Top five movies centered in Indianapolis

Indianapolis might not be the next Hollywood – nor the next Universal Studios for that matter – but the city and the Hoosier state have provided plenty of inspiration for some thought-provoking movies, many of which are based on true stories. Here are the top five films centered in and around Indianapolis.

Loosely based on the 1954 Indiana state basketball championship team from Milan High School, Hoosiers brings small-town, Indiana basketball to the big screen with outstanding performances by Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper. The film was mostly shot in New Richmond – which serves as the movie's fictitious home to Hickory High School and the town of Hickory – but many of the championship game scenes take place at Butler Fieldhouse, now called Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Filmed on the University of Notre Dame's campus, the 1993 film is the true life story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, a dyslexic, small in stature young man who as a boy dreams of one day playing football for the Fighting Irish. Named one of the top 25 sports films of all time by two different ESPN polls, it is considered one of the most inspiring stories ever filmed. Coincidently, in 1940, Knute Rockne, All American – the biographical film about the tight end and legendary coach – was also filmed on and around the Notre Dame campus, his alma matter.

Breaking Away
Like Rudy, the 1979 film Breaking Away – a coming of age story about four "townies" referred to by the more affluent and educated Indiana University coeds as "cutters" – is also listed by the American Film Institute as one of the most inspirational sports films of all time. Shot mainly on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University, the film's pinnacle moment comes when a local team of recent high school grads enter and win the University's highly celebrated, Little 500 cycling race; an event notoriously comprised of college students.

A Christmas Story
Ever since A Christmas Story hit the big screen, young boys everywhere have been asking Santa for their very own Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. A staple on most everyone's television come Christmas time, the 1983 film takes place in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana – based on the director's real life hometown of Hammond, Indiana. Most of the schoolyard scenes, however, are shot at Victoria School in St. Catherines, Ontario while the majority of the movie is filmed on the west side of Cleveland.

The Fault in Our Stars
Adapted from the bestselling book with the same title, the 2014 film starring Laura Dern and William Dafoe among others, though set in Indianapolis, oddly enough was actually filmed in Pittsburg and Amsterdam. Why the producers felt the need to stage Pitt as Indy, is in itself a mystery, but proved to be one that worked as the fairly low-budget movie ($12M) about two young cancer patients who fall in love during treatment, world-wide grossed more than $307M.

Shauna Nosler lives in Indianapolis. She's a contributor to both the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis Monthly Magazine as well as to the national news organization U.S. News & World Report. More of her writing can be found on the lifestyle blog, The Flavored Word.

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