Its location at the mouth of the Mississippi has long made New Orleans a desirable port for trade, so it's no wonder the French and Spanish spent so much time fighting over the city back in the day. That conflict between two European powers, combined with the city's proximity to the Caribbean, has given the Big Easy a flavor all its own, one where Cajun and Creole culture lives side-by-side with gorgeous Spanish architecture and the aptly named Vieux Carre — that's Francais for French Quarter, complete with its picturesque iron balconies, hanging gardens and cobbled streets. And of course, every culture that had a hand in this city's development also gave this jubilant city a reason to celebrate, resulting in regular festivals that include Mardi Gras, the Essence Festival, Jazz and Heritage events and one of the biggest LGBTQ+ get-togethers in the U.S.
All this helps to explain why New Orleans shows up so frequently as the setting for major Hollywood films. Sure, the Big Easy offers some great tax breaks for film crews, but it's the incomparable backdrop, unique culture and personalities and joyful, fighting spirit that make Crescent City a Hollywood darling. There's just something to be said for shooting against a backdrop of Mardi Gras floats and flying beads, low-slung bayous or creepy cemeteries filled with above-ground tombs rather than buried baskets.
Think you can name the most familiar films shot in this city? Prove it with this quiz!