Top Movies Set In Every State Of America

Jul 08, 2021Roshanak

While most Hollywood movies are made in Hollywood, many of them are set in other places of America. In fact, there’s a popular film for every state in the country. Do you know where 'The Wizard of Oz’ was shot or which state is represented in ‘The Music Man’? Let’s find out!

Image Credits: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Meet Me in St. Louis

WYOMING - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005)

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are the main leads in a story about two male lovers. Back in 2005, it was a shock to have a Hollywood movie like that, and it was shot in the mountains of Wyoming. The flick received Academy Award nominations and is still respected to this day.

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Image Credits: Focus Features/Brokeback Mountain

WISCONSIN - BRIDESMAIDS (2011)

Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph gave the world a hilarious story of the craziness surrounding an upcoming wedding. It was the female answer to ‘The Hangover’ and other movies where boys were getting rowdy. Additionally, the rest of the cast, including Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne, was brilliant. It was also set in Wisconsin, where the two main leads grew up together.  

Image Credits: Universal Pictures/Bridesmaids

WEST VIRGINIA - THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955)

While there are other movies based in West Virginia, this one is the most beloved. It’s about Harry Powers, a notorious murderer, but filmed so beautifully that it is a noir and fairytale at the same time. Robert Mitchum is the lead, and his performance will blow you away.

Image Credits: Paul Gregory Productions/The Night of the Hunter

WASHINGTON - FIRST BLOOD (1982)

While other 'Rambo' sequels might have had more actions and bloody scenes, this one is definitely more brilliant. It was co-written by Sylvester Stallone inspired by David Morrell’s novel. In the movie, the protagonist John Rambo hides from Sheriff Will Teasle in the forest regions of Washington. It’s definitely a manly movie.

Image Credits: Carolco Pictures/First Blood

VIRGINIA - REMEMBER THE TITANS (2000)

Most films based in Virginia are more about Washington D.C. However, this story about the T.C Williams football team will warm your heart. It’s remarkable because, in the movie, an African-American becomes head coach over a white man, and of course, Denzel Washington rocked the part.

Image Credits: Jerry Bruckheimer Films/Remember the Titans

VERMONT - SUPER TROOPERS (2001)

This is the perfect bro movie for anyone who wants a good laugh. It’s beloved among cult-comedy fans, and it’s set in Vermont. The sequel was not as loved as the first one, but you can still watch and enjoy it. In any case, the original was just awesome!

Image Credits: Searchlight Pictures/Super Troopers

UTAH - 127 HOURS (2010)

This film tells the story of a man, Aron Ralston, who was trapped in the Blue John Canyon and had to amputate his arm to get out. Danny Boyle directed it, and James Franco did an astounding job making a basically one-man story incredibly nail-biting.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./127 Hours

TEXAS - DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993)

This is another teenage cult classic, and it’s based in Texas. It introduced Matthew McConaughey to the world as well as the iconic, “Alright, alright, alright”. It’s a typical coming-of-age story with a bunch of kids who seemed sort of lost and tired of high school.

Image Credits: Alphaville/Dazed and Confused

TENNESSEE - THE EVIL DEAD (1981)

This might be one of the most iconic horror movies, and the world has Sam Raimi to thank for that. It shows a bunch of kids from Michigan State University who went to a cabin in Tennessee. However, they quickly regret their actions as demons and bloodiness invade the place.

Image Credits: Renaissance Pictures/The Evil Dead

SOUTH DAKOTA - NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)

Naturally, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘North by Northwest’ is the best film from South Dakota. The story is about an exec from NYC who must run away after being confused with a foreign spy. He runs to South Dakota, and the crucial part of the movie takes place on Mount Rushmore.

Image Credits: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/North by Northwest

SOUTH CAROLINA - THE NOTEBOOK (2004)

The Notebook’ introduced the amazing chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams and had fans swooning for their characters’ love story. Additionally, the setting of an older South Carolina makes everything seemed more romantic. It reminds people of a simpler time.

Image Credits: New Line Cinema/The Notebook

RHODE ISLAND - THE CONJURING (2013)

The Conjuring’ is another amazing horror film on this list, but this is based in Rhode Island. The movie is based on a real story, and the actual house that was supposedly haunted is, in fact, located in the Ocean State. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga played the Warrens, demonologists who help a family deal with the supernatural phenomena in their new home.

