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

Updated January 4, 2018 42.6k votes 4.9k voters 124.4k 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.

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  • Delaware – Fight Club26
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    Delaware – Fight Club

    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto

    Released1999

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Fight Club, the fourth wall shattering takedown of commercialism, has inspired many a first-year film student. It's a one-of-a-kind movie and one that Delaware is proud to be known for. 

    See also: Empire Records

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  • North Dakota – Logan27
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    North Dakota – Logan

    Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart

    Released2017

    Directed byJames Mangold

    Points to Logan for featuring North Dakota as a plot point that the aging hero desperately is trying to reach. Critically acclaimed and a fitting send off for the titular hero, the film even earned applause when the state was mentioned in it. Those applauding were from North Dakota, but hey, it's a film and state they should be proud of.

    See also: Fargo

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  • Kentucky – Coal Miner's Daughter28
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    Kentucky – Coal Miner's Daughter

    Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek

    Released1980

    Directed byMichael Apted

    Coal Miner's Daughter, the inspiring true-life story of Loretta Lynn, gives Kentucky some well-deserved representation. Plus, it won a few awards.

    See also: The Insider, Elizabethtown, Secretariat

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  • Montana – Legends Of The Fall29
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    Montana – Legends Of The Fall

    Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1994

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    A beautiful state gets a beautiful movie. The story of Legends of the Fall may be tragic, but the landscape is something to behold. This hit tale of family showcases the raw majesty of Montana in a way few others have before or after.

    See also: Arrival, Open Range

  • Arizona – Raising Arizona30
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    Arizona – Raising Arizona

    Nicolas Cage, John Goodman

    Released1987

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    The wacky Coen brothers romantic comedy Arizona uses the arid landscape as a quirky backdrop to the wonderfully weird events of the plot. A place as interesting as Arizona deserves an interesting film – even if the citizen of Arizona aren't the biggest fans.

    See also: 3:10 to Yuma

  • Wyoming – Unforgiven31
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    Wyoming – Unforgiven

    Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

    Released1992

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    This Clint Eastwood-directed western is one of the genre's best, a realistic and poetic look at life and death with the gorgeous backdrop of rural Wyoming. This is what movies should be. 

    See also: Brokeback Mountain, Wind River, The Hateful Eight, Shane

  • Oregon – One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest32
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    Oregon – One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a rough film to watch, but a great one regardless. The journey into the world of mental institutions, as seen through the eyes of Jack Nicholson's character, has stood the test of time.

    See also: Stand By Me, The Goonies

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  • Arkansas – Sling Blade33
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    Arkansas – Sling Blade

    Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton

    Released1996

    Directed byBilly Bob Thornton

    Sling Blade is so associated with Arkansas that there's even a tourist website dedicated to the film's locations. The bittersweet story features a powerhouse performance by Billy Bob Thornton, and is drenched in an atmosphere only Arkansas could supply. 

    See also: Mud, True Grit

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  • Washington – First Blood34
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    Washington – First Blood

    Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy

    Released1982

    Directed byTed Kotcheff

    Washington is a beautiful state, and this thoughtful think piece shows its landscape perfectly. Just kidding. First Blood is big, bonkers, and actually pretty smart. It was a hit action thriller that spawned a huge franchise and put John Rambo into the halls of Hollywood history. 

    See also: the Twilight series

  • Oklahoma – Oklahoma!35
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    Oklahoma – Oklahoma!

    Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger

    Released1955

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

    If you can think of the state without thinking of the titular song, then points to you. Oklahoma and the musical of the same name are a calling card for the state.

    See also: Twister

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  • Mississippi – Django Unchained36
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    Mississippi – Django Unchained

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

    Released2012

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Tarantino's western revenge fantasy may not be the most accessible film, but it's a darn fine one regardless. Seeing a former slave go gung-ho on some racists is about as cathartic as it gets, and Mississippi is where most of the action goes down. 

    See also: The Help, A Streetcar Named Desire, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

  • Michigan – RoboCop37
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    Michigan – RoboCop

    Peter Weller, Nancy Allen

    Released1987

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

    Detroit is often brought up as a crime capital, but RoboCop takes it the extreme. The hard R sci-fi action film features a hero only the '80s could produce. Between Jesus metaphors and pure fun, few films are as entertaining as the Michigan-set classic. The people of Detroit certainly seem to like it.

    See also: American Pie, 8 Mile

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  • Texas – No Country For Old Men38
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    Texas – No Country For Old Men

    Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

    Released2007

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    The best picture winner No Country for Old Men may be brutal, but it's one hell of a movie. It showcases Texas in all its raw beauty, all the while showcasing a nasty and senseless story of morality, death, and the randomness of life. 

