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The Best Southern Movies

Updated May 12, 2020 13.3k votes 2.3k voters 159.8k views91 items

List RulesMovies about or set in the region of the American South

When you think about the American South certain things probably come to mind, such as the Civil War, plantations, slavery, cotton fields, hospitality, southern charm, accents, a warmer climate, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement and fried chicken! Some of cinema's most classic films are set in the rich landscape of the South

The southern part of the United States is home to some of the most important historical events in the nation. It's known for its hospitality and comfort food, as well as movies like The Secret Life of Bees, Rambling Rose, and Crazy Heart.

This list features the best Southern movies including: Forrest Gump, Gone With the Wind, Steel Magnolias, The Client, The Notebook, Fried Green Tomatoes, Ray, The Help, The Blind Side, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Radio, The Firm, The Prince of Tides, The Rainmaker, Where the Heart Is, and My Cousin Vinny.

Grab a plate of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, fried anything else, and vote up your favorite Southern movie. Or, add a film not on the list.

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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the... moreamazon buy button

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    Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret... moreamazon buy button
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  • 3
    Steel Magnolias is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Steel Magnolias

    Sally Field, Dolly Parton

    Released1989

    Directed byHerbert Ross

    Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross, based on the... moreamazon buy button
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  • 4
    Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Fried Green Tomatoes

    Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker

    Released1991

    Directed byJon Avnet

    Fried Green Tomatoes is a 1991 comedy-drama film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at... moreamazon buy button
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    To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The... moreamazon buy button
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  • 6
    The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    The Blind Side

    Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins

    Released2009

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and... moreamazon buy button
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  • 7
    Sweet Home Alabama is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Sweet Home Alabama

    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2002

    Directed byAndy Tennant

    Sweet Home Alabama is a 2002 American romantic comedy film directed by Andy Tennant. A young... moreamazon buy button

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    The Help is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    The Help

    Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain

    Released2011

    Directed byTate Taylor

    The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted... moreamazon buy button

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    The Notebook is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    The Notebook

    Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling

    Released2004

    Directed byNick Cassavetes

    The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on... moreamazon buy button

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    My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    My Cousin Vinny

    Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci

    Released1992

    Directed byJonathan Lynn

    My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan... moreamazon buy button

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  • 11
    Oh Brother Where Art Thou is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Oh Brother Where Art Thou

    George Clooney, John Goodman

    Released2000

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and... moreamazon buy button

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  • 12
    Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Mississippi Burning

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman

    Released1988

    Directed byAlan Parker

    Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by... moreamazon buy button
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  • 13
    A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    A Time to Kill

    Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey

    Released1996

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name,... moreamazon buy button
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  • 14
    Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Sling Blade

    Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton

    Released1996

    Directed byBilly Bob Thornton

    Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film set in rural Arkansas, written and directed by Billy... moreamazon buy button

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    Midnight in the Garden of Good is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Released1997

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a 1997 American drama film directed by Clint... moreamazon buy button
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  • 16
    Where the Heart Is is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Where the Heart Is

    Natalie Portman, Sally Field

    Released2000

    Directed byMatt Williams

    Where the Heart Is is a 2000 drama/romance film directed by Matt Williams, in his film... moreamazon buy button

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    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Si is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

    Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd

    Released2002

    Directed byCallie Khouri

    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a 2002 American comedy-drama film starring an... moreamazon buy button

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    Deliverance is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Deliverance

    Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight

    Released1972

    Directed byJohn Boorman

    Deliverance is a 1972 American dramatic thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman,... moreamazon buy button

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    Ray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Ray

    Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx

    Released2004

    Directed byTaylor Hackford

    Ray is a biographical film focusing on 30 years in the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray... moreamazon buy button

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    Cold Mountain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Cold Mountain

    Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman

    Released2003

    Directed byAnthony Minghella

    Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is... moreamazon buy button
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  • 21
    Radio is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Radio

    Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris

    Released2003

    Directed byMichael Tollin

    Radio is a 2003 film inspired by the 1996 Sports Illustrated article "Someone to Lean On" by... moreamazon buy button

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    Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Friday Night Lights

    Amber Heard, Connie Britton

    Released2004

    Directed byPeter Berg

    Friday Night Lights is a 2004 sports drama film, directed by Peter Berg, which documents the... moreamazon buy button

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    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released1993

    Directed byLasse Hallström

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and... moreamazon buy button

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    Driving Miss Daisy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    Driving Miss Daisy

    Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd

    Released1989

    Directed byBruce Beresford

    Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and... moreamazon buy button

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  • 25
    North and South is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Southern Movies
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    North and South

    North and South is the title of three American television miniseries broadcast on the ABC... moreamazon buy button

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