Top Five Classic '90s Movies Filmed In Ohio


Believe it or not, some of the world's most beloved films were partially or completely filmed in the state of Ohio. While it may seem like an odd choice at first, Ohio and its cities are the perfect places to film movies, since you don't have the traffic and chaos associated with huge metropolitan areas such as New York City and Chicago. For filmmakers who want to recreate an urban setting similar to the nation's largest cities, Cleveland serves as the perfect location. Chances are if you see a film tha t is set in New York, it was likely filmed at least partially in Cleveland. The great filmmakers of the '90s caught on to the fact that Ohio is home to ideal movie settings, which is why many of the decade's greatest films were shot in the Buckeye State. Some of the films on this list may surprise you, and many of them remain popular today. So keep scrolling, and find out if your favorite movie was filmed in the state of Ohio!

Happy Gilmore


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Considered by many to be one of Adam Sandler's greatest films, Happy Gilmore was released in 1996. The film focuses on the character Happy Gilmore, an unsuccessful ice hockey player who ends up becoming a golfer instead. Filled with plenty of comedic moments, the film follows Gilmore on his hysterical journey through the world of golf tournaments. Happy Gilmore was a huge success, and took the second spot at the box office on its opening weekend. So where was this beloved comedy filmed at? As it turns out, the majority of Happy Gilmore was filmed in Cleveland and the surrounding area.



Little Man Tate


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This 1991 film about a child prodigy marked actress Jodie Foster's directorial debut. Foster also played the role of Dede Tate in the film, a mother who tries to help her highly intellectual son have as normal of a childhood as possible. The film was well-received by critics, and still maintains a high rating on movie review websites. Almost all of the film was shot in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and downtown area of Cincinnati, but other shooting locations were used as well. A few Ohio colleges served as settings for parts of the film, including the University of Cincinnati and Miami University. Shooting also took place in the village of Indian Hill, the city of Oxford, and at the Wexner Center for the Arts in the capital city of Columbus.



Air Force One


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Actor Harrison Ford starred in this 1997 action-political thriller, which is about a group of Russian terrorists who hijack Air Force One. Ford plays the part of the President of the United States, and was praised by President Bill Clinton for his performance. Not only was Air Force One a major hit during the year of its debut, but it was one of the most popular action films of the entire decade. The city of Cleveland once again served as the setting for some shots in this iconic 90s film. Two separate locations in the city were used to represent the palace seen in the film's opening scene. The Severance Hall concert venue was used for the exterior shots while the interior shots were filmed inside the Cuyahoga County Courthouse. As for the Russian prison the character General Radek was incarcerated in during the film, that building was actually the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. The same location also served as the setting for another classic 90s film that appears later on this list.



Kansas City


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As to be expected from the title, Kansas City is set in Kansas City, Missouri. This star-studded crime film from 1996 is set in 1934, and follows a character named Blondie O'Hara, who takes off on mission to find her husband after he's kidnapped by a gangster. The film received mainly positive reviews following its release, and holds a high approval rating among movie goers. Just as notable as the film itself is its musical score, which features modern jazz musicians playing the same style of jazz music that would have been popular in Kansas City in the 1930s. Since the film is named Kansas City, it should come as no surprise that part of the production took place in its namesake city. But what may be surprising to some is that parts of Kansas City were actually shot in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus locals may recognize WBNS 10TV News co-anchor Tracy Townsend in the film, who appeared as an extra.



The Shawshank Redemption


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Perhaps the most notable film ever shot in the state of Ohio, The Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994 and has since earned the designation among critics and viewers as one of the greatest movies of all time. The film tells the story of a man name Andy Dufrense, who finds himself slapped with a life sentence in Shawshank State Penitentiary after being accused for murdering his wife and her lover. There, he befriends an inmate named Red, and the film follows both characters' paths to redemption. Although the film was an initial disappointment at the box office, it was well-reviewed by critics and received multiple award nominations, which led to its later popularity. In 2015, the film was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Despite being set in the state of Maine, large portions of the film were shot in Ohio, particularly at The Ohio State Reformatory. This made the Reformatory a huge tourist attraction, and it now offers special "Hollywood Tours" to show visitors parts of the prison that were used for filming Shawshank as well as Air Force One. Other scenes were shot in Mansfield and the city of Ashland, and the iconic oak tree seen in the film is located near Malabar Farm State Park close to the village of Lucas.



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Miranda Roehler grew up in Northwest Ohio. She studied Creative Writing and History at The University of Findlay and has been published in multiple international journals.