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50 States 50 Great Movies?

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Here's an interesting challenge: considering all 50 states, what's the greatest movie that takes place (largely) in it? Now for some states, the choice is going to be self-evident. For California, the choice is between Vertigo, Singin' in the Rain, Sunset Blvd, and Chinatown. For Kansas, the first movie one is likely to think of is The Wizard of Oz, while for Georgia, it's likely going to be Gone with the Wind. But what other great movies take place in those two states? Other movies, of course, take place in more than one state: North by Northwest for instance, while Some Like it Hot starts in Illinois and ends in Florida. If we have 50 states we are going to have 50 states to go with them. Now the way I want to see this up is in alphabetical order. If we just start with everyone giving their suggestions, some states are likely to be forgotten.


For future reference, here are the states in alphabetical order:


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas

California, Colorado, Connecticut





Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa

Kansas, Kentucky


Maine, Maryland, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississipi, Missouri, Montana

Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota

Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon


Rhode Island

South Carolina, South Dakota

Tennesse, Texas


Vermont, Virginia

Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming


We should probably include the District of Columbia as well, and also Puerto Rico.


Ok, let's start with Alabama. If I remember correctly "To Kill a Mockingbird" takes place there. any other suggestions?

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skimpole -


Fun Idea - and one I have thought about before.

Just so I understand, you want everyone to brainstorm on a single state before moving on to the next one? Is that right? 'Cause when you get to the States formed from the Original 13 Colonies, I got a few you can use from the second programming challenge I did.


Kyle In Hollywood

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1962's "No Man is an Island"


A 16-year Navy veteran, Tweed was the chief radioman stationed on Guam before WWII broke out. He, and five other men slipped into the jungles, soon after the Japanese landed on the island. The five other men were captured, but Tweed managed to avoid being captured for three more years until he was able to contact a navy destroyer just off-shore prior to the invasion of Guam. He was rescued and later warded the Legion of Merit for his heroism.


This movie was made from his story. It starred Jeffrey Hunter as Tweed.

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You guys are already on Arizona! Oh, dear. I thought you wanted several movie suggestions for each state. This could get really tricky--what with films set/shot in various states or set in one state, but obviously shot elsewhere. I'm glad you could begin with *To Kill A Mockingbird*, one of the greatest movies ever--one that explores universal themes and, yet, is deeply-rooted in one spot. Hope it's okay to back up a bit and mention a few more good movies set in Alabama.


*The Miracle Worker* (1962) Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke (parts set in AL and MA, shot in NJ, NY & CA)

*Norma Rae* (1979) Sally Field, Ron Leibman, Beau Bridges

*The Fighting Kentuckian* (1949) John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Oliver Hardy

*Fried Green Tomatoes* (1991) Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, Jessica Tandy

*Big Fish* (2003) Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup


There are many truly superior TV movies and documentaries set in Alabama, starting with "A Christmas Memory" (1966 TV).

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Here in Kentucky, it's "Raintree County" with Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor; it was here -- or at least during this filming -- that MC suffered his disfiguring auto accident. Elizabethtown still celebrates "Raintree County Days" with the stand-ins for the stars leading the parade. I believe portions of either "Seabiscuit" or some other horsey movie (?) were filmed at some of our fabulous thoroughbred farms in Lexington; did either Churchill Downs or Keeneland also get in? Experts?

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Oh my I wanted to back up just a bit too. I had my Alaska film all picked out.


It's The Spoilers 1942 set in Nome during the gold rush of 1898 and starring Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, and Margaret Lindsay.


I can see where this thread could get a little confusing. Maybe we need to be more organized or this could lead to anarchy...ANARCHY I tell you!


Message was edited by: molo14 for spelling as usual

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I would think the best film that takes place in Alaska was The Gold Rush.


I would think the best of the Gunfight at Ok Corrall movies, which took place in Tombstone, eventually Arizona, was My Darling Clementine. Psycho starts in Arizona, but isn't Bates Motel in California?

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I found a few but I've never seen them.


She couldn't Say No 1954 with Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons


Come Next Spring 1956 with Ann Sheridan and Walter Brennan


Don't know how good these are.


Does True Grit start off in Arkansas?


Message was edited by: molo14

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Re: Arkansas


Is it Gentlemen Prefer Blondes that has the iconic song "A Girl From Little Rock"? That's about the only reference I can come up with.


That is, unless parts of Primary Colors (not a bad movie either) are set in Arkansas.


Kyle In Hollywood

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Ok, California: no shortage of possibilities here.



Singin' in the Rain

Sunset Blvd.



Interestingly, all four movies have to take place in California. Two take place in Hollywood, one deals with a specific context about Los Angeles, while San Francisco is an indelible presence in the fourth. (By contrast, Psycho could take place anywhere in the United States that has motels. The original serial killer I believe, was from Wisconsin. And To Kill a Mockinbird [Alabama] and A Face in the Crowd [Arkansas] could take place in any state where there is racial injustice and political demagoguery.)


Next up: Colorado

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"All right then. Next up Connecticut."



I wanted to put a word in for San Francisco which is probably a better representation of historical California than any other. (The Missions of California in Vertigo notwithstanding.


Kyle In Hollywood

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