Local Movies

The following is a list of movies that were filmed in San Luis Obispo County, Southern Monterey County and/or Northern Santa Barbara County. There are many more titles that are not currently available on DVD listed at the bottom of this page for your curiosity’s sake. If you know of any that are not mentioned (I’m sure there are dozens) please let the Audiovisual Librarian know.


A doctor who is deathly afraid of spiders moves his family to a small town where the disgusting arachnids are attacking the townspeople. He must overcome his fear to save the community, but it may already be too late! Filmed in the Cambria area.


Ten renowned film directors each direct a vignette inspired by an aria from a famous opera. The aria from Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by Julien Temple, was filmed at the Madonna Inn.


Arnold Schwarzenegger is the ex-head of a special commando strike team who’s forced back into action when his daughter is kidnapped. With the help of a feisty stewardess, he has only a few hours to overcome his greatest challenge--finding his daughter before she is killed. Partially filmed in San Luis Obispo and San Simeon.

Dark Honeymoon

A man marries a mysterious woman he barely knows, and learns of a horrifying secret surrounding her while on their honeymoon in this direct to video thriller. Primarily filmed in Cambria.

Fallen Angel

Eric Stanton is attracted to Stella, a waitress, who is not interested in him so he marries a widow for her money to impress Stella, only to find himself the prime suspect in Stella's murder right after the wedding. This classic film noir was partially filmed in Pismo Beach.


Lost for over 30 years, this prizewinning horror film was the first film shot entirely in Esperanto. In an imaginary place called Nomen Tuum (actually the Big Sur coast of California), beautiful demons stalk the earth in search of pure souls in order to destroy them. They are assisted by the Incubus whom they call forth from hell. Filmed all over Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties, but not SLO. Close enough I say.

Jackson County Jail

Dinah Hunter, a career woman, picks up a pair of hitchhikers who rob her and drop her off on the roadside. Her attempts to find help result in a horror-filled nightmare. Filmed in Paso Robles and starring Yvette Mimieux and Tommy Lee Jones.

The Lady from Shanghai

In this Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth thriller, a seaman becomes involved in the murderous intrigue of a crippled lawyer and his homicidal, frustrated wife. Culminates in a shoot-up in a hall of mirrors. Partially filmed in Morro Bay.

The Last Year

Gay students at a bible college come to terms with their sexuality and struggle to deal with the homophobia rampant in their surroundings. Filmed in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria.

Little Giants

When Becky "Icebox" O'Shea doesn't make the town's new Pee-Wee Football team coached by her famous Heisman trophy-winning Uncle Kevin, she recruits her un-athletic friends to join a rival team coached by her less than successful dad. Filmed in Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo.

Lizard Boy

After a scientist creates a half-human, half-lizard creature, he realizes that he must find a way to destroy it when the creature goes on a killing spree. Filmed in San Luis Obispo.

Lynching Charlie Lynch

The outrageous controversies surrounding the medical marijuana issue are explored in this documentary film that features the story of a small business owner desperately trying to do everything right, only to find he is about to lose everything. Filmed in San Luis Obispo and probably Morro Bay as well.


Investigative reporter Sara Lincoln is invited to write about the mysterious MindScan Inc., the company behind the Prometheus Bionetic Interface. While researching her story, Sara struggles with the social and moral implications of the technology and gets more than she bargained for. Filmed in San Luis Obispo.


A cabaret singer (Marlene Dietrich) arrives in Morocco and continues her wicked career by enslaving all the men in sight, until she finally falls in love. Partially filmed on the Guadalupe Dunes.

Murder by Numbers

The clues in a Jane Doe murder case points one way, yet detective Cassie Mayweather thinks another way. There's something too perfect about the way the forensic evidence leads to an obvious perpetrator - something that ties to Cassie's secret past. Filmed in San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay and Los Osos.

