From “Mrs. Doubtfire” to “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” plenty of movies are set and filmed in the picturesque city of San Francisco. But what about filmmakers who choose to head a little further afield?
Actual Northern California — excluding the Bay Area — provides something to the movies that San Francisco and Oakland cannot. Towering redwoods and otherworldly flora in Humboldt County create the perfect backdrop for science-fiction movies, from “Star Wars” to “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”; rushing rapids and breathtaking mountains in Yosemite National Park are ideal settings for action movies, such as “Indiana Jones.”
But it’s not just remote, eerie forested areas that moviemakers have taken a liking to — Sacramento and Chico, as well as smaller towns such as Ferndale and Mendocino, have also found themselves featured on the silver screen.
We’ve already done several deep dives of movies filmed in the Bay Area, so please don’t yell at us for forgetting “The Princess Diaries” or “Zodiac.” Also, take note that this is not a comprehensive list — but still, some of the movies here may surprise you. You probably knew “Lady Bird” was filmed in Sacramento, for instance, but what about “Memoirs of a Geisha”?
Click through the gallery above to see the famous movies that you didn’t know were filmed in Northern California.
Madeline Wells is an SFGate editorial assistant. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @madwells22