Ask anyone who is not terribly familiar with the south what they know about Savannah, Georgia, and the first thing out of their mouths will most likely have something to do with the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Although many other films have taken advantage of Savannah’s bucolic atmosphere as the ideal setting to convey both southern sensibilities and eccentricities, none seems to have stuck to the popular imagination’s picture of Savannah as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Here are a few of the most noteworthy movie landmarks in Savannah, Georgia.
Savannah’s tourist industry is acutely aware of the general public’s direct association with book and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with the city itself. The fever to take advantage of this tourist draw has gotten to the point where it at times approaches life imitating art, with the southern Gothic story having become exaggeratedly associated with the actual identity of the city itself. There are Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tours and an entire store dedicated to the story called simply The Book. Everywhere that you go in Savannah, Georgia, there are reproductions of the iconic graveyard statue with the girl balancing two empty plates: plastered in the city’s welcome center, in hotel lobbies, on tour buses and trolleys and on T-shirts, post cards, shot glasses and every other possible souvenir.
Of course, the Mercer House is at the eye of the literary storm regarding Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in Savannah, Georgia. It was here that the real life story of Billy Hansen’s murder played out, and it was in the very same house that the Hollywood film portraying the story was primarily filmed. In the midst of the architectural pomp of some of the surrounding homes and building in the historic area of Savannah, the Mercer house looks almost shockingly modest when you first come upon the residence at 430 Whitaker Street. However, with a little imagination, you can quickly see Kevin Spacey languidly gesticulating to someone in the doorway, sweating beverage in hand and then see in the minds eye the dark home alight and filled with the guests of one of John Kelso’s famous parties.
Some of the other tourist spots for enthusiasts of the story are dotted throughout town. The Bonaventure Cemetery has the grave marking the final resting place of Danny Hansford. The Lady Chablis still performs at Club One Savannah. However, for a detailed account of every nook and cranny associated with Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in Savannah, and there are plenty, visitor’s are best served by taking one of the city’s many walking tours that are centered around the book and film.