From classical Hollywood offerings Jezebel (1938) and Saratoga Trunk (1945) to newer films like Jonah Hex (2010) and The Mechanic (2011), World Film Locations: New Orleans explores some of the most notable instances of New Orleans locations in film. The book is comprised of scene reviews from 46 films, with seven longer essays that cover such topics as New Orleans jazz in film, supernatural representations of New Orleans, and the city's movie theatres. Unlike some of the other World Film Locations volumes, this one takes a few more liberties in terms of the types of films reviewed: documentaries (When the Levees Broke, 2006; The Big Uneasy, 2010), animated films (All Dogs Go to Heaven, 1989; The Princess and the Frog, 2009), a short documentary (Modern New Orleans, 1940), and even a "sexploitation shocker" (Girl in Trouble, 1963) are all included. Perhaps because of the state's tax incentives, fourteen of the films covered are post-2002's Louisiana Motion Picture Incentive Act that has boosted the city's current status as "Hollywood South," the subject of yet another essay.
Exercises in brevity, the 250-word scene reviews usually explain the significance of the location in the scene and the film as a whole, sometimes commenting on the history of the locations—be it church, restaurant, famous building, hotel, prison, street, zoo, or cemetery—with some decent criticism mixed in as well. Even those New Orleans locations recreated in Hollywood (for some of the older films, for example., New Orleans  and The Buccaneer ) are included. Each scene review is accompanied by the address of the location and a photo of the actual location as it looks today, with the scene timecode and several scene stills on the opposite page. According to the Intellect website, this series adopts a "predominantly visual approach perfectly suited to the medium of film," an apt description for this book. World Film Locations: New Orleans is arranged chronologically, with [End Page 60] maps that pinpoint each location. Retailing for $14-18, the abundance of color photographs make the World Film Locations books a suitable value.
Editor Scott Jordan Harris clarifies in his introduction that this book "is not a...standard travel guide and it is not intended to be one" (5). Nor is the book intended for classroom use, with the possible exception of courses that explore the visual city in film. Nevertheless, this highly readable book, like the others in the World Film Locations series (their ever-expanding lineup now includes Paris, New York, London, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Dublin, Madrid, Istanbul, Vienna, Beijing, Reykjavik, Berlin, Mumbai, Melbourne, Glasgow, Chicago, Marseilles, Helsinki, Venice, and Vancouver), will make an excellent travelling companion for film buffs. I know I will bring my copy of World Film Locations: New Orleans along the next time I visit the Crescent City.