Best of America

The Most Iconic Movie Set in Every State

Which film made the list from yours?

Previous
1/50 View as List
Next

Alabama: ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ (2002)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

Reese Witherspoon and Josh Lucas play childhood sweethearts in this beloved rom-com. (Related: Check out these tearjerker movies for when you need a good cry.) Witherspoon has to learn to disavow the big city and return to her roots in the deep south—back to dive bars, plantations and Civil War reenactments. Don't worry, you'll get to hear Lynyrd Skynyrd's rollicking ode to the lost confederacy at the very end when the romantic pair finally have their wedding dance.

Alaska: ‘The Gold Rush’ (1925)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

This Charlie Chaplin classic is set during the Klondike Gold Rush. It was created with expensive and elaborate set pieces to film the blizzard and isolated cabin where the Little Tramp gets trapped. Iconic scenes include the dance with bread rolls and the tipping log cabin. It also stars the gorgeous silent film star, Georgia Hale.

Arizona: ‘Raising Arizona’ (1987)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter play an infertile couple who steal a baby in this satire about the American dream by the Coen brothers. The Arizonan desert provides the backdrop to the hijinks that ensue as convicts and bad guys try to claim the reward for the tot—one of a set of quintuplets who have the last name Arizona. Also read up on the most famous movie quotes of all time.

Arkansas: ‘Sling Blade’ (1996)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

"Gimme some of them French fried potaters. Mmm-hmmm." Billy Bob Thornton rose to stardom after of his portrayal of a man recently released from a mental hospital. Why was he there? He killed his parents as a child. But you'll sympathize! Rural Arkansas provides the setting for this tragic tale that also stars John Ritter in a memorable dramatic turn and country singer Dwight Yoakum as a drunk meanie.

California: ‘L.A. Confidential’ (1997)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

This throwback to old Hollywood glamour and Los Angeles noir has it all: crime, passion, and star power. Russell Crowe plays a detective who falls for a call girl played by Kim Basinger—who won Best Supporting Actress for the role. James Cromwell, Kevin Spacey, and Danny DeVito round the cast of this gritty crime drama about all the corruption underneath the southern California glitz.

Colorado: ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ (1969)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up as a pair of cowboy BFFs who are also wanted criminals. This western was shot in Telluride, Silverton, and Durango where the pair famously leap off a cliff as they try to evade the always looming posse. Redford can't swim. The fall will probably kill them. They survive! But not forever. Get your guns ready, Bolivia—here they come.

Connecticut: ‘Mystic Pizza’ (1988)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

Julia Roberts stars in this coming-of-age drama about best friends and sisters who waitress at a pizza joint in a fishing town called Mystic. Roberts rocks what became her signature smile, but Lili Taylor steals the show as a fiery spirit who isn't sure if she wants to marry her longtime boyfriend (Vincent D'Onofrio.) Annabeth Gish rounds out the cast as a Harvard-bound brainiac who falls in love with a married man—then regrets it. (Related: Watch these other movies about sisters with your siblings.)

Delaware: ‘Goosebumps’ (2015)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

Fans of the popular R.L. Stine novels were thrilled that the movie was set in the fictional town of Madison, Delaware—a state typically underrepresented in American cinema. So cheers for the little state that finally made it to the big time in the Hollywood adaptation of the blockbuster novel series. Jack Black plays author Stine in a plot that involves the books' monsters getting unleashed and wreaking havoc. (Related: You should also check out these 31 scariest movies of all time.)

Florida: ‘The Birdcage’ (1996)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

This "meet the parents" scenario descends into hilarious chaos when a gay couple who own a night club meet a right-wing senator and his wife—currently embroiled in a scandal. South Beach Florida serves as the backdrop for this comedy that's ultimately about tolerance and acceptance. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane turn in stellar performances as gay men who clash with Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest, conservatives who need to loosen up.

Georgia: ‘Glory’ (1989)

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, IMDB.com

The film concerns the story of the 54th Infantry—the first military regiment made up of African-American soldiers. (FYI: Battlefield scenes of this Civil War drama were shot at Gettysburg.) Starring Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington—in an Oscar-winning, star-making performance, as a former slave who teaches a Colonel, played by Matthew Broderick, about the true meaning of honor and glory.

Previous
1/50 View as List
Next

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.