From Ohio to the Big Screen: 6 Movies You Didn’t Realize Were Filmed in the Heartland

From Ohio to the Big Screen 6 Movies You Didn't Realize Were Filmed in the Heartland

CCG – Ohio may not immediately spring to mind when one thinks about famous shooting sites. Nonetheless, over the years, the Buckeye State has provided the setting for many Hollywood movies. Ohio’s varied landscapes, which span from vibrant metropolises to charming little villages, have given filmmakers the ideal backdrop for a variety of films.

6 Movies In Ohio

You might be shocked to hear that the following six movies were shot in Ohio:

1. The 1994 film “The Shawshank Redemption”

Considered by many to be one of the best movies ever made, “The Shawshank Redemption” is based on a novella by Stephen King.

Even though the majority of the film was shot in Ohio, including sequences shot in the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, the tale takes place in Maine. The film’s prison scenes were perfectly framed by the reformatory’s formidable stone walls and Gothic architecture.

2. 1988’s “Rain Man”

With Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in the lead roles, “Rain Man” chronicles the journey of an autistic savant and his sibling throughout the United States.

From Ohio to the Big Screen 6 Movies You Didn't Realize Were Filmed in the Heartland (1)

Although most of the movie is set in different parts of the US, Cincinnati, Ohio served as the backdrop for several significant moments. The movie’s visual appeal is enhanced by the significant inclusion of the city’s cityscape and monuments.

3. The 2000 film “Traffic”

“Traffic” is a gritty crime thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh that delves into the intricacies of drug trafficking in America. Cincinnati, Ohio served as the filming location for various sequences, however, the film is set in multiple locations, including Mexico and California.

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The city’s industrial infrastructure and urban scenery made it an appropriate setting for the movie’s depiction of law enforcement’s battle against drug trafficking.

4. The 2011 film “The Ides of March”

With George Clooney directing and acting, “The Ides of March” is a political thriller that takes place during a fiercely contested presidential primary.

From Ohio to the Big Screen 6 Movies You Didn't Realize Were Filmed in the Heartland (2)

The majority of the movie takes place in Ohio, but it was also filmed in Oxford and Cincinnati. The imaginary university depicted in the film was replaced by the lovely Miami University campus in Oxford.

5. The 1984 film “A Nightmare on Elm Street”

Considered a horror classic, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” presented viewers with the legendary figure of Freddy Krueger, a malevolent ghost that haunts teenagers’ nightmares in the made-up town of Springwood, Ohio.

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Although much of the movie was filmed in California, a few scenes were also shot on location in Ohio, which added credibility to the small-town setting of the picture.

6. (1997) “Air Force One”

“Air Force One” is a thrilling action thriller that takes place aboard the famous presidential aircraft and stars Harrison Ford as the President of the United States.

A few of the movie’s sequences were shot in the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, even though the majority of the story takes place in the skies and other foreign locales. The film’s suspenseful finale was well set against the backdrop of the museum’s vast collection of vintage airplanes.


In conclusion, while Ohio may not necessarily be the first place that springs to mind for filming locations, the state has greatly influenced the aesthetic direction of several iconic motion pictures. Ohio’s varied settings have given filmmakers the ideal backdrop to bring their stories to life in anything from treasured classics to big-budget thrillers. Thus, the next time you’re watching a film, look for recognizable sequences that might have been recorded in Ohio.

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