• Movies

  • Caspar Lumber Company: The Sequoia Sempervirens – 1904
    Caspar Lumber Company
    The Miles brothers of San Francisco took “moving pictures” of a redwood tree being felled, steam donkeys hauling logs, a moving train of logs, logs going down the chute into the pond, logs going up into the mill, sawing of a log in the mill, and of the wire chute bringing up freight and sending down lumber.The images were shown at a lecture in the Forestry Building during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis to promote the redwood lumber industry. These “moving pictures” may be the first industrial film, possibly the first motion picture, made in California north of San Francisco.
    location: Caspar – Caspar Mill and pond.
    anecdote: The logging company, which began in 1862, disbanded operations in Caspar in 1955.

    The Promise – 1916
    Metro Company
    starring: Harold Lockwood, May Allison (the most popular screen lovers of their time).
    locations: Mendocino – The Mendocino Lumber Company “booms” on Big River and the mill. Caspar – Caspar woods and pond.

    King Spruce – 1919
    Mitchell Lewis Movie Company
    starring: Mitchell Lewis, also a founder of the Motion Picture Relief Fund – a charitable organization within the film industry that raises and distributes money to people presently or formerly in the industry who have come into hard times.
    locations: Fort Bragg – Union Lumber Company’s Camp 1 on Ten Mile River and in the woods and the village, Pudding Creek. Cleone – Little Valley. Mendocino – Five miles up Big River.

    The Man Who Dared – 1920
    Fox Movie Troupe
    starring: William Russell, Eileen Percy
    locations: Westport – the town and the old Bonton Saloon, Noyo Camp. Fort Bragg – in front of The Grand Hotel (Main and Alder Streets, now Bank of America).

    Kindred of the Dust – 1921
    R. A. Walsh Company
    starring: Miriam Cooper, Ralph Graves
    locations: Caspar – Caspar Mill and pond. Fort Bragg – Ten Mile. Albion – In the woods.

    Strange Idols – 1922
    Fox Film Company
    starring: Dustin Farnum, Doris Pawn
    locations: Westport – Logging camps east of Westport (Glen Blair).

    Soul of the Beast – 1922
    Thomas H. Ince Films
    starring: Madge Bellamy, “Oscar” the elephant, Cullen Landis, Noah Beery, Sr.
    locations: Fort Bragg – Noyo River
    anecdote: Soul of the Beast is the only silent film made on the Mendocino Coast known to exist on videotape.

    Timberland Tales - 1922
    Universal Films Eight lumberjack stories - Short two reelers
    starring: Roy Stewart, Andree Tourneaur
    locations: Mendocino – Big River at Ed Boyle’s camp and “The Boom”. Westport – Ten Mile woods

    The Signal Tower – 1923
    Universal Film Co
    starring: Virginia Valli, Rockliffe Fellowes, Wallace Berry
    locations: Fort Bragg – Noyo River Tavern—21 miles east of Fort Bragg near Northspur, in the redwoods between Fort Bragg and Willits along the railroad lines of the Skunk Train.
    anecdote: A New York reviewer criticized the train wreck scene as being “unimpressive” because miniature freight cars were used. In fact real freight cars were wrecked!

    In Search of a Hero – 1925
    Gerson Pictures
    starring: Richard Holt, Jane Thomas
    locations: Mendocino – Along Big River and The Boom and Ed Boyle’s camp.
    anecdote: This is the last silent movie filmed on the Mendocino Coast.

    The Uninvited – 1943
    Paramount Pictures
    starring: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell
    location: Elk – Exterior shots of the Elk Headlands.

    Frenchman’s Creek – 1943
    Paramount Pictures
    starring: Arturo de Cordova, Joan Fontaine
    locations: Mendocino -– Big River and Mendocino Woodlands. Albion – Albion River and Albion Harbor. Little River – The Robinson property south of Little River where the production company built a church and castle.
    anecdote: A full-sized wooden ship was built in Hollywood and hauled up by barge. The movie company left it tied to the dock they had built in the Albion River. Not long afterwards vandals burned it but supposedly pieces still remain embedded in the river’s bank. A number of years ago an amateur historian, unaware of Frenchman’s Creek, informed the world that he had discovered Sir Francis Drake’s 16th Century sailing ship.

