Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hope Really Does Float in Smithville, TX

Did you know that Hope Floats, the sweet hometown love story released in 1998, was shot mainly in Smithville, Texas. Little did Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. know, but they set the wheels in motion for a hotbed of film activity in Smithville.

Smithville is very proud of the part it played as Birdee's home town ... and rightfully so. Many of the town's downtown buildings were transformed by the set designers for the movie. The signs created for the storefronts can still be seen - as art - decorating the walls of a local restaurant called "Pockets Grille". Stop in for lunch sometime. You won't be disappointed.

Due to Smithville's small-town charm, friendly people, and picture-perfect downtown and historic homes, Smithville has been a location for several other movies since Hope Floats. Here are just a couple of the recent film projects shot in Smithville and the surrounding area. The Tree of Life, due to be released in 2010, stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Fireflies in the Garden, (awaiting a U.S. release date) stars Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, and Julia Roberts.

To help attract more film projects to Smithville, the city became one of the first "Film Friendly Texas" communities. Film Friendly Texas is an initiative of the Texas Film Commission to help rural Texas communities more effectively prepare for and deal with on-location filming.

Next time you're in town, stop by the Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce at the intersection of First and Main to find out about all the other things to see and do. You can also give them a call at 512-237-2313. Once you're there, you'll understand why hope still floats.
Photo courtesy of Blue Eyes and Blue Bonnets.


  1. You'll love Smithville. And actually, the Texas Film Commission named Smithville, TX as the very first "Film Friendly Community" in the state.

  2. Smithville is one of my favorite places already. Thanks for clarifying about the "Film Friendly" designation. I knew it was among the first, but wasn't sure if it was THE first.