Over the last 100 years, Hollywood studios and surrounding areas were the filming locations for many classic movies. Southern California is not only the home base of many of the country’s largest production companies, but also the sunny weather and proximity to a variety of geographical features make it an easy filming location.
If the movies aren’t filmed on the West Coast, studios tend to go to New York City to take advantage of some America’s enduring images, such as Central Park and the Statue of Liberty.
Even so, the film-going public, as well as the motion picture artistic community, demands authenticity. While going on the road comes with a price, there is no substitute for the screen-filling landscapes in Arizona and Utah that made westerns such as “The Searchers” unforgettable, or the gritty docks operated by longshoremen in Hoboken, New Jersey, that made “On the Waterfront” a classic. Films shot “on location” are frequently listed among the best movies of all time.
The film industry’s need for genuine locations also means more states can benefit financially from the industry. A movie shoot can create jobs and have other economic advantages for the state. For this reason, states welcome and promote film shoots, setting up film commissions or offices with robust websites touting the advantages of filming a movie in their state.
Some of the most popular, top grossing films may also draw tourism to their shooting locations after their release as fans seek out memorable locations seen in their favorite movies. These are the top grossing films of all time.
Each state has unique characteristics that make it attractive to filmmakers, and with that in mind, 24/7 Tempo has tapped critic and audience ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb to find the best movie filmed in every state.
To determine the best movie filmed in every state, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating, and Internet Movie Database average user rating. To be considered, each film needed to have at least 5,000 Rotten Tomatoes user ratings, 10 approved Tomatometer critic reviews, and 10,000 IMDb user ratings.
We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and weighted by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critics rating.
We then used each movie’s filming locations, as listed on IMDb, to assign a film to each state. 24/7 Tempo assigned one state to films shot across multiple states in order to maximize the number of high-rated films on our list.