My Blue Heaven

The Witness Protection Program is turned upside down by a mob informant (Steve Martin) and an FBI agent (Rick Moranis). Filmed in Paso Robles, Atascadero and San Luis Obispo.

The Odd Couple II

Ex-roomies Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison are together again, en route to the wedding of Oscar's son to Felix's daughter. Partially filmed in the Los Osos area.

Of Mice and Men (1939)

Tells the story about the strange relationship of two migrant workers who are able to realize their dreams of an easy life until one of them succumbs to his weakness for soft, helpless creatures and strangles the farmer's wife. Though set in the Salinas Valley, some of the film was shot at the Hearst Ranch and in San Luis Obispo.

Patriot Games

His days as an intelligence agent behind him, former CIA analyst Jack Ryan has traveled to London to vacation with his wife and daughter. Meeting them outside Buckingham Palace, Ryan is caught in the middle of a terrorist attack on a member of the Royal Family. But Ryan's courageous act marks him as a target in the sights of the terrorists. Partially filmed in Morro Bay.

Personal Best

A promising hurdler (Mariel Hemingway) finds needed emotional and athletic seasoning with a caring mentor (Scot Glenn). After the two fall in love, their relationship is threatened as both vie for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Filmed at Morro Bay High School, Cal Poly, Baywood Park and Los Osos. Her apartment is located 4 blocks down Palm Street from the SLO Library.

Pete’s Dragon

A 9-year old boy and his pet dragon (invisible to all but him) run away from his foster parents in this live action and animated Disney classic. Filmed in Montana de Oro State Park.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Captain Jack Sparrow is trapped in Davy Jones' locker, and his crew must save him and make a final stand against the East India Trading Company. Partially filmed in the Nipomo and Guadalupe Dunes.


A man forced into hypnotherapy returns to his hometown to attend his mother's funeral, and becomes the prime suspect in a series of grisly murders in which the victims are savagely torn apart. Little does the grieving son realize that he is possessed of an evil unlike anything modern man has ever encountered. Filmed mostly in San Luis Obispo County and Santa Maria.

Regarding Billy

When a young man returns home to care for his mentally challenged brother, he becomes re-acquainted with an old childhood friend who is secretly attracted to him. Filmed in Pismo Beach.

Ruby Gentry

Ruby is a tempestuous girl who lives with her family in the southern swampland. When her heart is broken by a local 'refined' man, she is picked up on the rebound by a local businessman. Now she is using his money to ruin the whole town. Filmed in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Morro Bay.

The Sheik

The movie that made Rudolph Valentino a superstar in the silent era. Rudy plays Sheik Ahmed who becomes smitten by an English woman touring Arabia, so he kidnaps her. Of course she will not submit to his swarthy charms. She is then kidnapped by a desert bandit and Ahmed has to save her before it is too late. Filmed partially at Guadalupe Dunes.


This buddy film about wine aficionados on a bachelor party weekend blowout, though mostly filmed in northern Santa Barbara County, probably had a huge positive effect on the SLO County wine industry as well. Except for maybe merlot wine producers. All the locations are very familiar to local residents, so it is included.

The Son of the Sheik

A sequel to The Sheik finds the son of Sheik Ahmed (played by Valentino) in love with a dancing girl, Yasmin. He is captured and tortured by bandits whom he believes his beloved has betrayed him to for ransom, though she has not. This was Valentino’s final role, which premiered a couple weeks after his death. Partially filmed at Guadalupe Dunes.


Spartacus is the bold gladiator slave who leads a massive revolt against Imperial Rome in this epic, true account of man's eternal struggle for freedom. A Roman villa scene was shot at Hearst Castle.

The Spirit of St. Louis

Biography of Charles Lindbergh from his days of precarious mail runs in aviation's infancy to his design of a small transatlantic plane and the vicissitudes of its takeoff and epochal flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Partially filmed in Santa Maria.

