With all due respect to Austin's reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World...
We'd like to talk about something else. Namely, movies filmed in Austin. Over the years, Austin has played host to the filming of dozens of classic films. Highly regarded writer-directors like Quentin Tarantino, Mike Judge, and Richard Linklater have all professed their love for our Austin, and the city itself has often become a kind of background character in their films.
So while our music scene will likely always get the lion's share of love and admiration from most folks, we thought we'd take some time to highlight some of the awesome movies filmed in Austin. But before we do that, it definitely bears mentioning that the Austin Film Festival is rapidly approaching! This mecca for all things film-related returns for its 25th year from Thursday, October 25th to Thursday, November 1st. Along the way, we'll be in the mix by presenting the Austin Film Festival Film Pass Party at Easy Tiger on Tuesday, October 30th. You can grab tickets (and enter for a chance at a free pair) right here.
Now, with that out of the way, check out our findings on 10 Movies Filmed Right Here in Austin, below.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape - (1993)
Gilbert Grape, a young man living in a small town is tasked with taking care of both his immobile, obese mother and his younger mentally-disabled brother who knows how to stir up trouble, while he tries to live a simple life of his own, working at a grocery store, until, a love interest shakes up his life.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is set in the fictional town of Endora, Iowa, but filming was done in the Manor area. The family house was filmed on Hodde Lane outside of Pflugerville and the famous water town is located on Old US-290.
Office Space - (1999)
Corporate drone Peter Gibbons has a soul, but unfortunately for him, his job is soul-killing. While in a hypnotherapy session, the therapist dies, leaving Peter in a blissful haze. Peter then decides he doesn't do overtime, or really work of any kind, oh, except embezzle from his employer, Initech. As far as turn of the century workplace comedies go, it doesn't get any better than Office Space.
The sinister Initech corporate office exists in reality at 4120 Friedrich Lane, South East of Ben White and I-35. The flair-requiring restaurant where Jennifer Aniston works, Chotchkie's, is now a Chase bank in the Arboretum, in North West Austin.
Waking Life - (2001)
Despite having a shoestring budget and a cast of people mostly unknown to the general public, Waking Life remains one of the most trippily engaging films of the past 20 years. The film's plot loosely follows a young man that may or may not be dreaming. Along the way, he encounters a host of fascinating characters who expound on philosophy, politics, and everything in between.
Large portions of the films floating footage were taken aboard a hot air balloon above the Austin landscape. A scene in which a man self-immolates is filmed in front of Quack's Bakery on East 43rd street.street. Notably, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's scene was shot in Richard Linklater's own apartment.
Death Proof - (2007)
Adrenaline junkie and professional body double takes women on deadly drives rather than moonlit walks, in his armored American muscle ride, purposely causing crashes and counting bodies. Everything is going swimmingly for the maniac until a group of resourceful women becomes intent on getting revenge.
Death Proof's first all-female group meet up at Guero's, on South Congress. Additional scenes were filmed at Texas Chili Parlor on Lavaca Street and The Omelettry on Burnet Road.
Boyhood - (2014)
The second film by local auteur Richard Linklater, Boyhood is famous primarily because it was shot over the course of 12 years. The film features the same consistent cast and follows a boy as he works his way through boyhood, enjoying the highs and dealing with the lows.
Dialogue scenes were shot at Dart Bowl on 5700 Grover Ave. Two South Congress venues are featured: Continental Club and Magnolia Cafe South.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - (1974)
After hearing her grandfather's grave was vandalized, she and her brother set out to investigate, only to fall into the crazed-murderous grip of the next-door neighbors at their family's old farmhouse. We probably don't need to further expound on the plot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The seriously messed-up Sawyer household was located on Quick Hill Road, just north of Austin. In 1998, the dilapidated structure was moved to The Antlers Hotel, northwest of Austin.
True Grit - (2010)
The 2010 Coen brothers remake of True Grit follows a young girl seeking revenge against the man who killed her father, in this gritty western, as she hires a past-his-prime lawman to help track the murderer. Along the way, the two team up with a Texas Ranger.
The Coen bros made use of a block of 9th street to film an early scene in the movie taking place in an old western town.
Dazed and Confused - (1993)
Dazed and Confused, the instant coming-of-age cult-classic takes a look inside the suburban lives of young middle and high school aged kids growing up in the 70s. Years later, Richard Linklater would create a spiritual successor to the film by the name of Everybody Wants Some.
Perhaps the most famous of all movies filmed in Austin, Dazed and Confused made extensive use of Austin's beautiful scenery, including scenes shot at Top Notch Burgers, the Moontower (alright, alright, alright), Bedichek Middle School, West Enfield Park, Burger Stadium, and others.
Idiocracy - (2006)
As part of a secret military experiment, in 2005 an average joe and a woman are meant to hibernate for a year, but are long forgotten about and wake in the year 2505 only to discover human intelligence has taken a turn for the worst, and Joe is literally now the smartest person on planet Earth.
Mike Judge's cautionary tale of dangerous human stupidity was filmed at a tattoo shop on E. Cesar Chavez, Seaholm Power Plant, and Travis Country Expo Center.
Also Starring Austin - (2018)
This one falls a little bit into the meta-category, but deserves to be mentioned nonetheless! Also Starring Austin is an upcoming film notable for showcasing all the movies (including some of which we've already mentioned) that have been filmed in Austin over the past decades. It features interviews with filmmakers like Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, and Tobe Hooper, as well as Willie Nelson himself. Check out more about Also Starring Austin here.
Too many to count.
Wanna talk movies filmed in Austin?