    Johnny Belinda – 1947
    Warner Brothers
    Based on an original Broadway play, Johnny Belinda was nominated for twelve Academy Awards. The Fort Bragg area was said to have an amazing resemblance to Prince Edward Isle, Nova Scotia, the original locale of the play.
    starring: Jane Wyman (Oscar: Best Actress), Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead, Lew Ayres
    locations: Fort Bragg – Noyo Harbor on the docks,various farms around Fort Bragg, on headlands near Eaton Ranch south of Fort Bragg. Mendocino – Main Street,High School Hill, Mendocino High School, Mendocino Presbyterian Church.
    anecdote: Ronald Reagan, married to Jane Wyman at the time, visited the set. He went ocean fishing several times and brought a 36-inch pumpkin pie from Eureka for Ms. Wyman and the crew.

    East of Eden – 1954
    Warner Brothers
    starring: James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Dick Davalos, Jo Van Fleet (Oscar – Best Supporting Actress), Burl Ives
    locations: Mendocino – Credits: South Mendocino Bay looking north toward town, Rundle Street (Portuguese Flat) looking south across Mendocino Bay, and south of Main Street looking north. Opening scenes: Chet Bishop’s Market (now Gallery Bookshop), Bank of America (now Out of This World), Crown Hall, Little Lake Street between Woodward and Kasten Streets, Dr. Preston’s house (now Mendocino Art Center), and Preston rental (now Mendocino Community Library). Later scenes: Heeser Field, Little Lake Street between Heeser and Williams Streets, Cahto Street east of Altar Society Building,

    Island of the Blue Dolphins – 1963
    Universal Pictures, Inc.
    starring: Celia Kaye
    locations: Point Arena and Anchor Bay – Haven’s Neck, Anchor Bay Campgrounds beach, Newcomb Ranch, Island Cove, Cove Estates, Schooner Gulch, Jacobsen Ranch, Fish Rock Ranch and foot of Fish Rock Road, Point Arena, and Point Arena Cove.
    anecdote: Based on the true story of an Indian child left behind on an evacuated San Nicholas Island off the coast of Santa Barbara. She lived alone for 18 years, from 1835
    to 1853, until she was rescued. She is buried at the Santa Barbara Mission.

    The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming – 1965
    United Artists
    starring: Carl Reiner, Eve Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, Brian Keith, Jonathan Winters, Theodore Bikel, Ben Blue, Johnnie Whittaker
    locations: Mendocino – Old Mendocino Fire Station on Lansing Street, The Old Remedy Store, Heeser Drive, The Sanko House (formerly the C. Mathews home), the Donovan/Rogers home (formerly the Chet Bishop home). Fort Bragg – Noyo Harbor and “Ice House”. Cleone – built the “Whitaker House” as a set for the film on the Union Lumber Company “haul road”. It was set on fire when producers deemed it too costly to dismantle or remove.
    anecdote: The first movie to be filmed in its entirety on the Mendocino Coast. Received three Academy Award nominations.

    The Spirit is Willing – 1966
    Paramount Pictures
    starring: Sid Caesar, Vera Miles
    locations: Mendocino – Street scenes only including Lansing Street, Heeser Drive, Main Street.

    The Dunwich Horror – 1969
    American International Pictures
    starring: Sandra Dee, Ralph Bellamy, Dean Stockwell
    locations: Mendocino – various places. Little River – Little River Cemetery and old Merrill House south of cemetery on the coast.

    Summer of ’42 – 1970
    Warner Brothers
    starring: Jennifer O’Neill, Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser, Oliver Conant
    locations: Mendocino – Corner of Little Lake and Woodward Streets, Ukiah Street, Woodward-Osborne Alley, Little Lake Road, Williams Street, Heeser Drive, Old Mendocino Fire Department on Lansing, Donovan/Rogers house, Main Street water tower. Fort Bragg – Ten Mile Beach.
    anecdote: Michel Legrand won an Academy Award for Best Musical Score.

    Glen and Randa – 1971
    Warner Brothers
    starring: Steven Curry, Shelley Plimpton, Woodrow Chambliss, Garry Goodrow
    location: Between Point Arena and Gualala – Schooner Gulch.

    Young Goodman Brown – 1971
    Pyramid Films
    location: Filmed in the meadows, hills, and forests within 1-1/2 hours drive from the Seagull Inn, Mendocino – the film’s base camp.
    anecdote: This 30-minute educational film won a Special Jury Award at The Atlanta International Film Festival.

