"Hey! I know that person!"
"That building sure looks familiar. I think I studied there once."
There's nothing like seeing a familiar landmark or face in the movies but most of the time those remarks are saved for people from New York or California. But did you know how many movies have been filmed in, been set in, or mention our lovely state of Wisconsin? A surprising amount! Below is a list of all Hollywood movies somehow related to Wisconsin. If the title is in bold
, the movie was filmed in Wisconsin (but not necessarily set in WI). If the title is underlined
, the story is supposed to take place in Wisconsin (but doesn't guarantee that it was filmed there).
(1999): "On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it's making movies. Using relatives, local theater talent, slacker friends, his Mastercard, and $3,000 from his Uncle Bill, Mark strives over three years to finish "Covan," a short horror film."
-WI Filming Locations: Menomonee Falls, Milwaukee
(2005): The remake of this classic horror tale had Silver Lake acting as the residence for the Amityville House's exterior while the interior was created in Buffalo Grove, Ill.
-WI Filming Locations: Silver Lake, Salem (WI)
Back to School
(1986): The classic Rodney Dangerfield comedy - to help his discouraged son get through college, a funloving and obnoxious rich businessman (Dangerfield)decides to enter the school as a student. Also starring Robert Downey Jr.
-WI Filming Locations: UW-Madison. Definitely cool to see Dangerfield and Downey Jr walking by Abe and down Bascom Hill.
The Big One
(1997): Michael Moore documentary: "Protecting the earth from the scum of corporate America."
-WI Filming Locations: Madison, Milwaukee.
The Blues Brothers
(1980): Though dedicated to Chicago, Elwood and Jake are chased by Nazis through Milwaukee.
-WI Filming Locations: Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, Milwaukee (Car chase with Nazis - car hangs off bridge)
(1996): "Two researchers in a green alternative energy project are put on the run when they are framed for murder and treason." Starring Morgan Freeman and Keanu Reeves.
-WI Filming Locations: Madison, Lake Geneva, Williams Bay.
Damien: Omen II
(1978) and The Final Conflict: Omen III (1981)
: Two of the sequels to one of the finest horror films...apparently.
-WI Filming Locations: Lake Geneva, Eagle River, Delafield. St. John's Military Academy also gets some Hollywood screen time.
The Deep End of the Ocean
(1999): Madison-based author Jacquelyb Mitchard gets a big screen adaptation of her bestseller. Starring Michelle Pfieffer.
-WI Filming Location: Madison.
(1996): A group of teenagers drives to "Fever Lake" to spend the weekend in a cursed house near the lake despite warnings from the locals. Starring Corey Haim and Mario Lopez ("Save By the Bell").
-WI Filming Locations: Carthage College in Kenosha, Twin Lakes.
(1988): Darcy, editor at her highschool paper, and her long-term boyfriend Stan are in their last months of school and already have found places in good colleges but -- surprise, surprise -- Darcy gets pregnant. Starring Molly Ringwald.
-WI Filming Location: Madison.
The Giant Spider Invasion
(1975): Giant spiders from another dimension invade Wisconsin. I have yet to see this movie but I seriously need to, if not for the fact that it was featured in "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode 810, then because a few of my cousins are in it.
-WI Filming Location: Gleason, Merrill, Nicolet College in Rhinelander, UW-Stevens Point
(1994): A popular documentary that followed the lives of two African American boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
-WI Filming Location: Milwaukee
I Love Trouble
(1994): Peter Brackett (Nick Nolte) and Sabrina Peterson (Julia Roberts) are two competing Chicago newspaper reporters who join forces to unravel the mystery behind a train derailment. According to imdb.com, for the scene with the "wild goose chase", production staff had 500 geese imported from Iowa to Wisconsin. Also, according to Stanley Solheim at the Wisconsin Film Office, farmers picketed the film and tried to halt production.
-WI Filming Locations: Baraboo, Madison
: (1994) The popular Disney movie about a cross country dogsled race. Starring Kevin Spacey.
-WI Filming Locations: Oliver, Superior
The Last Kiss
Zach Braff on UW-Madison's Terrace.
(2006): Remake of a popular Italian film, this film features an all-star cast of Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Casey Affleck, Rachel Bilson, Harold Ramis, and Blythe Danner, with UW alums as producer and executive producer. Too bad it wasn't any good. The original Italian version (2001) was amazing. I still saw it though to watch myself and fellow UW-Madison students ham it up as extras.
