Every Major U.S. City’s Most Iconic Film

People in the United States love movies. It’s one of the largest industries in the country, spending and making billions and billions of dollars each year. The more iconic films have gone on to form lasting legacies, and some are even featured in the Library of Congress for their historical and cultural significance.

Many of these films have become synonymous with the places where they were filmed (or where they were set, even if it was filmed somewhere else), which includes most big cities in the country. Download these famous movies and watch them as you road-trip across the country visiting the real-life locations you see on screen. Let this list of the most iconic films from every major U.S. city be your guide.

Minneapolis

View of Minneapolis with bridges in the foreground
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Not only is the film iconic, but so are the accents! Is “Fargo” the most iconic film from Minnesota? “You betcha!”

Seattle

View of downtown Seattle with Mt. Rainer in the background
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A man is devastated by the loss of his wife, so he and his son move to Seattle to escape their sad past and start fresh in a new city. Too bad he still can’t sleep. "Sleepless in Seattle" is easily the most iconic film from this city. After all, it has the city’s name right in the title.

Detroit

View of park with city of Detroit in the background
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Is it science fiction or is it a premonition? Either way, "RoboCop" made a huge cinematic splash when it arrived on the big screen, spawning several sequels and reboots. Even people who haven’t seen the movie know who RoboCop is.

San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
Client: mvdheuvel/ Unsplash

Any time Clint Eastwood is let loose in the city to track down a killer, things are bound to get exciting. While there are many great movies that take place in San Francisco, "Dirty Harry" is easily the most iconic.

Phoenix

Aerial view of Pheonix, Arizona
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In the 1960 classic "Psycho", only the beginning takes place in Arizona. But in reality, the legendary flick was filmed entirely at the Jefferson Hotel in Phoenix. “The Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock continued his influence on the horror/thriller genre with this film.

Boston

View of Boston from above
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Not only is "The Departed" an iconic film, but it’s an iconic film about Boston. Martin Scorsese's Best Picture winner shows off the city like no other and tells a thrilling story of deception and corruption in the process.

Atlanta

View of downtown Atlanta, Georgia
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One of the most lovable stories of all time also won four Oscars. “Driving Miss Daisy” depicts the relationship of an older white woman and her African-American chauffeur as they grow and learn together in the 1950s Deep South.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia skyline at night with the Schuylkill river
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Any movie that makes you actually want to run up a flight of stairs has to be iconic. "Rocky" was the first of many movies featuring Sylvester Stallone as boxer Rocky Balboa. In addition to introducing the beloved character to audiences, the movie made a landmark out of the steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Miami

Aerial view of Miami, Florida at sunset
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“Say hello to my little friend!” Tony Montana shouts from the top of the staircase in one of the most famous movie scenes ever filmed. The ever-popular "Scarface" stars a young Al Pacino trying to make his way to the top of a powerful drug cartel.

Washington, D.C.

The Washington Monument, a popular tourists attraction
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Studied by film students everywhere, "Citizen Kane" isn’t only the most iconic movie set in Washington, D.C., — it might be the most iconic movie ever. The American Film Institute even put at number one on its list of the 100 Greatest American Movies Of All Time.

Houston

Downtown Houston, Texas
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“Houston, we have a problem.” How many movies produce quotations that are common in everyday speech? While "Apollo 13" might not have originated the line, it certainly helped propel it into the mainstream vocabulary. Part of this Oscar winner takes place at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, otherwise simply known by its call sign: “Houston.”

Dallas

View of downtown Dallas
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Following one of the most significant historical events in American history, "JFK" won two Oscars and was nominated for six more in 1992. Maybe there’s more to the Kennedy assassination than we know?

Chicago

Aerial view of downtown Chicago
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They’re on a mission from God. "The Blues Brothers" blasted their way into movie theaters in 1980 and set the standard for sunglass fashion for decades to come.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles at night
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It’s hard not to be charmed by the talents of Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. Almost 70 years after its release, "Singin’ in the Rain" can put a skip in the step of people old and young.

New York City

Hoboken at sunset
Credit: mikechv/ Unsplash

New York City is a haven for filmmakers. With countless movies made within the city limits, it’s hard to pick just one. "Taxi Driver" is one of the most relatable and quotable (“You talkin’ to me!?”) movies ever made. It hits the top of the list for the most iconic movie from the Big Apple.

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