    Slither – 1972
    Metro Goldwin Mayer (MGM)
    starring: James Caan, Peter Boyle, Sally Kellerman, Louise Lasser
    location: Manchester

    The Runaway on the Rogue River – 1973
    starring: Slim Pickens
    locations: Fort Bragg – California Western Railroad (now Sierra Railroad) tracks east of Fort Bragg and on the Skunk Train.
    anecdote: The Runaway on the Rogue River was the second time an elephant was involved in filming on the Mendocino Coast. The silent movie Soul of the Beast
    was the first in 1922.

    Haunts – 1973
    A Herb Freed film
    starring: May Britt, Cameron Mitchell, Aldo Ray
    location: Unknown.
    anecdote: Candidate for worst motion picture filmed on the Mendocino Coast.

    Evil Town – 1973
    Centaur Productions
    starring: James Keach, Dean Jagger
    locations: Mendocino – various locations. Navarro to Westport and a few miles inland.
    anecdote: Apparently assembled from pieces of two different projects, including an uncompleted film from the mid-1970s. Known as the “worst film ever made on the Mendocino Coast.”

    The Boy Who Talks to Whales – 1977
    Casteel Productions
    starring: Byrd Baker (of Mendocino and the founder of The Whale Wars, the precursor to the village of Mendocino and Fort Bragg Whale Festivals), Victor Jory, Andy Gordon, and “Gigi” the whale
    locations: Mendocino – various locations

    Same Time, Next Year – 1978
    Universal
    starring: Alan Alda, Ellen Burstyn
    locations: Little River – Heritage House Inn, in a cottage built by the studio.
    anecdote: Received three Academy Award nominations.

    Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter – 1978
    CBS Made-for-Television Movie
    starring: Bette Davis (Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress), Gena Rowlands
    locations: Mendocino – 600 Kelley Street, Main Street, Mendosa’s Market. Fort Bragg – Fort Bragg Library, Noyo Harbor.
    anecdote: The scenes at Noyo Harbor were supposed to be a July Fourth celebration but the filming took place in December. Between takes, Bette Davis and the cast warmed themselves in front of portable stoves.

    Humanoids from the Deep – 1979
    New World Production Company
    starring: Ann Turkell, Doug McClure, Vic Morrow
    locations: Fort Bragg – Dolphin Cove, now called Dolphin Isle Marina in Noyo Harbor, near the Wharf Restaurant in Noyo Harbor, outside the harbor, Mendocino Coast District
    Hospital, Pudding Creek area, Pudding Creek logging road bridge, Footlighters Little Theatre, used the Fort Bragg High School Band. Mendocino – various locations.

    Dead & Buried – 1980
    Aspen Productions
    starring: James Farentino, Jack Albertson
    locations: Mendocino – Portuguese Beach, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Bank of America (now Out of This World), Justice Court Building, Lansing, School, Calpella, and
    Williams streets, Heeser Drive, “around Mendocino”, and Comptche-Ukiah Road and Little River Airport Road intersection. Caspar – Point Cabrillo Road near Point
    Cabrillo Light Station, Caspar Beach.

    Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse – 1982
    Intravision/Vestron Video
    starring: Dory Dean
    locations: Point Arena - The OZ House, Gloriana Opera Company of Fort Bragg was used, OZ’s suspension bridge, a local cemetery, Gualala Point.

    Cujo – 1982
    Sun Classics Productions
    starring: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh-Kelly.
    locations: Mendocino – The Mullner Mansion (Crestwood Drive, east of Mendocino), St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Evergreen Cemetery, Shell Station on
    Lansing Street, Ukiah Street. Fort Bragg – Pine Beach Inn tennis courts.
    anecdote: This harrowing tale by Stephen King is considered a cult classic by horror movie buffs.

    Racing with the Moon – 1983
    Paramount
    starring: Sean Penn, Elizabeth McGovern, Nicholas Cage
    locations: Fort Bragg – Laurel Street at the old Green Parrot Ice Cream parlor, Skunk train tracks and with
    Old Engine No. 45, in front of Cotton Auditorium, Noyo Harbor. Mendocino – Mendocino Headlands, Main Street, Mendocino Hotel area, Mendosa Brother’s Store
    on Lansing Street, Carlson Street and Heeser Drive, Savings Bank of Mendocino.