Image Credits: New Line Cinema/The Conjuring

PENNSYLVANIA - GROUNDHOG DAY (1993)

You might have been expecting to see ‘Rocky’ as the best film from Pennsylvania, but there’s just something about Bill Murray’s comedy that portrays the state better. It shows the small-town side of this state. Can you imagine having to re-live the same day over and over again?

Image Credits: Columbia Pictures/Groundhog Day

OREGON - WENDY AND LUCY (2008)

Most people will say that ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ is the best film from Oregon, but ‘Wendy and Lucy’ is quietly an amazing story. It’s also directed by Kelly Reichardt and stars Michelle Williams. Additionally, Reichardt’s dog became Williams’s companion as she embarks on an adventure.

Image Credits: Glass Eye Pix/Wendy and Lucy

OKLAHOMA - TWISTER (1996)

Naturally, ‘Twister’ had to be the pick for Oklahoma. Disaster movies don’t really place a bunch of importance on their setting, but this one really showed the picturesque side of the state. There’s also the infamous cow scene that has become iconic over the years.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./Twister

OHIO - RAIN MAN (1988)

Tom Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a conceited man from California who returns to Cincinnati, Ohio to see who got his father’s inheritance. Dustin Hoffman plays his autistic older brother, who is particularly good at math. They later go to Las Vegas to take advantage of the casino.

Image Credits: Barris Industries/Rain Man

NORTH DAKOTA - THE OVERNIGHTERS (2014)

Most films set in North Dakota are actually documentaries, but that’s not really what this list entails. Luckily, ‘The Overnighters’ is a perfect movie. The story is about a pastor that takes in men coming to North Dakota to work on Williston as there has been an oil boom. But there are many twists and turns in this story.

Image Credits: Impact Partners/The Overnighters

NORTH CAROLINA - BLUE VELVET (1986)

The setting in ‘Blue Velvet’ could be anywhere in the U.S., but we know it is North Carolina when the main character returned home from college after his father had a heart attack. There are crazy criminals in town and an investigation that involves the local nightclub singer. It destroys the perfect image of small-town America.

Image Credits: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group/Blue Velvet

NEW YORK - GOODFELLAS (1990)

If you love mobster movies, you have probably seen ‘Goodfellas’ already. There might be other amazing movies set in New York, but Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece is iconic. It also stars Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and many more. Furthermore, the director showcases so much of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and more that it truly captures the vibe of this state.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./Goodfellas

NEW MEXICO - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966)

New Mexico’s best movie naturally had to be a Spaghetti Western with the legendary Clint Eastwood. This is the final movie in the ‘Dollars’ trilogy and arguably what cemented the actor’s fame in Hollywood. It’s a story about the search for gold during the American Civil War. Furthermore, it features a classic soundtrack written by Ennio Morricone, arguably one of the best film composers of the 20th century.  

Image Credits: Produzioni Europee Associati/The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

NEW JERSEY - ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)

You might have heard the phrase “I coulda been a contender” often in other Hollywood movies, and for a reason. Marlon Brando earned his first Academy Award thanks to ‘On the Waterfront’. He plays a man who wants to be a boxer but ends up being a dockworker in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Image Credits: Columbia Pictures/On the Waterfront

NEW HAMPSHIRE - WHAT ABOUT BOB? (1991)

Richard Dreyfuss played a psychiatrist that goes on vacation to New England, only to be followed by his patient Bob Wiley played by Bill Murray. The scenery of the film makes it the perfect pick for New Hampshire, and the story is the perfect satire of being dependent on your therapist.

Image Credits: Touchstone Pictures/What About Bob?

NEVADA - OCEAN'S ELEVEN (2001)

Ocean’s Eleven’ features one of the most stellar casts ever with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and many more. It tells the story of a group of conmen who venture to Vegas for their schemes. It’s one of the best movies set in Nevada, although there are a bunch of picks.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./Ocean's Eleven

NEBRASKA - TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (1983)

The mother-daughter relationship in this film is touching for anyone that sees it, especially due to the amazing cast including Jack Nicholson, Shirley MacLaine, and Debra Winger. It won many Academy Awards in 1984. Additionally, it shows so many areas of Nebraska such as Kearny, Bryan LGH Medical Center, the University of Nebraska, and more.  

