Hollywood in Iowa

Information gathered here is drawn from Internet Movie Database, wikipedia, MSN movies, flixster, Blockbuster, and archive.org. Additions and corrections are welcome and can be forwarded to Paula Mohr.

Title Date Connection Description IMDB archive.org
16 to Life2009 McGregor IMDB: Romantic comedy. A small town teenager's angst about sexual inexperience drives a comic quest for love and understanding on a birthday to end all birthdays.go to IMDB 
All the King's Horses1977 Ivy, Des Moines IMDB: A Christian woman falls in love with and then marries a non-Christian man (based on a true story).go to IMDB 
Blood on the Mountain1974 Des Moines IMDB: Fury explodes high above Royal Gorge in the spectacular Colorado mountains as a cop seeks revenge for his wife's death on two fugitives who run for their lives.go to IMDB 
Bridges of Madison County1995 Winterset, Madison County IMDB: Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s.go to IMDB 
Brother Enemy1981 Des Moines   
Butter2011  IMDB: A comedy set in the Midwest U.S., where an adopted girl discovers her talent for butter carving and finds herself pitted against an ambitious local woman in their town's annual contest.go to IMDB 
Cedar Rapids2011 Cedar Rapids IMDB: Tim Lippe has no idea what he's in for when he's sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention, where he soon finds himself under the 'guidance' of three convention veterans.go to IMDB 
Cheers for Miss Bishop1941  Wikipedia: Film based on the novel Miss Bishop by Bess Streeter Aldrich (1881-1954). Bess Streeter was born in Cedar Falls and graduated from the Iowa State Normal School (now the University of Northern Iowa).go to IMDBgo to archive.org
Children of the Corn1984 Sioux City, Whiting IMDB: A boy preacher named Isaac goes to a town in Nebraska called Gatlin and gets all the children to murder every adult in town. A young couple have a murder to report and they go to the nearest town (Gatlin) to seek help but the town seems deserted. They are soon trapped in Gatlin with little chance of getting out alive.go to IMDB 
Cold Turkey1971 Winterset, Orient, Greenfield, Des Moines IMDB: Reverend Brooks leads the town in a contest to stop smoking for a month, But some tobacco executives don't want them to win, and try everything they can to make them smoke. If townspeople don't go nuts, from wanting a cigarette, or kill each other from irritation and frustration, they will win a huge prize.go to IMDB 
Country1984 Waterloo, Dunkerton IMDB: Gilbert Ivy and his wife Jewell are farmers. They seem to be working against the odds, producing no financial surplus. Gilbert has lost hope of ever becoming prosperous, but his wife decides to fight for her family.go to IMDB 
Coverup, The2008 Marshalltown IMDB: The story centers on around the mysterious death of repeat drunk driving offender Thacker and the discovery of his body in an alley behind the Marshalltown, Iowa, police department after his latest DUI arrest.go to IMDB 
Crazies, The2010 Lenox, Winterset IMDB: About the inhabitants of a small Iowa town suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply.go to IMDB 
Distant Thunder, A1978 Des Moines, Red Rock Dam This film is second in a four-part series of Christian films, following A Thief in the Night. Relentlessly pursued and finally captured by the forces of a one-world government, a woman is given a choice, take the Mark of the Beast, or death.go to IMDB 
Echoes of War, The1985 Des Moines An ex-Vietnam medic wants to join a hospital rescue team, but is still fighting fears from traumatic war experience. Also known as 'Life Flight'.  
