50 States: Most Authentic and Famous Films

50 US States

The Most Authentic
and Famous Films

Part 1

50 US States: The Most Authentic and Famous Films

These are the films (with both classic picks and more recent or modern-day selections) that most authentically represent or exemplify each of the 50 American states (plus an extra one for Washington, D.C.). By watching representative films for each locality, one can take a travelogue tour of the entire state without ever leaving home.

There are three films selected as the best 'on-location' films authentically shot in the state (mostly or in part), and one film selected as the most definitive, significant, famous or iconic film for the state (even if not filmed there either in whole or in part). Duplications were avoided. All of the selections comprise and capture the most emblematic (and sometimes most essential) films of each state by evoking unique characteristics of place, and reflecting the state's identity and setting.

Criteria for Choices: Some states, such as California, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Texas, were difficult to narrow down to three 'on-location' selections, while some other states were very challenging, such as Delaware or North Dakota.

Many factors had to be taken into account, for example:

  1. There are Fictional Towns in Many Films:
    1. Hadleyville, NM in High Noon (1952) (filmed entirely in CA)
    2. Maycomb, AL in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) (filmed in CA)
    3. Endora, IA in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) (filmed in TX)
    4. Greenbow, AL in Forrest Gump (1994) (filmed in multiple locations, mostly SC and not in AL)
    5. Brantford, NH in Jumanji (1995) (filmed mostly in Keene, NH and Canada)
    6. Blaine, MO in Waiting for Guffman (1997) (filmed mostly in TX)
    7. Everett, WI in Dawn of the Dead (2004) (filmed mostly in Canada)
    8. Ebbing, MO in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) (filmed in NC)

  2. Film Settings Often Differed From Filming Locations:
    1. The Wizard of Oz (1939) was set in KS, but entirely filmed in CA
    2. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) was set in the territory of NM, but mostly filmed in Spain
    3. Jeremiah Johnson (1972) was set in CO, but mostly filmed in UT and AZ
    4. Badlands (1973) was set in SD, but entirely filmed in CO
    5. The Shining (1980) was set in CO, but mostly filmed in OR and MT
    6. The Evil Dead (1981) was set in MI (some argue it was in TN), but was filmed in TN
    7. Scarface (1983) was set in FL, but mostly filmed in CA
    8. Dirty Dancing (1987) was set in upper state NY (Catskills), but mostly filmed in VA and NC
    9. My Cousin Vinny (1992) was set in AL, but entirely filmed in GA
    10. Legends of the Fall (1994) was set in MT, but filmed in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada
    11. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) was set in ME, but mostly filmed in OH
    12. The Green Mile (1999) was set in LA, but filmed in TN and NC
    13. Remember the Titans (2000) was set in VA, but filmed mostly in GA

Additionally Recommended:

50 US States:
The Most Authentic and Famous Films
Part 1 | Part 2
50 US States (+1)
Most Authentic, Representative
and On-Location Films
Most Famous
or Iconic Films

Norma Rae (1979)

Big Fish (2003)

Selma (2014)

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Into the Wild (2007)

The Grey (2011)

Big Miracle (2012)

Grizzly Man (2005)

My Darling Clementine (1946)

Raising Arizona (1987)

Midnight Run (1988)

The Searchers (1956)

A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Sling Blade (1996)

Mud (2012)

True Grit (1969)

The Graduate (1967)

Point Break (1991)

The Player (1992)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Naked Spur (1953)

Catch and Release (2006)

The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Shining (1980)

The Stepford Wives (1975)

Mystic Pizza (1988)

Rachel Getting Married (2008)

The Ice Storm (1997)

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Fight Club (1999)

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Magic Mike (2012)

Spring Breakers (2013)

Scarface (1983)

Deliverance (1972)

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Remember the Titans (2000)

Gone With the Wind (1939)

From Here to Eternity (1953)

North Shore (1987)

The Descendants (2011)

Pearl Harbor (2001)

Bronco Billy (1980)

Pale Rider (1985)

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

The Blues Brothers (1980)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

The Untouchables (1987)

Halloween (1978)

Breaking Away (1979)

A Christmas Story (1983)

Rudy (1993)

Hoosiers (1986)

Field of Dreams (1989)

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

The Straight Story (1999)

The Music Man (1962)

Picnic (1955)

In Cold Blood (1967)

Paper Moon (1973)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Kentuckian (1955)

Harlan County USA (1976)

Secretariat (2010)

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

The Big Easy (1987)

Steel Magnolias (1989)

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

The Whales of August (1987)

Pet Sematary (1989)

In the Bedroom (2001)

The Cider House Rules (1999)

Pecker (1998)

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Runaway Bride (1999)

Diner (1982)

Jaws (1975)

The Departed (2006)

The Fighter (2010)

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Roger & Me (1989)

8 Mile (2002)

Gran Torino (2008)

RoboCop (1987)

Purple Rain (1984)

The Mighty Ducks (1992)

A Simple Plan (1998)

Fargo (1996)

Mississippi Burning (1988)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

The Help (2011)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

White Palace (1990)

Up in the Air (2009)

Winter's Bone (2010)

Waiting for Guffman (1996)

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