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Wisconsin in the movies


Hollywood occasionally ventures to Wisconsin when filming one of its blockbusters, and our fine city has been seen in all its glory a number of times.With the Film Wisconsin bill -- legislation which gives tax credits to films that qualify in film productions in the state -- passing in June 2006, it's likely there will be more movies soon. You've probably seen places close to home on the big screen without even knowing it. Here are some of the most famous movies filmed in Wisconsin plus, for your enjoyment, movie references and quotes about Wisconsin.

Movies Filmed in Wisconsin:

American Movie: Most people have heard of this movie and its weird stars by now. But if you haven't seen this yet, shame on you. Run to the video store nearest you now and see one of the funniest films ever made.

Amityville Horror: 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. in 2004.

Back to School: Classic Rodney Dangerfield comedy filmed at UW-Madison.

The Big One: Excellent documentary by UW alum Michael Moore filmed in Madison and Milwaukee.

The Blues Brothers: Elwood and Jake spent some time filming in Milwaukee and the Firstar Building can be spied as a car careens over the then-incomplete 794 freeway spur. Chicago? Who's kidding who?

Chain Reaction: This big budget action thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Keanu Reeves was filmed partly in Madison, Lake Geneva and Williams Bay.

Damien: Omen II and The Final Conflict: Omen III: Two of the sequels to one of the finest horror films ever made were filmed in Lake Geneva, Eagle River and Delafield. St. John's Military Academy got some screen time.

The Deep End of the Ocean: The big screen adaptation of Madison author Jacquelyn Mitchard's bestseller of the same name, which stars Michelle Pfieffer, was partly filmed in Madison.

Dillinger: Starring Mark Harmon, this film about the legendary gangster was filmed in a number of Wisconsin sites, including in Milwaukee's Third Ward.

Fever Lake: The horror movie starring Mario Lopez of "Save By the Bell" fame was filmed at Carthage College in Kenosha and in Twin Lakes.

For Keeps: This '80s classic starring Molly Ringwald was shot partly in Madison.

Hoop Dreams: Roger Ebert's favorite movie of the '90s filmed partly in Milwaukee.

I Love Trouble: Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte star in one of the most famous movies to be filmed in Wisconsin. It was filmed in Baraboo and Madison. According to Stanley Solheim at the Wisconsin Film Office, farmers picketed the film and tried to halt production.

Iron Will: Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey stars in this film that filmed in Superior.

Major League: The team in the movie is the Cleveland Indians, but it should have been the Brew Crew. All of the stadium scenes were shot at our very own County Stadium. There were also outdoor scenes shot in the Third Ward, and a home on the corner of Kilbourn and Cass was used for interior shots.

Meet the Applegates: This dark comedy about a family of alien bugs living in surburbia was filmed in Neenah and Oshkosh.

Milwaukee, Minnesota: A tribute to Milwaukee it's not, but the indie dark comedy was filmed primarily in the Bay View area in Milwaukee. Kinnickinnic Avenue is shown prominently in the 2002 film which released almost three years later in June '05.

Mr. 3000: Comedian Bernie Mac starred in this baseball themed movie in 2003. Scenes were shot at the newly completed Miller Park. In between innings at Brewers games, shots of the movie were filmed.

Mrs. Soffel: One of Mad Max Mel Gibson's first starring roles, opposite Diane Keaton, briefly filmed in Freedom.

Novocaine: This movie filmed in Cedarburg over the summer. It stars Steve Martin, Kevin Bacon, Laura Dern and Helena Bonham Carter.

The Paint Job: The comedy/thriller was filmed in Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine. The story was about a painter falling in love with his boss' wife.

One Night Stand: Acclaimed director Mike Figgis ("Leaving Las Vegas") filmed parts of this Wesley Snipes movie in Milwaukee, although exactly which parts are unclear.

Reeseville: It's an independent film about a murder set in the Midwest. Several cities were filming locations for the flick like Milwaukee, Madison, Watertown, Jefferson and, the movie's title location, Reeveville.

Rudy: The "Rocky" of college football movies, starring "The Goonies" Sean Astin, was partly filmed in Milwaukee.

Semi-Tough: Burt Reynolds' football movie has some scenes that were filmed in Green Bay.

A Simple Plan: Director Sam Raimi ("Evil Dead" and its sequels) filmed his 1998 masterpiece in Ashland because there wasn't enough snow in Minnesota. It stars Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda.

The Straight Story: Last year's beautiful David Lynch ("Twin Peaks," "Lost Highway") movie, which stars the late Richard Farnsworth, filmed in Mount Zion and Prairie du Chien. If you haven't already, see this movie ASAP.

