Sweet Home Alabama: Then and Now – 12 Years Later

Coon Dog Cemetery
This is the cemetery Melanie visited after the Pigeon Creek Catfish Festival. Remember the romantic kiss that took place at this location? Well, what we don’t see in the movie is Melanie slapping Jake on the face after they kissed. According to director Andy Tennant, after 30 or so slaps to Josh Lucas’ face, the scene was left on the cutting room floor because the editors felt it would be too confusing to the audience. Ouch!

So in this scene Melanie enters the Coon Dog Cemetery to visit Bear’s gravesite. The house we see in the background still stands today, but its appearance has changed a bit over the years. The exterior is now yellow and the porch was updated.

In this scene Jake points out the lightning bugs to Melanie near the woodshed. This shed looks exactly the same as it did during filming in 2001. It’s a neat-looking structure. As you can see in the second photo, this is an empty lot – not a cemetery. However, at the time of filming, the art department transformed this space into the Coon Dog Cemetery using photos of the real Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery located in Cherokee, Alabama. They did a nice job too.

Blooper alert: The next time you watch the movie pay attention to the statue of the dog on top of the grave. It wobbles as Melanie brushes against it when she leaves the cemetery.

By the way, for those of you who haven’t picked up on the two bloodhound names in the movie, Bear and Bryant, well, they are references to the legendary University of Alabama head football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant. While I have a lot of respect for the coach, I couldn’t care less about these cute references. I’m just sharing some info. Oh, I forgot to mention that I’m a Florida State guy and have no love for Bama! So there’s that…

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