    The Killing Time – 1986
    New World Video
    starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Beau Bridges, Joe Don Baker, Camelia Kath, Wayne Rogers
    locations: Mendocino – Russian Gulch State Park, Main and Kasten Streets, Ford House, and The Deli (now Big River Trading Company). Caspar – Point Cabrillo Light Station. Fort Bragg – Ten Mile River and the dunes.

    Overboard – 1987
    MGM
    starring: Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Roddy McDowall, Edward Herrmann, Katherine Helmond
    locations: Fort Bragg – Pomo Campground, Noyo Harbor at Captain Flint’s, the docks, Noyo Bowl and Restaurant,
    Purity Market, Fort Bragg Veteran’s Hall. Mendocino – various locations. Caspar – Point Cabrillo Light Station.
    anecdote: The “Cappy’s” sign used in the movie at Carine’s Fish Grotto in Noyo Harbor was left up for more than two decades. It has now been removed.

    Wired – 1988
    Paramount
    starring: Michael Chiklis, Ray Sharkey, J.T. Walsh, Lucinda Jenney, Gary Groomes
    locations: Fort Bragg – MacKerricher State Park (made to look like a cemetery) and Ten Mile Beach.

    The Karate Kid: Part III – 1989
    Columbia Pictures
    starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita
    location: Elk

    Dying Young – 1990
    Twentieth Century Fox
    starring: Julia Roberts, Campbell Scott
    locations: Mendocino - Mendocino High School, Mendocino Headlands (erected a house, then tore it down), The Visual Feast (now Celtic Creations), Main and Ukiah Streets.

    Forever Young – 1992
    Warner Brothers
    starring: Mel Gibson, Isabel Glasser, George Wendt, Elijah Wood, Jamie Lee Curtis
    locations: Point Arena – Stornetta Ranch, next to Point Arena Lighthouse, and at Point Arena Lighthouse.

    Pontiac Moon – 1993
    Paramount Pictures
    starring: Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Ryan Todd
    locations: Mendocino – Mendocino Recreation Center; the Maxwell-Jarvis house on Little Lake Street (the studio construction team added side wings for the movie) and on Lansing, Main, and Heeser Streets and Brewery Gulch Drive. Albion – On Albion Ridge Road between Middle Ridge Road and Highway 1. Mendocino County roads – Highway 20 between Highway 101 and Highway 1,
    Highway 128 between the Mendocino County line and Highway 1, and Highway 1 between Little Lake Road and Albion Ridge Road (in the 1949 Pontiac Chief).

    The Haunting of Seacliff Inn – 1994
    Television movie for USA channel, shown September 22, 1994
    starring: Ally Sheedy, William Moses
    locations: Mendocino – Kelley House and house at end of Rundle Street.

    The Majestic – 2001
    Warner Brothers
    starring: Jim Carrey, Hal Holbrook, Martin Landau, David Ogden Stiers, Laurie Holden
    locations: Mendocino – Big River Beach. Fort Bragg – Skunk Train, inside the train and the Depot. Caspar – Point Cabrillo Light Station.
    anecdote: Supposedly threats were made against Jim Carrey and the sets were closed. Not even the media
    were allowed to take any candid photographs.

    Shark Swarm – 2008
    A fisherman and his family fight to take down a greedy real estate developer who has released toxins into the ocean, turning the area’s sharks into bloodthirsty hunters.
    Directed by James A. Contner. Writers: Matthew Chernov, David Rosiak.
    starring: Daryl Hannah, John Schneider, Armand Assante, F. Murray Abraham
    locations: Fort Bragg – Noyo Harbor. Various locations in Mendocino and Fort Bragg.

    Pig Hunt – 2008
    When John takes his San Francisco friends to his deceased uncle’s remote ranch to hunt wild pigs, it seems like a typical guys weekend with guns, despite the presence
    of John’s sexy girlfriend.
    starring:Travis Aaron Wade, Tina Huang, Howard Johnson Jr, Christina McKay, Charlie Musselwhite
    locations: Filmed at the Comptche Store and in Anderson Valley, mainly on private property.

    Goodbye World – 2012
    When a mysterious cyber-attack cripples civilization, a group of old college friends and lovers retreat to a remote country home, where they must cope with an
    uncertain future while navigating the minefield of their shared past.
    starring: Kerry Bishé, Caroline Dhavernas, Adrian Grenier, Gaby Hoffmann, Ben McKenzie, Scott Mescudi, Mark Webber.
    locations: Filmed on private property in the Anderson Valley during the summer of 2012. Release date set for Spring 2014.