Experiment, The2010 Des Moines IMDB: 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study that ultimately spirals out of control.go to IMDB 
F.I.S.T.1978 Dubuque IMDB: Johnny Kovak joins the Teamsters trade-union in a local chapter in the 1930s and works his way up in the organization. As he climbs higher and higher his methods become more ruthless and finally senator Madison starts a campaign to find the truth about the alleged connections with the Mob.go to IMDB 
Face in the Mirror1982 Des Moines go to IMDB 
Farmer in the Dell, The1936 Iowa farm Iowa farm family moves to Hollywood and experiences a conflict of values.go to IMDB 
Fever Heat1968 Stuart, Oskaloosa MSN: An ex-stockcar racer finds himself in need of repairs on his truck. The garage is owned by a young widow whose husband was killed in a racing accident at the local track. He gets a job as a mechanic helping the veteran wrench-man and eventually takes over the racetrack. Two of his friends are the victims of sabotage and lose their lives in a fiery crash. He decides to leave the life in the fast lane behind and settle down with the widow.go to IMDB 
Field of Dreams1989 Dyersville IMDB: An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago Black Sox come.go to IMDB 
Fighting Sullivans, The1944  IMDB: The lives of a close-knit group of brothers growing up in Iowa during the days of the Great Depression and of World War II and their eventual deaths in action in the Pacific theater are chronicled in this film based on a true story. (Based on the true story of Waterloo's Sullivan Brothers.)go to IMDB 
Final Season, The2007 Norway, Cedar Rapids IMDB: Kent Stock disrupts his life to become coach of the Norway High School baseball team and try to lead them to victory.go to IMDB 
Fraternity Vacation1985 Iowa  A son of an Iowa hog farmer wins the heart of a California beauty because of 'Iowa niceness.'go to IMDB 
Friendly Fire1979 Iowa farm  Iowa farming couple loses son in Vietnam and embarks on a crusade for better government support. Based on the story of Gene and Peg Mullen of LaPorte City.go to IMDB 
Gaily, Gaily1969 Dubuque IMDB: To escape sinful impulses, Ben Harvey, a callow youth, leaves his small town for Chicago in 1910. A pickpocket promptly relieves him of his money, and he nearly starves before Queen Lil takes him under her wing, gives him a room in her high-class bordello, and gets him a job at a newspaper. He's so sweet and dumb, he thinks Lil's is a boarding house. He's soon caught up in an electoral struggle between a secretly corrupt reformer and an openly corrupt councilman. Can Ben expose corruption or will he be caught up in allure of power? An alcoholic investigative reporter and the bordello's ing?nue try to help him grow up.go to IMDB 
Happiness Is1975 Des Moines go to IMDB 
Healing, The1983 Des Moines Flixster: On the heels of his wife's tragic death, a promising young doctor slides into alcoholism and depression and lands in a skid row mission. Homeless and desperate, he meets an unlikely cast of characters -- and learns that God has a plan for his life.go to IMDB 
Heat and Dust1983 Washington IMDB: Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. The search leads back to the early 1920s, when Olivia, recently married to Douglas, a civil servant in the colonial administration, comes to live with him in India. Slowly, Olivia becomes fascinated by India and by the local ruler, a nawab who combines British distinction with Indian pomp and ruthlessness. This fascination is not without risks: the region is being ransacked by a group of sanguinary bandits, and intrigues are opposing the prejudiced British community led by Major Minnies and Dr. Saunders against the nawab. As Anne delves into the history of her grand-aunt, she is led to reconsider her own life.go to IMDB 
Heaven's Heroes1980 Des Moines A true story of a highly decorated war hero and tough cop who compromise in this action-packed love story.go to IMDB 
Home Safe1981 Des Moines, Urbandale Based on a true story. Grandpa Ollie comes to live in, and trouble begins.go to IMDB 
Hostage, The1967 Des Moines, Ivy IMDB: Pesky little boy Davey Cleaves stows away on a moving truck that's driven by volatile psychopath Bull and his meek partner Eddie. Naturally, Davey finds himself in considerable danger after he's discovered by the two no-count criminals.go to IMDB 
Ice Castles1978 Waverly IMDB: A young girl is on top of the world until a tragic accident dashes her hopes and dreams of becoming a world-class figure skater. Only with the help of those who love her can she prove to the world -- and herself -- that she still has the potential to realize her dreams.go to IMDB 
