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Movies With Places In The Title That Weren't Actually Shot There

Updated September 23, 2021 5.4k votes 887 voters 53.2k views21 items

List RulesVote up the movies you're surprised to learn weren't shot where they take place.

Classic films like Roman Holiday, Out Of Africa, and the early James Bond movies captivated audiences by immersing them in real-life, far-away locations. But not every film is shot on-location, obviously; sometimes, cheaper lookalike cities or sets are used to stand in for other cities, which is a completely normal filmmaking practice. But sometimes, the two things clash, and a movie that's supposed to be set in a very specific place - so specific that the place's name is literally in the name of the movie - isn't actually even shot there.

Here's a list of movies that have places in the title but were actually shot in entirely different settings, and a few facts about how it all played out.

  • You could take a tour of Southern sites that appear in Sweet Home Alabama (2002) but, for the most part, you'd be spending your time in Georgia.

    There are a few glimpses of houses in Alabama and the New York City skyline in the movie, but the Carmichael Plantation, which star Reese Witherspoon (as Melanie Carmichael) tells a reporter is her family home, is located on the grounds of Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

    Scenes depicting small-town life in Greenville, AL, were largely shot at shops and restaurants in Fayette and Taliaferro Counties, Georgia.

    • Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Dakota Fanning, Patrick Dempsey, Candice Bergen
    • Directed by: Andy Tennant
    Were you fooled?
  • The creator of the Dallas Buyers Club, a group that sold medication to individuals afflicted with AIDS during the 1980s, was a Texas-based electrician named Ron Woodroof. Woodroof's origins and story were inextricably linked to Dallas, but the 2013 movie about his story was filmed in New Orleans, LA. 

    Star Matthew McConaughey acknowledged that careful consideration was taken to make New Orleans look like Dallas, especially when it came to the differences in climate:

    You have to watch the tropical foliage.... That ain’t in Dallas, in some places you can see the humidity and the mildew and the overgrowth where mother nature takes over in New Orleans.

    • Actors: Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Adam Dunn, Denis O'Hare
    • Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
    Were you fooled?
  • Despite its name, Chicago (2002) was shot in Toronto, Canada, over roughly two months.  Musical numbers performed at the famed Onyx Theater in the film were shot in the distillery district of the city, the site of prison and courtroom scenes as well.  

    • Actors: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lucy Liu, Renée Zellweger, Queen Latifah, Richard Gere
    • Directed by: Rob Marshall
    Were you fooled?
  • Oklahoma! may be, "where the wind comes sweepin' down the plains," but the filming of the movie took place devoid of the promised wheat and rain later promised by the musical's overture. 

    Shot in and around Nogales, AZ, the location for Oklahoma was chosen for its remoteness. High levels of farming and development in Oklahoma during the 1950s pushed the state past what would have been appropriate for the setting of the movie.

    By one account, Nogales was temporarily "annexed" from Arizona during the shoot, giving it a short-lived honorary home in Oklahoma.

    • Actors: Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger, Eddie Albert, Ben Johnson, James Whitmore
    • Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
    Were you fooled?