5 Movies That Were Filmed In The Northland
There have been several movies that have been filmed in Duluth and surrounding areas. Here's a look back at some you are familiar with, and some from a while back you may not recognize, but will definitely want to check out!
Although this wasn't a major motion picture, this short movie was intended to bring Google Fiber to the Twin Ports. All the cast were volunteer actors who auditioned, and a large part of the community came together to make this happen. Even our own Cathy Kates had a starring role. The short movie was directed by Kenneth Kemp, it starred local Shannon Baker as a google orphan who is looking for a new home and ends up in Duluth, Mn.
Starring Patty Duke and Richard Thomas, this film was shot at Glensheen Mansion in 1972. It was a thriller that didn't receive the attention it deserved. The story follows a widow who lost her husband in the vietnam war. She is pregnant with his child when she travels to Duluth to meet her mother-in-law for the first time. Soon she wonders if this woman is really her mother-in-law, and she's snowed in by a blizzard and forced to stay. She slowly uncovers secrets, including a lunatic son that's shackled in the basement.
Here's a movie that gets GREAT reviews for it's accuracy in representing the Twin Ports. It's about a dysfunctional Northern Minnesota family. After reading reviews, many people from the Northland compliment director Sam Shephard's job of capturing the reality of the Twin Ports. Even the strange weather patterns and changes are found in the movie. Also to add more authenticity, Jessica Lange stars in the film. For those who don't know, Jessica Lange was born and raised in Cloquet. Definitely a must see movie!
Filmed on the Iron Range in 2004, North Country had some pretty big stars. Charlize Theron starred as Josey, a sexually harrassed iron miner, and Woody Harrelson as her attorney. The story is semi-fictional, stemmed from the true story of the first ever major sexual harrasment lawsuit victory. I'm from the Iron Range, and when this movie first came out the stories and controversies all resurfaced as well. It's a well acted movie, and does have some breathtaking aerial views of the historic Iron Range. During the filming, Charlize Theron did complain about how cold it was. I'm pretty sure I've also heard stories of Woody Harrelson smoking pot in downtown Virginia too. Woody Harrelson trained and learned how to ice skate from local hockey players too for his role.
Who doesn't remember Iron Will being filmed? We all know someone who was in the final scene as an extra, don't we? Iron Will was a Disney movie release in 1994. It's about a boy, Will Stoneman who's father dies and he's left to take care of the family. Needing the money to save the homestead, Will enters a dogsled race from Manitoba to St. Paul. The filming was almost entirely done in the Northland, and the final scene was shot in Two harbors. Great family movie!