Delaware isn’t just attractive to out-of-state companies looking to benefit from their favorable incorporation laws. And it isn’t just enticing for shoppers, who, similar to only four other states, do not pay sales tax.
And it’s not just because it is connected to New Jersey by the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the longest twin span suspension bridge in the entire world. It is certainly alluring to water lovers, who can enjoy 30 miles of coastline and 350 miles of shoreline, but that’s not the only group of people that frequent the state.
Nope, the second-smallest state and one of the flattest states is also attractive to Hollywood scouts looking for places to film their movies, either in part or whole. While the list of movies that the state can claim fame for is much shorter than other states, there are also a lot of movies that you might be surprised to know that have roots there.
For example, John Keating’s students attended a school in Vermont in 1989’s Dead Poets Society, but almost the entire film was shot in Delaware. And then there are others that clearly were set somewhere else, but used Delaware for filming. One of Matthew McConaughey’s many romantic comedies, 2006’s Failure to Launch, was set in Baltimore, and while many scenes filmed in Maryland, there were also quite a few in Delaware, such as at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes. And whether it’s just because Delaware is close to Pennsylvania where the director lives or there is some other reason, M. Night Shyamalan came to the state to shoot scenes for both 2002’s Signs (house and cornfield scenes) 2004’s The Village (Centerville).
Although meager in comparison to some other states, the first established state does have a few very famous scenes in some very famous movies.
Movies Filmed in Delaware
Emmy of Stork’s Nest (1915)
Emmy of Stork’s Nest is a silent movie directed by William Nigh, based on the novel by J. Breckenridge Ellis entitled Stork’s Nest. It is about a man, Benton Cabot (portrayed by Niles Welch), from the city who inherited a farm in the mountain. Aside from Welch, the movie stars Mary Miles Minter, Charles Prince, William Cowper, and Mathilde Brundage. The movie was shot and filmed in Delaware.
(50min | Not Rated)
Violets Are Blue (1986)
Directed by Jack Fisk and written by Naomi Foner, Violets Are Blue is a romantic drama movie starring Kevin Kline and Sissy Spacek. The movie follows a photographer who returned to her hometown for a few weeks’ break and was reunited with her high-school sweetheart who was already married. The story was set and filmed primarily in Maryland, but it also had some shots from Delaware Seashore Park at Inlet 850, Rehoboth Beach.
(1h 25min | PG-13)
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Directed by Peter Weir and written by Tom Schulman, Dead Poets Society is a teen drama about a teacher (Robin Williams) who inspires his class as he teaches poetry. Also starred in the movie are Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero, and James Waterson. The movie was filmed at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware, then in New Castle, Wolf Cave, and Rockland.
(2h 8min | PG)
Beloved is a horror-drama movie directed by Jonathan Demme based on the novel by Toni Morrison. Starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, and Thandiwe Newton, it follows the story of a former slave being haunted by a poltergeist, and the reincarnation of her daughter. Although the movie was quite unsuccessful, it was still nominated for an Oscar’s Best Costume Design. Among its filming locations is in the Old New Castle, New Castle, Delaware. Other filming locations are Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Texas.
(2h 51min | R)
Failure to Launch (2006)
Failure to Launch is a romantic comedy film starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker, directed by Tom Dey. It is about a 35-year-old man (McConaughey) who still lives comfortably with his parents (Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates), which is why his parents decided to hire Paula (Parker) to professionally persuade him to move out. Some of its scenes were filmed at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware, and in New Castle. Other filming locations are Alabama, Maryland, and Louisiana.
(1h 36min | PG-13)
The Stone House (2006)
The Stone House is an indie suspense-thriller by John Wattnebarger. It follows Rick (Jeffrey Bader) and Joslin Berlinger (Sarah McCarron) who moved to a small quiet town where people began disappearing. This indie movie was filmed in Milton, Delaware.
(1h 30min | Not Rated)
Trigger Man (2007)
The 2007 Trigger Man is a thriller movie directed by Ti West, starring Reggie Cunningham, Ray Sullivan, Sean Reid, Heather Robb, James Felix McKenney, and Larry Fessenden. It follows the story of 3 friends who were also pursued while they were hunting in Delaware. As such, the movie was filmed in Wilmington, Delaware.
(1h 20min | Not Rated)
The Dish & the Spoon (2011)
The Dish & The Spoon is a drama-comedy film directed by Alison Bagnall. It is about a woman, Rose (Greta Gerwig), who left her cheating husband (Adam Rothenberg), who then runs into a stranded British teen (Oily Alexander) at a beach. It was filmed at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
(1h 30min | R)
Mayor Cupcake (2011)
Directed by Alex Pires, Mayor Cupcake is a family comedy-drama film about a cupcake baker who was elected as the mayor of a little town. It stars Lea Thompson, Judd Nelson, Dorian Harewood, Frankie Faison, Zoey Deutch, and Madelyn Deutch. The movie was filmed entirely in Delaware – in Bridgeville, at the Rehoboth Beach, and at Dewey Beach.
(1h 25min | PG)
Head Cases: Serial Killers in the Delaware Valley (2013)
The horror movie Head Cases: Serial Killers in the Delaware Valley is directed by Anthony Spadaccini, and is a continuation of the story in the 2007 film Head Case of the same director. This horror movie is about the devoted followers who take after the legacy of the serial killer Wayne Montgomery, who committed 41 murders between 1979 to 2007. It was filmed in Claymont, Wilmington, and Slaughter Beach, Delaware. Other filming locations are Marcus Hook and Chester, Pennsylvania.
(1h 49min | Not Rated)
Jason’s Letter (2017)
Directed, produced and written by Terrance Tykeem, Jason’s Letter is an independent drama about racism in the eyes of a 12-year-old black Jason McKey (Jamol Manigault). When a personal acquaintance became the latest victim of police shootings, Jason sought the help of his uncle whose best friend is the city manager and advisor to the city council, and a veteran actress, Vivica A. Fox (Sammi Brooks). The movie was filmed in Dover, Delaware; then in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(1h 34min | PG)
Delaware Shore (2018)
Based on the novel by Michaelangelo Rodriguez, Delaware Shore is about a Holocaust survivor who was able to escape from concentration camps and found refuge at Delaware Beach where she raises continued raising her twin grandchildren. This drama movie is directed by Raghav Peri, and was filmed in Wilmington, Slaughter Beach, Newart, Rohoth, and New Castle, Delaware. Other filming locations are New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
(1h 37min | Not Rated)
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