Lights, Camera, Biltmore: A Magnificent Movie Location!
Written By Jean Sexton
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Lights, camera, Biltmore! A magnificent movie location since the golden age of Hollywood, Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, has starred as a majestic backdrop for more than a dozen unforgettable feature films.
The continued appeal of this National Historic Landmark as a movie and television filming location is clear: the sprawling 8,000-acre estate includes Biltmore House–a majestic French Renaissance-style chateau that can easily be seen as a castle–plus acres of formal gardens and miles of rolling hills and scenery, all conveniently located in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Discover six of the most notable movies filmed at Biltmore Estate throughout the years:
A Biltmore Christmas (2023)
Deck the halls and grab the popcorn because Biltmore is coming to Hallmark Channel this Christmas season with the premiere of A Biltmore Christmas, starring Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha.
Viewers are sure to get into the holiday spirit with this time-traveling romance set during our most beloved and storied season—Christmas at Biltmore—and the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Fun Film Fact: A Biltmore Christmas marks the first time that Biltmore Estate has served a central role in the storyline of a film.
The Swan (1956)
In this classic Hollywood drama, actress Grace Kelly portrays a princess attempting to secure an advantageous marriage to secure the throne taken from her family during Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule.
Biltmore House appears extensively throughout the film as the exterior of Kelly’s palatial home with one particularly iconic scene taking place along the Lagoon and French Broad River.
Fun Film Fact: Although it was not featured in the film, one of Biltmore’s most notable treasures is a game table and chess set once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte. Learn more about this and other fascinating objects in Biltmore’s collection.
Last of the Mohicans (1992)
The producers of this award-winning drama starring Daniel Day-Lewis were searching for locations that resembled the old-growth forests of New York’s Catskill Mountains as they might have appeared at the beginning of the 19th century.
Luckily for Hollywood, Biltmore’s elaborate grounds were planned by Frederick Law Olmsted–the father of American landscape architecture–nearly 100 years earlier and included forest land and mature trees suitable for the producers’ cinematic needs.
In addition to the sweeping fields and forests, the movie features a scene in which a carriage crosses the estate’s signature red brick Bass Pond bridge designed by Biltmore House architect Richard Morris Hunt.
Fun Film Fact: When filming extended into the fall, the production crew used organic green paint in several locations to create the illusion of summer foliage.
Forrest Gump (1993)
With settings ranging from Greenbow, Alabama, to the jungles of Vietnam, you may wonder how Biltmore was included as a movie location in this beloved 1993 Tom Hanks classic.
During one scene where Forrest Gump is running across America, he was actually running along the road which leads to The Inn on Biltmore Estate® and Antler Hill Village & Winery!
Richie Rich (1994)
Richie Rich featured many interior shots of Biltmore House, and some rooms were left largely unaltered during filming–even paintings of Vanderbilt family members were prominently featured.
Although the estate does not feature the Rich family’s signature dollar sign topiaries on the lawn or a Mount Rushmore-inspired family portrait looming over the gardens, this delightful comedy remains a family favorite for all ages.
In the chilling sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, an ensemble cast, including Oscar-winning actors Julianne Moore, Anthony Hopkins, and Gary Oldman, offered dramatic performances against the stunning backdrop of Biltmore.
Featuring the estate as the home of the reclusive Mason Verger, the thriller incorporated many different locations such as the arched Lodge Gate and the façade of Biltmore House, some of the grand rooms on the first floor, and several outlying buildings including Antler Hill Barn, which had not yet been restored at the time of filming.
Additional movies filmed on Biltmore Estate:
Although Biltmore was created to provide a restful retreat from the outside world, sometimes the bright lights and top stars of film and television come calling when they require a setting like no other!
Here are additional movies filmed either in part or entirely on Biltmore Estate:
Tap Roots (1948)
Being There (1979)
The Private Eyes (1980)
Mr. Destiny (1990)
My Fellow Americans (1996)
Patch Adams (1998)
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)
On the record with Biltmore’s Oral History Program
The filming of these movies has become part of Biltmore’s ongoing history, and memories related to the process have been added to our collection of oral histories to be preserved as such. The recollections of staff involved in what will become iconic moments in Biltmore’s on-screen legacy have been captured alongside hundreds of other records detailing associations with Biltmore from the early 20th century to the present.