(…continued from last week)
North Carolina Cape Fear (1962, J. Lee Thompson; 1991, Martin Scorsese) Gregory Peck’s original is no contest, but if you can tear your eyes off Roberts Mitchum and De Niro, try to decide if anybody could be better than either Polly Bergan or Jessica Lange.
North Dakota The Far Horizons (1955, Rudolph Mate) The Lewis and Clarke expedition wintered in North Dakota and history records Clarke adopted guide Sacajawea’s children after her death; however, this movie is 100% history-gone-Hollywood.
Ohio The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942, William Keighley) Before Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, Sheridan Whiteside was the most difficult unwanted movie house guest to evict.
Oklahoma August: Osage County (2013, John Wells) A family crisis brings the Weston family back home—but nothing is crisis enough to make them get along…or get interesting.
Oregon Stand by Me (1986, Rob Reiner) Boys will be boys and it is fun to figure where Lachance, Tessio, Chambers, or Duchamp and the actors who played them are thirty years later.
Pennsylvania Ten North Frederick (1958, Philip Dunne) Favorite-son John O’Hara takes a look at state politics with a May-December pairing of gorgeous Suzy Parker and Gary Cooper that is irresistible.
Rhode Island Reversal of Fortune (1990, Barbet Schroeder) Jeremy Irons won the Oscar for his role of Claus von Bulow, and is well-supported by no less than Uta Hagen in this criminally well-played study of the accused society murderer.
South Carolina The View From Pompey’s Head (1955, Philip Dunne) Hamilton Basso’s source novel was on The New York Times Best Seller list for 40 weeks. Now like the film adaptation mostly forgotten, his story is often suspected a model for Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
South Dakota Badlands (1973, Terrence Malick) This road movie is already a crime genre gone stale and evidences the promise of a ponderous auteur as it follows yet another killer couple on a chase—this time across South Dakota.
Tennessee Nashville (1975, Robert Altman) Sprawling story about country music with 24 main characters. Keith Carradine’s Oscar-winning Best Song, “I’m Easy” is indeed easy on the ear and eye while the excellent scene in which it is sung (among one hour of musical numbers in the film) is top-drawer Altman.
Texas Blood Simple (1984, Joel Cohen & Ethan Cohen) Texas is the setting for many a good movie, and it hurts not to give the state nod to Giant. But let’s go with this NYU-rooted debut of the Cohen Brothers
Utah Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story (2003, Peter Greenaway) First—and best—of the outrageous trilogy of sensational motion pictures from Greenaway’s extraordinary multi-media project.
Vermont Spellbound (1945, Alfred Hitchcock) Ben Hecht’s screenplay had censor issues; Oscar-winning score begins with an overture before the credits; and Salvador Dali dream sequence was massively cut—and it all still adds up to uber-suspense.
Virginia The Howards of Virginia (1940, Frank Lloyd) Much of this patriotic film was shot in Rockefeller’s newly restored Williamsburg Va. Made to drum up support for our entering World War II, this film offers one of the most unlauded Cary Grant performances.
Washington Twin Peaks (1990, David Lynch) Movie, pilot, series, and prequel—who the hell did kill Laura Palmer? Snoqualmie, North Bend, and Fall City, WA were locations for much of this hauntingly beautiful series.
West Virginia The Night of the Hunter (1955, Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum [uncredited], Terry Sanders) Expressionist and brooding, this superior and discomforting movie is based on 1932 murders in West Virginia and features those “L-O-V-E / H-A-T-E” tattoos on the serial killer’s hands.
Wisconsin Starman (1985, John Carpenter) This science fiction film morphs from extraterrestrial fable into genre Road Film on an itinerary from Wisconsin to Arizona.
Wyoming Brokeback Mountain (2003, Ang Lee) The Oscar-winning direction follows two cowboys on a summer in the Wyoming mountains that neither will ever forget.
American Samoa Rain (1932, Lewis Milestone [uncredited]) “Rain” was first in the movies when Scarface (Paul Muni) and his henchmen attended the play in Hawks’s gangster classic, Scarface; Rain became a movie two years later with Joan Crawford as Rain's controversial Sadie Thompson on screen.
Guam Pixels (2015, Chris Columbus) Comedy about emojis and other undistinguished pop culture diversions.
Northern Mariana Islands Windtalkers (2002, John Woo) If you want to enjoy the island beauty, you’ll have to endure Nicholas Cage.
Puerto Rico The Man With My Face (1951, Edward Montagne) Barry Nelson, first actor to portray James Bond on film, in a tropical Film Noir.
US Virgin Islands Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993, Robert Klane) Like the first needed a sequel.
Washington DC Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939, Frank Capra) When a regular guy finds himself at the Capitol, he puts the whole mess right. Yet another movie classic from Hollywood’s most celebrated year.