4.9k voters

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

Updated January 4, 2018 38.9k votes 4.9k voters 124.6k 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.

  • Alabama – Forrest Gump1

    Alabama – Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field


    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    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

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  • Kansas – The Wizard of Oz2

    Kansas – The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton


    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    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

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  • Pennsylvania – Rocky3

    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

  • Maine – The Shawshank Redemption4

    Maine – The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth


    Directed byFrank Darabont

    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

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  • Colorado – The Shining5

    Colorado – The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall


    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    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

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  • Georgia – Gone With The Wind6

    Georgia – Gone With The Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh


    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    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

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  • New York – The Godfather7

    New York – The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando


    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    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

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  • Massachusetts – Jaws8

    Massachusetts – Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss


    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    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

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  • Indiana – A Christmas Story9

    Indiana – A Christmas Story

    Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon


    Directed byBob Clark

    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

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  • Iowa – Field of Dreams10

    Iowa – Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon


    Directed byPhil Alden Robinson

    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

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  • Illinois – Ferris Bueller's Day Off11

    Illinois – Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick


    Directed byJohn Hughes

    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

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  • Ohio – The Silence Of The Lambs12

    Ohio – The Silence Of The Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins


    Directed byJonathan Demme

    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

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  • South Dakota – Dances With Wolves13

    South Dakota – Dances With Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell


    Directed byKevin Costner

    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

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  • Tennessee – Walk the Line14

    Tennessee – Walk the Line

    Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix


    Directed byJames Mangold

    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

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  • New Hampshire – Jumanji15

    New Hampshire – Jumanji

    Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams


    Directed byJoe Johnston

    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

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  • Florida – Scarface16

    Florida – Scarface

    Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer


    Directed byBrian De Palma

    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

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  • Hawaii – Lilo & Stitch17

    Hawaii – Lilo & Stitch

    Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames


    Directed byDean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

    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

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  • South Carolina – The Patriot18

    South Carolina – The Patriot

    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger


    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    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

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  • New Jersey – Clerks19

    New Jersey – Clerks

    Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes


    Directed byKevin Smith

    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

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  • New Mexico – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly20


    Directed bySergio Leone

    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

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  • Virginia – Remember the Titans21

    Virginia – Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling


    Directed byBoaz Yakin

    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

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  • Idaho – Napoleon Dynamite22

    Idaho – Napoleon Dynamite

    Haylie Duff, Jon Heder


    Directed byJared Hess

    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

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  • Vermont – Super Troopers23

    Vermont – Super Troopers

    Lynda Carter, Brian Cox


    Directed byJay Chandrasekhar

    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

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  • California – Pulp Fiction24

    California – Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta, Bruce Willis


    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    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

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  • Minnesota – Fargo25

    Minnesota – Fargo

    Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy


    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    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

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