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Eddie And The Cruisers

Eddie And The Cruisers

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PhotosIllustration by Kyle Bentle/The Times-Union Click on image for larger view.Kyle BentleIt's a big crazy quilt of states, these United States, and at least some of what we know about each of these 50 states — or think we know — is from the movies.So in time for Independence Day, we offer our suggestions for 50 movies, each one representing the state in which it's set.

Sure, it's an arbitrary, imperfect list, for how could even one movie sum up, say, Rhode Island — not to mention New York or California?Still, the movies do reflect how life is lived, or at least how outsiders think it's lived, in each of the 50 states.

One qualifier: The movies on this list were all made since the 1976 bicentennial, just to keep the list somewhat fresh.

So here's an alphabetical tour of the country, courtesy of Hollywood.Alabama"My Cousin Vinny" goes to Wahzoo City and asks: "What's a grit?" See also: "Sweet Home Alabama," "Fried Green Tomatoes."AlaskaThe frontier's majesty and danger is the draw in "Into the Wild." See also: "Never Cry Wolf," "Insomnia," "Mystery, Alaska," "The Edge," "Grizzly Man."ArizonaThe desert is turned into suburbs in "Bad Santa." See also: "Little Miss Sunshine," "Raising Arizona."ArkansasSouthern Gothic gets a workout in "Sling Blade." See also: "Primary Colors."California"L.A.

Confidential" got the Golden State's seedy allure down as well as anything since "Chinatown." See also: "Pulp Fiction," "Cutter's Way," "Sideways," "Boogie Nights," "Clueless," "Mrs.

Doubtfire," "Milk," "Boyz N the Hood," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Zodiac."ColoradoMythic Western ruggedness is on display in "Red Dawn." See also: "The Shining," "Dumb and Dumber."Connecticut"Mystic Pizza" shows it isn't all "Stepford Wives" suburbia.

See also: "Far From Heaven."DelawareStill awaits its definitive film, though Mickey Rourke's "The Wrestler" meets his fate there.FloridaThings get sweaty in "Body Heat." See also: "Sunshine State," "Cross Creek," "Ulee's Gold," "Rosewood," "Scarface," "There's Something About Mary."GeorgiaSouthern eccentricity goes big in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." See also: "Driving Miss Daisy," "Smokey and the Bandit," "Rambling Rose."HawaiiThe exotic dream lives in "Riding Giants." See also: "Lilo & Stitch," "Blue Crush," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."IdahoDeadpan "Napoleon Dynamite" made it famous for something other than flippin' potatoes.

See also: "Smoke Signals."Illinois"The Blues Brothers" travel all over the state.

See also: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Wayne's World."IndianaThe plucky "Hoosiers," of course.

See also: plucky "Breaking Away."Iowa"Is this heaven?" No, it's "Field of Dreams." See also: "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?," "The Bridges of Madison County."Kansas"Superman" got his aw-shucks goodness in Smallville.

See also: "Capote."KentuckyCountry girl makes it big in "Coal Miner's Daughter." See also: "Elizabethtown," "Dreamer."LouisianaThings work differently in "The Big Easy." See also: "Blaze," "The Waterboy," "Eve's Bayou," "Down By Law."Maine"In the Bedroom" has the rocky coast and chilly goings-on.

See also: "The Cider House Rules" or anything based on a Stephen King novel.MarylandJohn Waters gets Baltimore down in "Hairspray" (either version).

See also: "The Blair Witch Project."MassachusettsMartin Scorsese dives into Boston in "The Departed." See also: "Mystic River," "Beautiful Girls," "Good Will Hunting" "The Boondock Saints," "Gone Baby Gone," "Next Stop Wonderland."MichiganEminem's gritty hometown of Detroit gets a showcase in "8 Mile." See also: "Gran Torino," "American Pie," "Grosse Pointe Blank."Minnesota"Fargo," you betcha.

See also: "Grumpy Old Men," "A Simple Plan," "A Prairie Home Companion."MississippiOld-time music and myth in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" See also: "A Time to Kill," "Mississippi Masala."MissouriNot much since 1944's "Meet Me in St.

Louis," so how about Robert Altman's jazzy "Kansas City?" See also: "The Game of Their Lives."Montana"A River Runs Through It" paints a picture doesn't it?Nebraska"About Schmidt" takes a road trip across the state.Nevada"Tremors" has desert isolation, wacky Nevadans and killer worms.

See also: "Casino," "Leaving Las Vegas."New HampshireSmall-town tragedy and snow pile up in "Affliction." See also: "On Golden Pond."New Jersey"Clerks" nailed its corner of the state.

See also: "Eddie and the Cruisers," "Atlantic City," "The Wrestler," "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," "Garden State."New MexicoThe back-to-the-land dream is explored in "Off the Map." See also: "City Slickers," "The Missing," "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Tao of Steve."New YorkTake your pick from multitudes.

Perhaps start with "Do the Right Thing." See also: "Manhattan," "Taxi Driver," "Wall Street," and upstate's "Nobody's Fool."North CarolinaClearly "Bull Durham." See also: "Junebug," "Cape Fear."North DakotaWell, "Fargo" starts there.

See also: "Jesus Camp."Ohio"Major League" works for us.

See also: "Light of Day," the wonderful "American Splendor."Oklahoma"Twister" shows those wide-open spaces and flying cows.

See also: "Thelma and Louise" starts there.OregonThe coast is a character in "The Goonies." See also: "Stand By Me," "The Postman."PennsylvaniaAnother excuse to watch "Groundhog Day." See also: "Rocky," "Witness," "The Deer Hunter," "The Sixth Sense."Rhode IslandThere's blue-collar comedy and drama in "Outside Providence." See also: "Federal Hill."South Carolina"The Big Chill" made the Low Country look good.

See also: "The Great Santini."South Dakota"Dances With Wolves" has the sweeping vistas.Tennessee"Hustle and Flow" dunks you into Memphis.

See also: "Mystery Train," "The Firm."TexasTry "Lone Star." See also: "Friday Night Lights," "The Rookie," "Dazed and Confused," "No Country For Old Men."Utah"The World's Fastest Indian" found camaraderie and competition on the salt flats.

See also: "Broken Arrow."Vermont"Dead Poet's Society" showed an idealized New England.

See also: "Baby Boom," "State and Main"Virginia"Remember the Titans" caught a time and place.

See also: "The New World," "Gods and Generals," "Arlington Road."WashingtonThat gloomy rain was spooky in "The Ring." See also: "Say Anything," "Snow Falling on Cedars," "Singles," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Twilight."West Virginia"October Sky" celebrates small-town dreams.

See also: "We Are Marshall," "The Mothman Prophecies."WisconsinNot many set here, but the way-offbeat documentary "American Movie" helps fill that gap.Wyoming"Red Rock West" twists and turns in oil country.

See also: "Brokeback Mountain," "Unforgiven."[email protected] or register to post commentsEMAILPRINTBLOG THIS
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