represented a wide variety of genres and styles. This goes to show the versatility of the Hudson Valley landscape and region and how it can serve so many different purposes. Whether it be a “Mockumentary” such as the Poughkeepsie Tapes, or a teenage comedy like Super Troopers, the Hudson Valley and it’s various towns and locations have been utilized for several popular films throughout the years, and the list continues to grow.

-Ben Smith

 

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1 Comment

  1. […] *You can read about past movies shot in the Hudson River Valley here. […]

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