Image Credits: Paramount Pictures/Terms of Endearment

MONTANA - THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT (1974)

Another Clint Eastwood film makes this list. This one is directed by Michael Cimino and also stars Jeff Bridges. It’s a story about two men who decide to rob a bank. Some people might choose ‘A River Runs Through It’ as the best Montana movie, but fly-fishing is not that fun.

Image Credits: Malpaso Productions/Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

MISSOURI - MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)

Judy Garland stars as Ether in a story about a family living in Missouri. It’s the perfect musical with amazing versions of ‘The Trolley Song’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. It was directed by Vincente Minnelli, and he definitely showed the Midwest in an interesting way.

Image Credits: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Meet Me in St. Louis

MISSISSIPPI - IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)

This crime story with Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger is remembered for being rather sweaty. It’s a representation of the heat and the swamps in Mississippi. It’s also more realistic than another movie set in this state, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’, which feels too fantastical.

Image Credits: The Mirisch Company/In the Heat of the Night

MINNESOTA - FARGO (1996)

While you might think that this film is set in North Dakota, most of the story happens in Minnesota. It’s a crime drama by the Coen brothers that is still fantastic even in this day and age. Additionally, it gave the duo their first Academy Award for Best Screenplay, while Frances McDormand won a Best Actress Award.

Image Credits: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment/Fargo

MICHIGAN - GRAN TORINO (2008)

There’s just something about Clint Eastwood because many of his films have appeared on this list. ‘Gran Torino’ is the story of a grumpy old man who makes friends with his neighbor that tried to steal his 1972 Gran Torino. The actor also directed the movie himself and chose Motor City for its setting.

Image Credits: Malpaso Productions/Gran Torino

MASSACHUSETTS - THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (1973)

There are plenty of movies set in Massachusetts because Boston is the perfect setting for shocking crime movies. However, Peter Yates’ film has to be one of the best, as it’s based on the book by George V. Higgins and really showcases the life of a gun-runner played by Robert Mitchum.

Image Credits: Paramount Pictures/The Friends of Eddie Coyle

MARYLAND - WEDDING CRASHERS (2005)

While other movies in Maryland might be considered more of a classic than ‘Wedding Crashers’, you really have to give it to this comedy. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn played two friends that crash weddings to score dates. The most important wedding in the film takes place at Perry Cabin.

Image Credits: New Line Cinema/Wedding Crashers

MAINE - THE IRON GIANT (1999)

This movie might be animated, but it captures the beauty of Maine in a way that live-action might not be able to do so. The story is about a boy and his Iron Giant as they face the judgment of a small town with conservative views. The colors represent the coastal town. Furthermore, Vin Diesel provides the voice of the Giant.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./The Iron Giant

LOUISIANA - A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)

When it comes to American classics, ‘Streetcar’ is at the top for its vivid adaptation of Tennessee Williams's play. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and helped Marlon Brando reach major success. He didn’t win an Academy Award for his performance in this film, but he went on to become a legend.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./A Streetcar Named Desire

KENTUCKY - THE INSIDER (1999)

Russell Crowe and Al Pacino star in this thriller about a whistleblower that wanted to expose how the tobacco businesses knew that their products were dangerous.  The movie is set in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as New York and Mississippi. Pacino plays the part of a producer that helps expose the truth.

Image Credits: Touchstone Pictures/The Insider

KANSAS - THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

The Wizard of Oz’ is another undeniable classic on this list, and it also features Judy Garland. The entire story takes place in Kansas, but you might be familiar with the phrase “We’re not in Kansas anymore”. So, take a trip down the yellow brick road and watch this film!

Image Credits: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/The Wizard of Oz

IOWA - THE MUSIC MAN (1962)

The colorful musical tells the story of a conman named Harold Hill, played by Robert Preston. There’s a song called ‘Iowa Stubborn’, which does not paint the state in the best light. However, the rest of the film is magical as they sweep through town in elaborate dance numbers.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./The Music Man

INDIANA - HOOSIERS (1986)

Many Indiana movies could’ve made this list, such as ‘Breaking Away’ and ‘A Christmas Story’. But the top spot is for the basketball drama, ‘Hoosiers’. Everyone knows that Indiana loves basketball. The film features Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper as well as a score by Jerry Goldsmith.