Image of the Beast1980 Des Moines IMDB: Third and best known entry in the Mark IV series of fundamentalist apocalypse films. Fundamentalist Christian guerrilla David helps condemned dissidents escape, attempts to subvert the computerized Mark of the Beast, and generally tries to survive as prophecy unfolds in the rise of the Antichrist to the pinnacle of his power and the beginning of God's war on sinful man.go to IMDB 
Iowa2005 Centerville  IMDB: A cautionary tale of love, crime, fantasy and addiction that follows two young Iowan lovers who decide to go into the 'batch' business - cooking their own methamphetamine - only to watch it burn a searing hole in their lives.go to IMDB 
Keep Your Powder Dry1945 Des Moines IMDB: A disparate group of women try to adjust to their new lives after enlisting in the Womens Army Corps.go to IMDB 
Last Supper, The1995  IMDB: A group of idealistic, but frustrated, liberals succumb to the temptation of murdering rightwing pundits for their political beliefs. (Filmed in LA, but set in Iowa.)go to IMDB 
Lillian Russell1940 Clinton IMDB: Life story of the musical star from her discovery in 1890 by bandleader Tony Pastor till her retirement in 1912 when she married newspaperman Alexander Moore. Russell was born in Clinton.go to IMDB 
Michael1996  IMDB: Two tabloid reporters checking out a report of the Archangel Michael living with an old woman find that it's true. But that's not the only surprise.go to IMDB 
Miles from Home1988 Cedar Rapids IMDB: Two brothers who are forced off their farm in the debt stricken mid-west become folk heroes when they begin robbing the banks that have been foreclosing on farmers.go to IMDB 
Miracle Man1985 Des Moines After a plane crash, a man faces life in bed only able to blink his eyes. He sets his mind to walk out of the hospital in eight months and does.  
Music Man, The1962  IMDB: A con man comes to a Midwestern town with a scam using a boy's marching band program, but things don't go according to plan. Written by Mason City's Meredith Willson and takes place in River City, Iowago to IMDB 
Nite Song1978 Des Moines Two teenagers struggle together to rid their neighborhood of the evils of drug use.go to IMDB 
One Foot in Heaven: The Practical Life of a Parson1941  IMDB: Episodic look at the life of a minister and his family as they move from one parish to another. Based on the book by Hartzell Spence (1940) which in turn was the basis for the film nominated for Best Picture Academy Award (1941). Focuses on the life of William Spence, a Lake Mills pastor and his family.go to IMDB 
Paradise Trail, The1979 Des Moines Blockbuster: Travel to the Old West with an evangelist who attempts to convert notorious outlaws.go to IMDB 
Penitentiary1938 Anamosa About a district attorney who becomes a prison warden and his daughter falls for a convict. go to IMDB 
Pennies From Heaven1981 Dubuque IMDB: In Chicago during the depression, sheet music salesman, Arthur Parker, is trying to sell his products, but it's not easy to convince unwilling music store owners to buy them. Although he's already married to the somewhat drab Joan, when he meets school teacher Eileen in a music store, he falls in love with her.go to IMDB 
Prodigal Planet, The1983 Des Moines IMDB: Final and least well-known installment in the Mark IV series of fundamentalist apocalypse films. About to executed by the forces of the Antichrist, fundamentalist Christian guerrilla David is rescued by Connie, an Antichrist agent pretending to be a double agent for the Believers' Underground. Connie hopes to trick David into leading her to the dissidents' hidden base. Meanwhile, Armageddon and the Second Coming draw nigh.go to IMDB 
Sammy1977 Des Moines, Pleasant Hill go to IMDB 
Saved by the Stars and Stripes1914 Corning, Villisca photoplay made by Tinsley Film Co. in Corning  
Scoring1979 Des Moines, Cedar Rapids Slapstick comedy about a women's basketball team.go to IMDB 
Shepherd, The1984 Des Moines Top Gun' style aerial action as a maverick fighter pilot with a mysterious war record faces death and a new life.go to IMDB 
Singin' Happy1973 Various around state   
Sleeping with the Enemy1991  IMDB: A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband. (Set in Cedar Falls, Iowa.)go to IMDB 
Star Trek2009 Riverside  IMDB: A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members.go to IMDB 
Starman1984 Cedar Rapids IMDB: An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.go to IMDB 