    Need for Speed—2013 (Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Studios)
    DreamWorks

    Need for Speed marks an exciting return to the great car
    culture films of the 1960s and ’70s, tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing. The story chronicles a near-impossible
    cross-country journey for our heroes - one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption.
    starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Ramon Rodriguez, Michael Keaton, Rami Malek, Dakota Johnson, Harrison Gilbertson
    locations: Filmed along Highway 128 and Highway 1; in Ukiah, Mendocino, and Point Arena; additional locations throughout Mendocino County.

    Television

    Is there a Doctor in the House? – 1970
    Screen Gems • Pilot for NBC, aired on March 22, 1971
    starring: Rosemary Forsyth, William Windom
    anecdote: The series was never made.

    The FBI: Bitter Harbor – 1971
    KABC
    starring: Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Stephen Brooks, Lynn Loring
    locations: Mendocino – various locations. Fort Bragg – Noyo Harbor

    The New Healers – 1972
    Paramount Television • Pilot Television Movie Two ex-Vietnam medics and a former nurse join forces to help an aging doctor care for the people of the rural
    California town of Hope.
    starring: Robert Foxworth, Kate Jackson, Burgess Meredith
    location: Mendocino – various locations.

    Jeremiah of Jacob’s Neck – 1976
    30-minute pilot for CBS Television
    starring: Keenan Wynn, Ron Masak, Arlene Golonka
    locations: Mendocino – the Mendocino Beacon building, The Deli (now Big River Trading Company), Bank of America building (now Out of This World).
    anecdote: The series was never made.

    Sutters Bay – 1983
    30-minute comedy pilot for CBS Television
    starring: Granville Van Dusen, Linda Carlson
    locations: Fort Bragg – Noyo Harbor. Mendocino – Various locations.

    Murder, She Wrote – 1984 to 1993
    (Note: “Star” filming ended in ’89, but crews were sent up as late as 1993 for added shooting)Universal for CBS Television
    starring: Angela Lansbury with guest performers
    locations: Mendocino – Blair House, Russian Gulch State Park Headquarters, Hill House Inn, Ford House, Spencer Hills house, Mendocino Headlands, Crown Hall, Circa, Masonic Temple (now Savings Bank of Mendocino County), St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Mitch’s Barber Shop (now Mendocino Gems), Mendocino Hotel, and various other buildings and streets around Mendocino and aerial shots of the village and coast. Fort Bragg – Cotton Auditorium, Noyo Harbor, and Silver’s at the Wharf Restaurant. Caspar – Point Cabrillo Light Station.
    anecdote: A total of ten episodes had significant scenes filmed on the Mendocino Coast, and virtually every episode set in “Cabot Cove” showed views of the area. Murder, She Wrote won Golden Globe Awards for Best TV Drama in 1985 and 1986. Angela Lansbury won Golden Globe Awards in 1985, 1987, 1990 and 1992 for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV series.

    Dark Mansions – 1985
    Aaron Spelling Productions – Pilot aired on ABC-TV
    August 23, 1986
    starring: Joan Fontaine, Michael York, Linda Purl, Melissa Sue Anderson, Lois Chiles
    locations: Little River – Meadow and bluff below the Heritage House Inn.

    Destination America – 1986
    Stephen Cannell Productions • Pilot for ABC Television
    starring: Rip Torn, Bruce Greenwood, Corinne Bohrer
    locations: Fort Bragg – Noyo Harbor at the Harbor Trailer Park especially for views of the bridge. Mendocino – Mendocino Presbyterian Church.
    anecdote: Apparently, not only was this series pilot not picked up by any of the television networks, it never aired.

    The Fugitive: Jenny and Strapped – 2001
    Warner Brothers for CBS Television
    starring: Tim Daly
    locations: Mendocino – Ukiah, Kasten, and Lansing Streets, Savings Bank of Mendocino County (Masonic Temple).

    On the Road with Austin & Santino – 2011
    “Project Runway” breakout stars Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice have made names for themselves on and off the catwalk with their unique styles and eyes for fashion, working with some of the biggest stars in the business. The talented designers team up for the first time ever to travel to, and immerse themselves in the culture of, small towns across America. They filmed an episode at Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg.

  • Most filming in Mendocino County does require a permit, check here for more information >>

  • Mendocino County is a directors dream. Click here to see images >>

  • Since 1904 some of the most famous movies and commercials have been shot here >>