4.9k voters

What's The Most Famous Movie Set In Every State?

Updated January 4, 2018 37.5k votes 4.9k voters 125.6k views50 items

List RulesVote up the overall greatest films that best represent the state in which they're set.

Films can make you fall in love with places you've never been. Even if you haven't stood at the feet of the Statute of Liberty, you've surely seen it a thousand times on the silver screen. Want to visit Hollywood? Just start any one of hundreds of movies about Los Angeles or California. There are famous movies from every state, whether they were actually filmed there or set there thanks to film magic.

There are more than enough films out there to represent the entirety of the United States. The most famous movie in every state might become a source of pride for locals – or it might become something of an embarrassment. The best movies by state might be comedies, westerns, dramas, or even animated films. As for the greatest movies of all, that's for you to decide.

Here are the best and most iconic films that each represent a state. Just know in advance, certain states had an unfair advantage.

  • 1

    Alabama – Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Few films are as quotable as Forrest Gump. While the titular hero doesn't spend the entire runtime in his home state, it's as impossible to separate ol' Forrest from Alabama as it is to separate him from his box of chocolates.

    See also: To Kill a Mockingbird

    More Forrest Gump 

    16 Extremely Messed Up Things About Forrest Gump That'll Change How You See It#1 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 2

    Kansas – The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Few films are as tied to a state as The Wizard of Oz. While most of it takes place in Oz – or a dream, depending on your opinion – the movie focuses on Dorothy's quest to return to Kansas. There's no place like home, indeed.

    See also: Superman

    More The Wizard of Oz 

    The Original 'Wizard of Oz' Books Are Shockingly Violent Compared To The Judy Garland Classic#17 of 97 The Best Film Adaptations Of Young Adult Novels

  • 3

    Pennsylvania – Rocky

    Rocky is maybe the most inspirational film ever made, one that won awards, spawned a franchise, and created a cinematic icon. If Philadelphia didn't love Rocky, they wouldn't have him permanently on those steps.

    See also: Unbreakable, Signs, The Sixth Sense, The Deer Hunter

  • 4

    Maine – The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Stephen King sure does love Maine, but arguably his greatest Maine-set story is The Shawshank Redemption. The tough and triumphant film is one everyone should see.

    See also: Pet Sematary, Carrie, Casper, The Cider House Rules, IT

    More The Shawshank Redemption 

    Behind The Scenes Of 'The Shawshank Redemption,' And The Making Of An Unlikely Classic#2 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

  • 5

    Georgia – Gone With The Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Georgia has deep ties in American history, so its fitting that it's so associated with Gone with the Wind, a movie tied to cinema's history. Hailed as one of the greatest films of all time, Gone with the Wind sets its epic romance against the beauty of Georgia to brilliant effect.

    See also: Deliverance, Fried Green Tomatoes

    More Gone with the Wind 

    #2 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture#77 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 6

    Colorado – The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

    The Overloook Hotel, surrounded by snow and mountains, is one of the most famous locations of all time. Its beauty is matched only by the horror of The Shining's plot. The masterpiece of dread is unlike any other, and features some of the most famous lines and moments in all of cinematic history.

    See also: Red Dawn, Dumb and Dumber

    More The Shining 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Shelley Duvall From 'The Shining'A Timeline Of The Beef Between Stephen King And Stanley Kubrick Over 'The Shining'

  • 7

    Massachusetts – Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Jaws, one of the most famous films ever, may have stopped a few people from jumping in the ocean, but hopefully it didn't stop them from going to Massachusetts. The state is the setting of Steven Spielberg's masterpiece of tension.

    See also: The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, Good Will Hunting, and many more

    More Jaws 

    Behind The Scenes Of Every Death In ‘Jaws’#4 of 552 The Best '70s Movies

  • 8

    New York – The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Honestly, New York is where all the good movies take place. Yet even with that surplus, The Godfather is special. What some consider the greatest film of all time is a showcase of everything fans about the movies.

    See also: too many movies to list

    More The Godfather 

    How 'The Godfather' Became An American Classic Even Though It Was 'Nightmarish' Behind The Scenes#18 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 9

    Iowa – Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

    Iowa may not have the most films to showcase its never-ending corn fields, but hey, it's got baseball playing ghosts. The film captures the midwestern spirit like few others – plus, Iowans really do love baseball. 

    See also: The Crazies, The Straight Story, Bridges of Madison County, What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    More Field of Dreams 

    #109 of 173 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#11 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s

  • 10

    Indiana – A Christmas Story

    Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon

    The film that is a go-to for Christmas is a fitting go-to for Indiana as a whole. Few films are as well known or widely seen as A Christmas Story, so congrats to Indiana for getting this holiday gem to represent it. 

    See also: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Hoosiers, Rudy

    More A Christmas Story 

    Every Inaccuracy In 'A Christmas Story’s Version Of The '40s#31 of 304 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 11

    Illinois – Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick

    John Hughes made a career out of showcasing Illinois, but perhaps no fim does it better than the hilarious Ferris Bueller's Day Off. There's just no beating that parade.

    See also: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Halloween, Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, Weird Science, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

    More Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

    Behind The Scenes Of The Famous Parade Scene In 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'#4 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 12

    Ohio – The Silence Of The Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    The Silence of the Lambs hops around quite a bit as it traces its chilling trajectory, but Ohio deserves a special mention here. It's where Buffalo Bill claimed his first victim. Not the happiest association, of course, but it's an undeniably great film.

