50 States / 50 Movies

May 30th, 2009 by

I’ve been doing so much traveling this year, I started to try thinking up a movie for every one of our 50 states. The only guideline: Each movie must have some significant tie to that state.

Here’s my list accumulated from memory on two different flights across the country. I drew a blank with Delaware. And the only reason I covered Utah with Broken Arrow is because I happened to remember that the planes took off from Whiteman Air Force Base, which is located in Utah (my Air Force brat background paid off with that one).

Open to your suggestions for movies that better represent / tie to any of the states. And if you can think of a movie with a connection to Delaware, please post your suggestion.

Or maybe you’d like to offer up you own list of 50 movies!

UPDATE: I’ll add suggestions from comments.

UPDATE #2: I guess I was wrong about On Golden Pond, perhaps I was stretching my memory to make it fit into New Hampshire, but Derek sounds authoritative on this, so that will eventually move to Maine. Then the question becomes, what movie is set in New Hampshire? My first thought was Hotel New Hampshire, but most of the book — as I recall — took place in Austria (I think). Any suggestions?

ALABAMA
Forrest Gump

ALASKA
Into the Wild

ARIZONA
Raising Arizona

ARKANSAS
A Face in the Crowd
Suggestion: Sling Blade, True Grit

CALIFORNIA
Chinatown

COLORADO
The Shining
Suggestion: Dante’s Peak

CONNECTICUT
Mystic Pizza

DELAWARE
TBD
Suggestion: Fight Club

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
All the President’s Men

FLORIDA
Key Largo

GEORGIA
Gone With the Wind

HAWAII
Pearl Harbor

IDAHO
Napoleon Dynamite

ILLINOIS
Blues Brothers

INDIANA
Breaking Away
Suggestion: Hoosiers

IOWA
Field of Dreams

KANSAS
The Wizard of Oz

KENTUCKY
Coal Miner’s Daughter

LOUISIANA
The Big Easy

MAINE
Cider House Rules
Suggestion: On Golden Pond, Pet Semetary, Stand By Me

MARYLAND
Diner

MASSACHUSETTS
Alice’s Restaurant
Suggestion: A Perfect Storm, Good Will Hunting, The Departed

MICHIGAN
8 Mile

MINNESOTA
A Prairie Home Companion

MISSISSIPPI
O Brother, Where Are Thou?

MISSOURI
King of the Hill

MONTANA
A River Runs Through It

NEBRASKA
About Schmidt

NEVADA
Viva Las Vegas

NEW HAMPSHIRE
TBD

NEW JERSEY
Atlantic City
Suggestion: Garden State, Good Fellas

NEW MEXICO
The Milagro Beanfield War

NEW YORK
King Kong

NORTH CAROLINA
Bull Durham

NORTH DAKOTA
Fargo

OHIO
Major League

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma!

OREGON
My Own Private Idaho

PENNSYLVANIA
The Deer Hunter
Suggestion: Philadelphia

RHODE ISLAND
Dumb and Dumber

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Big Chill

SOUTH DAKOTA
North by Northwest

TENNESSEE
Nashville

TEXAS
Lone Star
Suggestion: No Country for Old Men, Giant, The Last Picture Show

UTAH
Broken Arrow
Suggestion: SLC Punk

VERMONT
Dead Poet’s Society
Suggestion: White Christmas

VIRGINIA
Shenandoah

WASHINGTON
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Suggestion: Sleepless in Seattle

WEST VIRGINIA
Matewan

WISCONSIN
The Straight Story

WYOMING
Red Rock West

16 thoughts on “50 States / 50 Movies

  1. Chris Kirby says:

    The only movie that I could come up with for Delaware that I had seen is AMERICAN SPLENDOR and I got that reference from this list: http://www.listology.com/list/film-or-two-every-state.

    You could argue HOOSIERS for Indiana, but BREAKING AWAY is a fabulous movie.

