There’s no place like home,” Dorothy Gale concluded in “The Wizard of Oz.” Thus, it can be extra thrilling to see a movie set in one’s home state or even hometown. For residents of Highland Park, Illinois, for example, recognizing landmarks in “Risky Business” (the Highland Park Theatre, Shelton’s Diner, both since shuttered) adds an extra layer of enjoyment to watching the film.
Business Insider recently published a “map” of the most famous movies in each of the 50 states. This is, as Business Insider states, “a challenging and subjective endeavor.” The late Roger Ebert contended that most movie lists are meaningless, but they are fun to bandy about. Let’s take a tour and see what they came up with:
Alabama: Forrest Gump
My vote is with "To Kill a Mockingbird," set in Maycomb, GA
Alaska: Into the Wild
Perhaps a better representation of Alaska’s frontier heritage and America’s pioneering spirit would be Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” or even the animated film, “Balto.”
Arizona: Raising Arizona
Arkansas: Sling Blade
As if. When I think California, I think Hollywood in its glory (“Singin’ in the Rain”) or decline (“Sunset Boulevard”). I think noir (“Double Indemnity”). I think Frankie and Annette (“Beach Party”)
Colorado: The Shining
Connecticut: The Stepford Wives
Deleware: Fight Club
This is probably not the best image for the Sunshine State. How about “Some Like it Hot” which has gangsters, too, but it also has Marilyn Monroe.
Georgia: Gone with the Wind
Hawaii: Pearl Harbor
Speaking of bombs. How about “Gidget Goes Hawaiian” or Elvis’ “Paradise Hawaiian Style” instread?
Idaho: Napoleon Dynamite
Illinois: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
As a native, I don't want my state represented by some spoiled, entitled punk. Chicago's a great newspaper town, as reflected in "Call Northside 777" or "His Girl Friday." But you can't top the cornfield airplane attack in Hitchcock's "North by Northwest."
Indiana: A Christmas Story
Iowa: Field of Dreams
Kansas: The Wizard of Oz
Not filmed there, and it’s mostly set in Oz, but no movie is more closely identified with a state, thanks to the line, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” I suppose it's a better choice than “In Cold Blood.”
Kentucky: Coal Minder’s Daughter
Louisiana: The Green Mile
Maine: The Shawshank Redemption
Massachusetts: Good Will Hunting
Michigan: American Pie
Minnesota: The Mighty Ducks
Mississippi: In the Heat of the Night
Missouri: Meet Me in St. Louis
Montana: Legends of the Fall
I know; I didn’t realize Caddyshack was set in Nebraska either.
Nevada: The Hangover
New Hampshire: Jumanji
New Jersey: Clerks
New Mexico: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
New York: Taxi Driver
Again, not the greatest come-on for New York. How about something more romantic ("An Affair to Remember," "Manhattan," "Moonstruck"), magical ("Miracle on 34th Street"), or more Broadway ("All about Eve?")
North Carolina: Cape Fear
North Dakota: Fargo
Oregon: The Goonies
Rhode Island: The Witches of Eastwick
South Carolina: The Notebook
South Dakota; Dances with Wolves
Tennessee: Walk the Line
Texas: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
With all the iconic westerns set there, how can the Lone Star State be represented by chainsaw wielding psycho Leatherface? Give me "Rio Bravo."
Utah: 127 Hours
Vermont: White Christmas
Virginia: Remember the Titans
Washington: Sleepless in Seattle
Washington, D.C.: A Few Good Men
You want the truth? D.C. really has nothing to do with it. Give me “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” or “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers,” in which UFOs crash into our national monuments.
West Virginia: October Sky
Wisconsin: Dawn of the Dad
Wyoming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Your turn: What is the film you most associate with your state?