The Ten Commandments (1923) & (1956)

The 1923 version tells the biblical story of Moses leading the Jews to the Promised Land and receiving the Commandments. The second half is set in San Francisco and shows the relevancy of the Commandments in the modern day. The 1956 version concerns itself with just the biblical story of Moses. Both were partially filmed in the Guadalupe Dunes.

Ten Inch Hero

Four friends working at a sandwich shop in California share their secrets with each other. Partially filmed in Morro Bay and Big Sur.


A mammoth octopus attacks the residents and boaters of a small beach town during the summer tourist season. This movie that was meant to cash in on the Jaws phenomenon. One of those movies that is so bad it was good (sorta). Partially filmed in Pismo Beach.

And Then Came Summer

A reunion of family and friends becomes a memorable vacation when two teenage boys discover their feelings for each other, only to be found out by their families. Filmed in SLO County.

To Live and Die in L.A.

A Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to catch the counterfeiter who killed his partner. Breaking every rule and every law he encounters in this blind obsession, he corrupts not only himself, but his new partner as well. A scene was filmed at California Men’s Colony near San Luis Obispo.

We Were Soldiers

As part of the Pleiku Campaign of late 1965, Lt. Col. Hal Moore is assigned to Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, an area known to be overrun by North Vietnamese troops and nicknamed "The Valley of Death." Moore soon finds himself and his men contained to an area about the size of a football field, surrounded by more than 2,000 enemy troops and engaged in the first major battle of the war. Heroism becomes the order of the day as the men refuse to yield, in spite of heavy losses of life. Partially filmed in Morro Bay and Fort Hunter Liggett.

The Whole Ten Yards

When his wife is kidnapped by a Hungarian mobster, Nick (Matthew Perry) turns to his old neighbor, a retired hitman (Bruce Willis), for help in the sequel to The Whole Nine Yards. Partially filmed at the Oceano Dunes.

Yes: Keys to Ascension

This March 1996 concert features what has been their most acclaimed line-up - Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Alan White. Filmed at San Luis Obispo’s, Fremont Theatre, the reunited band perform a number of hits, including "Close to the Edge," "America," "Onward," and "The Revealing Science of God." Filmed in the Fremont Theatre in SLO.

The following titles were all filmed, at least partially, in SLO County, but are not available on DVD at our libraries at this time. We will look for them and try to get a copy if they become available. You can find out more about them from IMDB.com .


  • Almost Anything (2001)
  • Almost Salinas (2001)
  • American Son (2008)
  • Ascension Day (2007)
  • Behaving Badly (2009)
  • The Brink (2006)
  • California Dreaming (1979)
  • The Christian Licorice Store (1971)
  • Christmas Belle (2013)
  • The Cowboy and the Lady (1938)
  • Death of a Saleswoman (2006)
  • Desert Passage (1952)
  • Diamond Jim (1935)
  • Embrace (2012)
  • Four 1 Liberation Front (2008)
  • The Great Depression (2013)
  • Greydog (2004)
  • The Hearst and Davies Affair (1985)
  • Hemispheres: A Documentary on Cerebral Palsy (2009)
  • I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
  • The Incredible Adventure of Jojo (And His Annoying Little Sister Avila) (2014)
  • Inspiration Point (2008)
  • The Junkman (1982)
  • Laura (2008)
  • Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
  • The Long, Long Trail (1929)
  • Midnight Ride (1990)
  • The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959)
  • Payback (1995)
  • The Pharaoh Project (2001)
  • The Practice of the Wild (2010)
  • Purple Rose (2002)
  • Return to Mayberry (1986)
  • Road Reps (2008)
  • Sisters of Death (1976)
  • The Son of an Afghan Farmer (2012)
  • Sporting Youth (1924)
  • Strange Cargo (1940)
  • Stunts (1977)
  • Theft by Deception (2010)
  • Trasharella (2009)
  • The Unknown Cyclist (1998)
  • Unknown World (1951)
  • Wild Wheels (1969)
  • Woman’s Story (2000)