As a movie fan growing up in St. Louis, it was frustrating to have Missouri classified as a "flyover state." In other words, Hollywood movers and shakers flew over the Midwest as they traveled between the coasts. From their vantage point 30,000 feet in the air, though, these executives couldn't see how many movie fans there are in the Heartland.
Despite being overlooked by Hollywood for years, several notable films have been set in Missouri:
This good-hearted film features an extended family navigating the turbulent waters of raising children. Director Ron Howard assembled an impressive cast for the flick, including Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Wiest, and Keanu Reeves.
Martin plays Gil, a father trying to raise his kids better than his own dad raised him. Gil's siblings and their families have parental issues of their own, especially arguments over how to properly raise a child.
Set in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, Howard gets the small details right but botches some of the big ones. In one scene, Diane Wiest is seen taking a carton of Pevely milk, a local brand, from the refrigerator. The opening sequence, on the other hand, is supposed to take place at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, but the venue used in the film looks nothing like the real thing.
George Clooney shines in this darkly comic film that focuses on corporate downsizing. Clooney is Ryan Bingham, a "road warrior" for a firm that handles the messy details of downsizing for other firms. Bingham's true obsession, though, is racking up 10 million frequent flier miles on his American Airlines account so he can achieve elite status.
Though Clooney's character lives in a spartan bachelor pad in Omaha, Nebraska, several Missouri landmarks are clearly visible. Bingham's pad, for instance, is actually the Mansion House in downtown St. Louis. A rustic inn used for the wedding sequences was filmed at the Cheshire Inn, which is located in the suburb of Clayton.
Before she was Katniss Everdeen, Jennifer Lawrence turned in a winning performance as Ree Dolly in "Winter's Bone." Lawrence's character is a young woman growing up in the Ozark Mountains. When her father goes missing, Ree makes a dangerous journey to find out the truth. In this tight-lipped community, though, secrets can turn out to be deadly.
Shot near Branson, Missouri, "Winter's Bone" captures the look and feel of the Ozarks. Local musician Marideth Sisco even performed a few pieces of Ozark music for the camera.
This made-for-TV movie showed what could happen if someone finally pushed that infamous button and started a nuclear war. Set in Lawrence, Kansas, and the nearby community of Kansas City, Missouri, the characters have to deal with the aftereffects of a global thermonuclear war, including radiation poisoning and flash blindness from looking directly at an explosion.
When "The Day After" debuted on ABC close to Thanksgiving in 1983, it caused quite a bit of controversy. Parents, educators, and even Fred Rogers sounded off about whether young children should watch this cautionary tale.
In one episode of "Family Guy," Peter Griffin modeled himself after Patrick Swayze's character, Willie Dalton. After buying an old copy of the movie, Peter goes around town solving issues by kicking people in the head. After each encounter, he stops, looks at the camera and says "Road House."
Set in Jasper, Missouri, this cult classic takes place in a roadside bar known for its violent clientele. Dalton joins the staff as "head cooler," meaning he and his crew maintain order in the bar.
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