    See also: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday Night Lights, Dazed and Confused

  • Missouri – The Outlaw Josey Wales39
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    Missouri – The Outlaw Josey Wales

    Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke

    Released1976

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    This Clint Eastwood-directed western is one of many of the genre to take place in the lovely state of Missouri. However, the film's unforgettable hero and lasting effect on movie-making puts it over the top.

    See also: Casino, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Gone Girl

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  • West Virginia – October Sky40
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    West Virginia – October Sky

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern

    Released1999

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    This true story, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, has to be seen to be believed. West Virginia is surely proud of their very own Homer Hickman.

    See also: The Mothman Prophecies

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  • Rhode Island – The Conjuring41
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    Rhode Island – The Conjuring

    Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

    Released2013

    Directed byJames Wan

    Rhode Island is known as a lovely and quaint state. The Conjuring, on the other hand, is a film so scary it earned itself an R rating. It paid off though, literally; it's one of the highest grossing horror films ever.

    See also: Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary

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  • North Carolina – Bull Durham42
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    North Carolina – Bull Durham

    Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Shelton

    Bull Durham's North Carolina pride is right there in the title: the Kevin Costner-led comedy centers on the Durham Bulls, a minor-league baseball team. The accents may not be quite as broad in real life as they are in the movie, but it's still a funny and sweet tribute to the state.

    See also: American Gangster, A Walk to Remember

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  • Maryland – The Blair Witch Project43
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    Maryland – The Blair Witch Project

    Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard

    Released1999

    Directed byDaniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez

    Featuring one of the biggest budget to box office gross percentages in history, this nerve-rattling piece of horror history may not entice you to visit Maryland, but it's a worthy piece of cinema to represent it nonetheless.

    See also: Patriot Games, Traffic, True Lies, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

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  • Utah – 127 Hours44
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    Utah – 127 Hours

    James Franco, Kate Mara

    Released2010

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    The true story-inspired 127 Hours may be hard to watch, but it's well worth it. James Franco stares in this tale of willpower and survival in the midst of one of the most beautiful and surreal landscapes to ever grace the silver screen. 

    See also: The World's Fastest Indian

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  • Louisiana – 12 Years A Slave45
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    Louisiana – 12 Years A Slave

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender

    Released2013

    Directed bySteve McQueen

    Harsh and painful, but true and powerful, 12 Years a Slave earned a Best Picture Oscar for its masterful craft. It's an intense experience, but one that is important to people everywhere, not just residents of Louisiana.

    See also: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Green Mile, The Waterboy, Monster's Ball

  • Connecticut – The Stepford Wives46
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    Connecticut – The Stepford Wives

    Tina Louise, Mary Stuart Masterson

    Released1975

    Directed byBryan Forbes

    No one is saying that Connecticut is secretly run by robots, but one could be flattered that the state's cheery disposition and kind nature would inspire a hit film about the suspicious nature of being a bit too perfect

    See also: Amistad, The Haunting in Connecticut 

  • Nevada – Leaving Las Vegas47
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    Nevada – Leaving Las Vegas

    Nicolas Cage, Mariska Hargitay

    Released1995

    Directed byMike Figgis

    While not the most romantic or alluring depicting of Sin City, Leaving Las Vegas is an Oscar-winning piece of cinematic history that brings out the best in Nicholas Cage. A place as crazy as Vegas deserves an actor as crazy as The Cage. 

    See also: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Hangover

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  • Alaska – The Grey48
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    Alaska – The Grey

    Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney

    Released2011

    Directed byJoe Carnahan

    While Alaska isn't as full of malevolent wolves as The Grey suggests, the rural state is known for its beautiful, but deadly, environment. Plus it's the movie where Liam Neeson fist fights a wolf (kinda), so that's a plus.

    See also: Insomnia, Into the Wild

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  • Nebraska – Nebraska49
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    Nebraska – Nebraska

    Bruce Dern, Will Forte

    Released2013

    Directed byAlexander Payne

    It's obvious, sure, but Nebraska is the right choice. The successful and Oscar-nominated film is a quirky and good-humored showcase for a state with the same traits.

    See also: Election, Children of the Corn

  • Wisconsin – The Straight Story50
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    Wisconsin – The Straight Story

    Sissy Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton

    Released1999

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    The Straight Story is David Lynch's sweet and simple story of a man who rode his lawnmower from Iowa to Wisconsin to see his brother. It really happened, and is the perfect showcase for a state as funny and charming as Wisconsin.

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