-WI Filming Locations: UW-Madison, Madison
(1989): You know the premise -- The new owner of the Cleveland Indians puts together a purposely horrible team so they'll lose and she can move the team. And that Charlie Sheen has crazy weird (but slightly cool) hair in it. But did you know that all of the stadium scenes were shot at the Milwaukee County Stadium?
-WI Filming Locations: Milwaukee County Stadium, Milwaukee, Whitefish Bay.
Meet the Applegates
(1991): Imdb.com tagline for this movie reads "Giant preying mantis living in a south American jungle decide to move into suburban USA." Huh? Still, Stockard Channing is in it.
-WI Filming Locations: Neenah, Oshkosh.
(2003): A young man who's been labeled mentally ill is left on his own after his mother's murder. Confused and alone, he's targeted by two different con artists out to make off with his inheritance.
-WI Filming Locations: Milwaukee
Mr. 3000 (2003)
: Bernie Mac's as an aging baseball player who discovers that he hadn't quite
hit 3000 hits, and goes back to fulfill that goal. Scenes were shot at the newly completed Miller Park in between innings of Brewers games.
-WI Filming Locations: Miller Park, Milwaukee
Mrs. Soffel (1984)
: imdb.com description - "Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and children to help Ed and his brother Jack escape and accompanies them into the wintery wasteland." One of Mel Gibson's first starring roles, opposite Diane Keaton.
-WI Filming Locations: North Freedom
(2001): Starring Steve Martin, Kevin Bacon, Laura Dern and Helena Bonham Carter.
-WI Filming Locations: Cedarburg
The Paint Job
(1992): A painter falls in love with his boss' wife.
-WI Filming Locations: Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine.
Pick Up the Mic
(2005): A fabulous documentary on the world of queer hip-hop. While mainly focused on SF & NY rappers, God-des & Tina G., two Madison-based rappers, are interviewed in town.
-WI Filming Locations: Madison
The Prince & Me
(2004): How can a film that "features" UW-Madison, the Rathskeller, and tractor racing (or were they lawnmowers) be NOT filmed in Wisconsin at all, and think that it's okay? Apparently the director of this film did. Julia Stiles in a "I hate him. Oh wait, I love him. Oh wait, he's a prince" film. The Rathskeller as a modern cafe with waiters? Come on....
-WI Filming Locations: None. Nada. Zip.
One Night Stand
(1997): Starring Wesley Snipes and Robert Downey Jr.
-WI Filming Locations: Milwaukee
(2003): An independent film about a murder set in the Midwest.
-WI Filming Locations: Milwaukee, Madison, Watertown, Jefferson, Reeveville.
(1977): "A three-way friendship between two free-spirited professional football players and the owner's daughter becomes compromised when two of them become romantically involved." Starring Burt Reynolds.
-WI Filming Location: Green Bay
A Simple Plan
(1998): You find $4 million in a crashed plane and no one knows that it's missing - sounds simple, wouldn't it? Directed by Sam Raimi and stars Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda.
-WI Filming Location: Ashland
The Straight Story
(1999): Directed by David Lynch and nominated for an Oscar.
-WI Filming Locations: Mount Zion, Prairie du Chien
(1989): (John Candy as Uncle Buck, staring at the assistant principal's wart) "I'm Buck Melanoma. Moley Russell's wart. Not her wart. Not her wart! I'm... I'm the wart. She's my tumor. My... my growth. My... uh, my pimple. I'm Uncle Wart. Just old Buck "Wart" Russell. That's what they call me, or Melanoma Head. They'll call me that. "Melanoma Head's coming." I'm s... uncle! Maisy Russell's uncle!"
Oh John Candy, we miss you.
-WI Filming Location: Lake Geneva
The tenth annual Wisconsin Film Festival will rock out on April 3 to 6, 2008.
This is a list of big Hollywood Movies that feature Wisconsin in some way. There are hundreds more independent films made by Wisconsinites, in Wisconsin, for Wisconsin. A great way to see these films is to attend the link
in Madison, WI.
And to conclude this soapbox article, a great conversation about Milwaukee/Wisconsin from Wayne's World:
Wayne: So, do you come to Milwaukee often?
Alice Cooper: Well, I'm a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers began visiting here in the late 16th century.
Pete: Hey, isn't "Milwaukee" an Indian name?
Alice: Yes, Pete, it is. In fact , it's pronounced "mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for "the good land."
Wayne: I was not aware of that.