Image Credits: Hemdale Film Corporation/Hoosiers

ILLINOIS - THE FUGITIVE (1993)

‘The Fugitive’s director, Andrew Davis, has really made some amazing Chicago-based films such as ‘Code of Silence’ and ‘Above the Law’. But this movie takes the top place because it features Harrison Ford running away from Tommy Lee Jones. It also gave us a pretty amazing scene during a St. Patrick Day’s parade.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./The Fugitive

IDAHO - NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (2004)

If you’re a millennial, then you might remember when ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ went viral (before that term was ever used). People were quoting the film left and right. It features dry humor. which everyone loved and influenced a bunch of nerdy comedies that came later.

Image Credits: Searchlight Pictures/Napoleon Dynamite

HAWAII - FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)

Based on a novel, ‘From Here to Eternity’ is the top pick for Hawaii. It’s about a rifle company in Oahu before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It also includes wonderful performances by Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, especially the scene at the beach. The cast also consists of Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Donna Reid, and more.

Image Credits: Columbia Pictures/From Here to Eternity

GEORGIA - GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)

Naturally, this classic also had to appear on the list. Victor Fleming adapted the story from Margaret Mitchell’s novel, and it’s about a woman who has an affair with a married man during the Civil War. It’s also set in Atlanta, Georgia. Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award thanks to this film, but she wasn’t even allowed to attend the premiere in Atlanta due to segregation.

Image Credits: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Gone with the Wind

FLORIDA - MAGIC MIKE (2012)

Channing Tatum’s ‘Magic Mike’ might not be your first thought when it comes to Florida, but it’s pretty magical. There’s humor as well as an interesting look at men working as strippers. Mike is luckily not as crazy as what the media made Florida men seem.

Image Credits: Legendary Pictures/Magic Mike

DELAWARE - DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989)

Did you know that this movie is the first to be completely filmed in Delaware? Robin Williams’ performance as an English teacher with a passion for poetry earned him an Oscar nomination. The school in the film is called St. Andrew in real life, and it’s located in Middleton, Delaware. But other important landmarks of the state are shown as well.

Image Credits: Touchstone Pictures/Dead Poets Society

CONNECTICUT - BEETLEJUICE (1988)

The story starts with a typical couple in Connecticut’s countryside, but they die in a tragic accident and haunt the house they lived in. New Yorkers move to the house and need them to get out. So, they get Beetlejuice. It’s everything a Tim Burton movie should be, which earns it the top spot in this state.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./Beetlejuice

COLORADO - SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT (1999)

Here’s another animated movie on the list. Although ‘South Park’ doesn’t have intricate animations, it still shows many aspects of Colorado life, where the four main characters reside. The film is based on the popular show that pokes fun and satires everything in insulting ways. But people loved it.

Image Credits: Paramount Pictures/South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

CALIFORNIA - SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)

How can you pick one movie from California when there are so many amazing options? However, this noir story based in Los Angeles takes the top spot. It’s a murder mystery starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson, showcasing the harsh realities of Hollywood.

Image Credits: Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard

ARKANSAS - A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957)

This was Andy Griffith’s first movie part. He plays Larry Rhodes, a man who goes from jail to fame in New York City. Unfortunately, the corporate world destroys him. It showcases how Southern charm might be used as a weapon. The film also features Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau.

Image Credits: Warner Bros./A Face in the Crowd

ARIZONA - PSYCHO (1960)

Another Hitchcock movie on the list is ‘Psycho’, which influenced many slasher films that followed. The main character is a secretary living in Phoenix, Arizona. She runs away with stolen money and goes to a hotel run by an odd man and his mother. It was also filmed in California.

Image Credits: Universal Pictures/Psycho

ALASKA - INSOMNIA (2002)

This movie features Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, and other great actors. Pacino plays a tired detective that goes to Nightmute, Alaska to help a local cop catch a serial killer. The best part is that it’s never nighttime in that town. Some parts were also filmed in Canada, but the views of Alaska were brilliant.

Image Credits: Alcon Entertainment/Insomnia

ALABAMA - BIG FISH (2003) 

While there are other options, Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’ is the perfect movie for the state of Alabama, especially because it was completely filmed there. It tells the story of a dying man who lived a magical life and shows all kinds of places in Alabama like Jackson Lake Island.

Image Credits: Columbia Pictures/Big Fish

Have you seen all these films? Maybe it’s time for a marathon! Each and every one of these movies has a certain flair that makes them a unique and perfect representation of each state. Let us know which one is your favorite. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who are also movie lovers! See you next time!

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