The Best American Film Sets

The best American film sets

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There’s no denying that some of the most classic films of all time are set within one of the 50 states of America. Some locations being so iconic that when you’re there you’re instantly transported back into the movies. There’s nothing wrong with pretending to be Carrie Bradshaw as you walk the grand steps up to the New York Public Library, just saying.

There are almost too many famous locations to list, like Jaws in Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts, or Sleepless in Seattle… in Seattle. But the first thing that might spring to mind when you think about American film is the old classic Westerns. Some say Westerns are the defining genre of the American film industry, and when you see the expansive wilderness on screen you can see why. It’s still a challenge for me to sit through an entire western without having a little snooze throughout, but you’ve got to appreciate the epic landscapes!

On a similar theme, if you’ve ever seen Thelma & Louise you’ll remember the Grand Canyon as the grandeur backdrop of the picturesque road trip, as they zoom through the south west desert in a Thunderbird convertible, this is Americana at it’s best.

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Moving on to more glamorous sets with the bright lights of Las Vegas setting the scene for films like Casino and Ocean’s Eleven. Can you imagine the location budget for this one? Set in some of the most prolific Casinos in Las Vegas and not to mention the luxurious pent house suites and poolside villas. The majority of the film is shot within the infamous Bellagio with famous scenes on the casino floor amongst the poker tables and black jack.

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Going back to New York, New York. New York in itself is a movie don’t you think? It plays backdrop to thrillers, rom coms, you name it NYC can deliver with its legendary cityscape. The Godfather features Manhattan’s New York State Supreme Court, and The Calvary Cemetery. Breakfast at Tiffany’s with the Fifth Avenue Tiffany’s, and then there’s Harry Met Sally, with New York changing beautifully with the seasons.

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Let’s not forget Miami here. Everyone remembers There’s Something About Mary, with it’s candy coloured backdrop of Miami Beach, or Scar face set in the art deco district. Some movie buffs say that South Florida is preferred to LA because there’s less smog to film in, talking of LA…

You’re probably thinking, um, hello? You’ve missed one major location. Obviously I’ve saved the best until last with the glittering lights of Hollywood. This is of course where it all began, and still to this day LA is where most of America’s films are made, and some of the best. Think Pretty Woman, The Graduate or Speed.

pretty-woman-movie-hollywoodIf you haven’t ever seen Clueless, (as if) then you must. This is a perfect portrayal of 90’s American Mall culture and a spoilt Beverley Hills Lifestyle, featuring the Westside Pavilion, American high school, the freeway and 90’s house parties. A more recent classic is Drive, showing a less glamorous but neon lit LA.

Rachael Wardle

Rachael is the creator of homewares marketplace, ohwhatsthis.com who loves to travel and discovering and championing independent brands and designers from the interior world. She's a regular blogger for interior & lifestyle brands and much to her boyfriend’s dismay, has an ever-growing cushion collection!

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