  2. E.C. Henry says:

    Great list, Scott. The lexicon of movies your able to weild at your disposal tells me you know your way arround a DVD store…

    Being IN Washington I would rather be represented by “Sleepless in Seatte.” (Okay so some it’s in Baltimore, some in New York, lots ot this movie takes place in Washingon AND even highlights local hot spots: Lake Union, the Puget Sound, Pike Place Market) Even “Harry and the Hendersons” reperesents better that “Twin Peaks” movie.

    Maybe “Dontes Peak” for Colorado.

    “No Country for Old Men” for Texas. C’mon, dude you shoot-out here!

    2 cents in. E.C. out!

  3. Mike says:

    Fun list. As an old Arkansas boy, I’m gonna nominate “True Grit” and “Sling Blade” for the home state. For Texas, “Giant” or “The Last Picture Show” come to mind as being worthy. I wish I could nominate “A Soldier’s Story” for Arkansas, but it was set in Louisiana, although filmed entirely in Arkansas. Again, love the list. (And yeah, I gotta go with “Hoosiers” for Indiana.)

  4. Joshua James says:

    American Splendor is set in Ohio, I thought.

  5. Sean says:

    Fight Club, however, is set in Delaware (and represents Delaware’s infamous low corporate taxes resulting in 6 financial institutions within a block of each other).

  6. jose says:

    when i think of minnesota, i think Fargo. it’s one of my favorite movies and it’s one of my favorite states.

  7. derek says:

    Since I’m from Maine/New England I’ll make a few suggestions.

    I think “On Golden Pond” was mentioned. Though filmed in NH it takes place in Maine.

    One can’t forget “Empire Falls”. Filmed in Waterville, the film really captures milltown life, except Helen Hunt’s atrocious accent.

    Many Stephen King stories and films are set in Maine. “It”, “Stand by Me”, “Pet Semetary”, and “Storm of the Century” just to name a few.

    Thinking of Mass there’s “Perfect Storm” about fishing and “Session 9″ about Danvers Mental Asylum.

    Vermont has “White Christmas”

  8. Mynock says:

    Being from Massachusetts, I think a couple of the more notable films from recent years would have to be The Departed and Good Will Hunting. Some others to note, A Beautiful Mind, Blown Away, Mystic River and of course, Jaws…

  9. Mynock says:

    heh, just remembered…SLC Punk works for Utah, no?

  10. Chris Kirby says:

    RE: AMERICAN SPLENDOR — Harvey Pekar was from Ohio, but his girlfriend Joyce Babner is from Delaware and I thought there were some scenes set there. My memory may be failing. It’s a BIG stretch in any case.

    Sorry for the double post.

  11. Alissa says:

    Not that it’s a Delaware movie but Wayne’s World does have that scene where Wayne can’t think of anything to say about Delaware as they are “visiting” different states on his show.

    For New Hampshire how about Live Free or Die – hey, it’s the state motto, after all.

    As a Jersey girl I would definitely add Garden State and Goodfellas to the NJ list or for laughs Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.

    For PA what about Philadelphia?

  12. derek says:

    For Jersey you’ve got to have some Kevin Smith movies.

    Mass needs Gone Baby Gone and Boondock Saints

  13. Tom says:

    For Nevada, there are quite a few:
    Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13; 21; Dodge Ball; and as of this last weekend, The Hangover. The list goes on and on, too. Being close to LA and having low tax rates helps.

    E.C.- Add War Games to your list. The first half of the film is shot in Seattle, parts of Tacoma, at the Steilacoom Ferry dock and on McNeil Island.

  14. anthuswilliams says:

    There’s that Adam Sandler movie, Mr. Deeds. The protagonist, Longfellow Deeds is from New Hampshire, and the state’s small town culture figures prominently in who he is.

  15. naomi says:

    For Oregon, do any of these count?:

    Kindergarten Cop
    Body of Evidence
    Goonies
    Free Willy
    Bandits

  16. Bruce Branit says:

    Whiteman AFB is actually in Missouri where the B2′s fly out of. For Missouri how about Winter’s Bone? And for Kansas… In Cold Blood or Superman?

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