Uncle Buck: The late, great John Candy filmed parts of this film in Lake Geneva.

Some other movies filmed in Wisconsin include Clive Barker's classic horror flick "Hellraiser," Christopher Lambert's action pic "The Hunted," "Angus" and "The Cure." But note, although at least one scene in "This is Spinal Tap" purports to be in Milwaukee, it is not.

Wisconsin References:

Anchorman: Ron Burgandy (Will Ferrell) has lost his precious dog Baxter. He gets a phone call that he thinks is from him and says "Bark twice if you're in Milwaukee."

Dogma: A dark comedy, Dogma has two angels trying to find a way back into heaven after they were exiled to Wisconsin. British actor Alan Rickman plays Metranon, the voice of god, who hilariously explains that there's something worse than being exiled to hell: "Worse. Wisconsin. For the entire span of human history."

Drop Dead Gorgeous: This satire about a beauty pagent in Minnesota finds itself amidst a murder mystery. One character says that the pagent cannot rule out sabotage from neighboring state pagents including Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Good Night and Good Luck: This 2005 movie makes numerous references to Wisconsin because Sen. McCarthy was the Junior Sentator from Wisconsin.

Love Actually: Although not truely shot in Wisconsin, British romantic comedy, "Love Actually," features a bar in Cedarburg when one character, Colin, goes to Wisconsin to meet American women (or babes in his phrasing). Plus it's a compliment when he says he's going "To a fantastic place called Wisconsin."

Stripes: Bill Murray stars in this war comedy. John Winger (Murrary) and Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis) are talking and Wisconsin makes an appearance. Winger says: "C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like we're going into Wisconsin." Ziskey replies, "I once got my ass kicked in Wisconsin."

That Thing You Do!: A musical movie that Tom Hanks wrote, directed and starred in. The band he created becomes famous, almost like Beatle-mania all over again. One concert brings them to Wisconsin where the band members are mobbed by fans. As a group of girls climbs onto their car, one band members says "I like Wisconsin."

Titanic: This classic love story involving the ship sunk because of an ice berg, starring Leonardo DiCario and Kate Winslet. Jack claims to have grown up in Chippewa Falls, Wis. where he and his father would go ice fishing. However, the lake which he claims to have fished at didn't exist at the time the Titanic actually sunk. Lake Wissota is a man-made lake which was made five years after the ship sunk. It's still a shout out to Wisconsin though.

Wayne's World: Slackers and public access cable show hosts Wayne and Garth get the chance of a lifetime to meet Alice Cooper at his Milwaukee show. They have this memorable conversation:

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.

If you know of other movies filmed in Wisconsin or quotes about Wisconsin, post them below.


Talkbacks

slapyomama | March 29, 2011 at 9:59 p.m. (report)

I didn't see anyone mention this. The newer remake of dawn of the dead referenced racine wisconsin in the beginning of the movie when a woman on the radio metions the outbreak and racine's current condition Also the tv show gang land metion racine as being notorious for gang crime involving Folks and Vicelords in gandland's lords of the holy city and the Gansta deciple's episode. Not really positive advertising for the city of Racine, but it's true Racine is quite the @&%$hole these days from all the traffic coming from milwaukee ad chicago.Since Racine is right smack dab in the middle of the 2 giant metropolitan cities.

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topherAmmon13 | Oct. 20, 2010 at 11:45 p.m. (report)

Newer Movies shot in Wisconsin consist of Johny Depps "Public Enemies" and "Transformers: The Dark of the Moon" starring Shia Lebouf and Megan Fox. Both movies were shot in Down Town Milwaukee, among some smaller towns and locations. Also, another movie includes 2000's "Ed Gein" which of course tells the story of one of Wisconsin's most infamous serial killers.

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Rasgpur | May 6, 2010 at 8:16 p.m. (report)

Don't forget probably the second worst movie of all time (after Plan 9 from outerspace) was "The Pit" filmed in Beaver Dam and Reeseville.

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BillBasso | Dec. 11, 2009 at 9:58 p.m. (report)

Stroszek, by Werner Herzog, is on Roger Ebert's list of great movies of all time. It was filmed in Berlin Germany and Wisconsin and featured many local Wisconsinites to tell the stories of three immigrants.

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alanlover16 | Sept. 25, 2009 at 7:56 p.m. (report)

The new movie Bottle Shock starring Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman mentions Milwaukee. Maurice: I just read an article that said California is gonna produce wine that will rival the finest of the French. And when that happens, I'm going home. Steven Spurrier: No offense, but I don't foresee the imminent cultivation of the Chicago vine. Maurice: I'm from Milwaukee.

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