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.
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 MockingbirdForrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more
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: SupermanThe Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more
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 HunterRocky is a boxing saga of popular films all written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, who plays the character Rocky Balboa. The films are, by order of release date: Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, ...more
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, ITThe Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more
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 DumberThe Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more
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 listThe Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers ...more
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 GrapeField of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who also wrote the screenplay, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy ...more
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 TomatoesGone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more
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 moreJaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more
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, RudyA Christmas Story is a 1983 American Christmas comedy film based on the short stories and semi-fictional anecdotes of author and raconteur Jean Shepherd, based on his book In God We Trust: All ...more
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 AutomobilesFerris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more
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: TrafficThe Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more
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 SideWalk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based on the early life and career of country music artist Johnny Cash. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, ...more
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: BadlandsDances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more
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 AttractionJumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film directed by Joe Johnston. It is an adaptation of the 1981 children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. The film was directed by Joe ...more
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 MikeScarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony ...more
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 MarshallLilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated action-adventure comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 21, 2002. The 42nd ...more
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 ChristmasSuper Troopers is a 2001 comedy film directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, written by and starring the Broken Lizard comedy group. Marisa Coughlan, Daniel von Bargen and Brian Cox co-star while Lynda ...more
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 13thClerks is a 1994 American black-and-white comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith, who also appears in the film as Silent Bob. Starring Brian O'Halloran as Dante Hicks and Jeff Anderson ...more
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, GloryThe Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is driven to lead the his own group of men during the ...more
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 IdahoNapoleon Dynamite is a 2004 American independent art-house comedy film written by Jared and Jerusha Hess and directed by Jared. The film stars Jon Heder in the role of the title character, for ...more
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 DarkoRemember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is based on the true story of ...more
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 BloodThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The screenplay was written by Age ...more
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 othersPulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
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 RecordsFight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more