Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Citizen Kane. For some, these are more than just movies. These are the movies of their past, the movies they watched as children. Thankfully, these are also movies that, along with many others, will forever go down as classics. Those who enjoy the classics can be pretty passionate about which one is their favorite, but which timeless film is the most popular in each U.S. state? In this study, we used Google Trends data to find out.
The first thing we did was determine the criteria for a “classic movie.” We decided on films that are at least 50 years old and have seen a lot of success and/or caused at least a small impact on pop culture. This led us to our selection of 51 movies from Town & Country and Rotten Tomatoes which we then ran against the data from each of the 50 states to see which of our 51 movies was the most searched for in each. All the data comes from searches conducted between February 10, 2021 and February 10, 2022.
The Most Popular Classic Movie in Every U.S. State
One genre that’s all over our results is the musical. While a lot of that is thanks to the popularity of The Wizard of Oz, there’s also Vermont’s most popular classic movie The Sound of Music, Utah’s most popular classic movie Mary Poppins, Florida and New Mexico’s most popular classic movie West Side Story, Connecticut’s most popular classic movie An American in Paris, and Missouri’s very fitting most popular classic movie Meet me in St. Louis.
There are also lots of noir films like Double Idemntity (Maine), Sunset Boulevard (California), The Night of the Hunter (West Virginia), and Shadow of a Doubt (Wisconsin) and general mystery and thriller movies like Rear Window (North Dakota) and The Lady Vanishes (Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Virginia). And how can we forget the romance that’s the focal point of so many all-time great movies like Casablanca (Montana), Some Like It Hot (Rhode Island), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Washington), and Gone with the Wind (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee).
The Most Popular Classic Movie in Every U.S. Region
As is fitting to its partial setting of Kansas, The Wizard of Oz is the most popular classic movie in the midwest. While some might find it hard to believe, the most popular movie in the northeast, The Godfather, does in fact turn 50 this year and is therefore eligible for its place at the top like The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind is the most popular classic film in its regional setting (the southern U.S.) while the west is a big fan of Hitchcock’s 1938 British mystery movie The Lady Vanishes.
The Most Popular Classic Movie Overall
Black and white hasn’t been completely lost to history, as movies like Citizen Kane, The Lady Vanishes, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Modern Times prove. Heck, Modern Times is so old (1936) it wasn’t only shot in black and white, it’s a silent movie! But the dated filmmaking style couldn’t compete with its colorful counterpart.
Two color films out of the 30s, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, rank as the most popular classic movie in a combined 14 different states. These two films are actually the most popular classic movie in seven states each, meaning that the title of “Most Popular Classic Movie in the U.S.” will just have to be shared.
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