    See also: Traffic

    More The Silence of the Lambs 

    You've Been Watching Silence Of The Lambs Wrong For Years: It's A Comedy#1 of 231 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • 13

    South Dakota – Dances With Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    The Kevin Coster-directed film won plenty of awards, and managed to do it while telling a beautiful story set in the jaw dropping South Dakota plains. The hero spends his time admiring the beauty, and you will too. 

    See also: Badlands

    More Dances with Wolves 

    #6 of 111 The Best Native American Movies#271 of 315 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

  • 14

    Tennessee – Walk the Line

    Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix

    Music goes with Tennessee like Johnny Cash goes with black. This Joaquin Phoenix-led hit biopic about the man himself is as much about Tennessee as it is about the legendary musician. 

    See also: Nashville, The Blind Side

    More Walk the Line 

    #357 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#317 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 15

    New Hampshire – Jumanji

    Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams

    Jumanji is movie everyone loves, and for good reason. The hit adventure film may be rebooted, but this classic will never be forgotten. Robin Williams is at his best here.

    See also: Lolita, Rules of Attraction

    More Jumanji 

    #89 of 380 The Best Movies Based On Books#66 of 440 Your Favorite Movies of the 1990s

  • 16

    Florida – Scarface

    Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer

    Scarface goes with Miami like Tony Montana goes with cocaine. The epic drug fuelled frenzy is drenched in sun, sand, and sweat, which is a fitting depiction of Florida – outside of the chainsaw murders and shootouts, that is. 

    See also: Body Heat, Magic Mike

    More Scarface 

    #3 of 38 The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in May 2021#5 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time

  • 17

    Hawaii – Lilo & Stitch

    Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames

    Hawaii has plenty of films that depict its lush island landscapes, but few have been as successful as the animated movie Lilo & Stitch. Sure, it may not be the most the most realistic, but when it comes to showcasing the state's pure charm, fun, and unique Hawaiian good spirit, a little blue alien just manages to pull it off.

    See also: Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Descendants, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

    More Lilo & Stitch 

    'Lilo & Stitch' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True#61 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises

  • 18

    South Carolina – The Patriot

    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger

    The Patriot, the Mel Gibson-starring Revolutionary War epic, is set in bucolic South Carolina. It's a fitting showcase for the beautiful state, which has rich historic roots.

    See also: The Big Chill, Hacksaw Ridge, Glory

    More The Patriot 

    #4 of 99 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time#4 of 29 The Best Classic Movies Streaming On Hulu

  • 19

    New Jersey – Clerks

    Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes

    Clerks is the cheaply made hit that launched Kevin Smith's career. It's a painfully realistic film about the mundane and funny details of life that everyone can connect to. 

    See also: The Wrestler, On the Waterfront, Friday the 13th

    More Clerks 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of ‘Clerks’#31 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • 20

    This Sergio Leone spaghetti western is the definition of a classic, from the score to the lines to that landscape. New Mexico is the land of enchantment, and it gets the film that it deserves.

    See also: High Noon, There Will Be Blood

    More The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 

    #8 of 28 Civil War Movies List#1 of 401 The Best Western Movies Ever Made

  • 21

    Virginia – Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

    Remember the Titans is a film tied to its states history and one that will get you pumped up. The Denzel Washington-led sports story is about as heartfelt and feel good as you can get. It was a huge success, and gave Virginia a film to call its own.

    See also: Donnie Darko

    More Remember the Titans 

    #23 of 666 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#29 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 22

    Idaho – Napoleon Dynamite

    Haylie Duff, Jon Heder

    Idaho doesn't have too many films to show off its state, but when it got one, it really hit hard. Napoleon Dynamite is one of those films that shouldn't work, yet people still quote it constantly.

    See also: My Own Private Idaho

    More Napoleon Dynamite 

    #76 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time#207 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 23

    Vermont – Super Troopers

    Lynda Carter, Brian Cox

    Few comedies this dumb are this good. The highly quoted and beloved R-rated film Super Troopers is one to remember. Its sequel even managed to blow past its fundraising oal due to pure enthusiasm. Meow do you have any problem with this choice?

    See also: White Christmas

    More Super Troopers 

    #22 of 170 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies#51 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies Of All Time

  • 24

    California – Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta, Bruce Willis

    What better film to represent Hollywood's home state than the movie of movies, Pulp Fiction? Tarantino's ode to stories is a masterpiece that struck the cultural chord like few before or after it. One of the most quotable and acclaimed films of all time, it's as Californian as plastic surgery, suntans, and real chill vibes.

    See also: Die Hard, Boogie Nights, The Graduate, and plenty of others

    More Pulp Fiction 

    12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Pulp Fiction'#73 of 863 The Best Albums of the 1990s

  • 25

    Minnesota – Fargo

    Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy

    Sure, Fargo itself is in North Dakota, but the film might as well belong to Minnesota, considering how the film turned a regional accent into a cinematic mainstay. Fargo plays up the tropes of the friendly northerners. But the Coen brothers' crime dramedy does a good job of putting you into the snow-covered boots of an average Minnesotan – as long as you put aside the whole murder thing. 

    See also: Juno, A Simple Plan

    More Fargo 

    Theories About Why The Coen Bros. Had Marge Gunderson Go On A Date In Fargo#269 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films