State Fair1933 Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines IMDB: The Frake family attend the Iowa State Fair. Father Abel enters his Hampshire boar, Blue Boy, in the hog contents. Mother Melissa enters the mincemeat competition. And their children, Margy and Wayne, find love with newspaper reporter Pat Gilbert and trapeze artist Emily Joyce. But will everyone return home safe and happy or will hearts be broken?go to IMDB 
State Fair1945  IMDB: Farm family Frake, with discontented daughter Margy, head for the Iowa State Fair. On the first day, both Margy and brother Wayne meet attractive new flames; so does father's prize hog, Blue Boy. As the fair proceeds, so do the romances; must lovers separate when the fair closes? (Remake of the 1933 film, based on Iowan Phil Stong's 1932 novel State Fair.)go to IMDB 
State Fair1962  Remake of the 1933 and 1945 films, based on Iowan Phil Stong's 1932 novel State Fair. This version was filmed in Texas.go to IMDB 
Straight Story, The1999 Clermont, West Bend, Lansing, Laurens, New Hampton, Pocahontas, West Union IMDB: An old man makes a long journey by tractor to mend his relationship with an ill brother.go to IMDB 
Stranger in My Forest, A1976 Des Moines go to IMDB 
Survival1974 Des Moines   
Take This Job and Shove It1981 Dubuque IMDB: The Alison Group has bought four beer breweries in difficulties. The young but rising top manager Franck Macklin is sent to reorganize one of them - the one which happens to be the main company in his home town. At first his old buddies are reluctant to have him as new boss, but since he can't save all of them from the severe changes, the climate soon changes. Then he learns that he increased the profit so much, that the his bosses have decided to resell his brewery profitably to an incompetent Texas oil millionaire.go to IMDB 
Terms of Endearment1983 Des Moines IMDB: Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora's interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways.go to IMDB 
Thief in the Night, A1972 Des Moines, Carlisle, Red Rock Dam A woman caught up in living for the present with little concern for the future, as she tries to elude the evil forces of a one-world government.go to IMDB 
Thousand Acres, A1997  IMDB: 'King Lear' set on a farm in Iowa. (Based on 1991 book by Jane Smiley, who taught at Iowa State University.)go to IMDB 
Twister1996 Ames, Boone, Eldora, Rippey IMDB: A couple on the point of divorce keep meeting each other because both are researchers who chase tornadoes.go to IMDB 
Union Pacific1938 Council Bluffs IMDB: One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau's partner Dick Allen is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost?go to IMDB 
Warden, The1968 Ft. Madison    
What's Eating Gilbert Grape1993  IMDB: Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie and his obese mother, which gets in the way when love walks into his life. (Set in the nonexistent town Endora, Iowa.)go to IMDB 
Whitcomb's War1980 Des Moines, Jefferson go to IMDB 
Whiteboyz1999 Davenport, Maquoketa, Iowa City IMDB: In a virtually all-white Iowa town, Flip daydreams of being a hip-hop star, hanging with Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre. He practices in front of a mirror and with his two pals, James and Trevor. He talks Black slang, he dresses Black. He's also a wannabe pusher, selling flour as cocaine. And while he talks about 'keeping it real,' he hardly notices real life around him: his father's been laid off, his mother uses Food Stamps, his girlfriend is pregnant, James may be psychotic, one of his friends (one of the town's few Black kids) is preparing for college, and, on a trip to Chicago to try to buy drugs, the cops shoot real bullets. What will it take for Flip to get real? go to IMDB 
Wild Rose of Iowa1917    
Wonderful Thing, The1921 Centerville IMDB: Jacqueline Laurentine Boggs, the daughter of an American hog farmer, is schooled in France and comes to stay with an English family. There she brings a dose of reality to her snobby hosts. (First screened at the Majestic Theatre in Centerville.)go to IMDB 
Zadar! Cow from Hell1989 Iowa City Wikipedia: The plot of the movie revolves around a struggling Hollywood director who wished to return to his home state of Iowa and create a successful horror film. However, upon arriving in Iowa, the young director is immediately distracted by old friends and family, a problem which will plague him throughout the making of his film, Zadar! Cow From Hell.go to IMDB 

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