Each State's Favorite Patriotic Movie - 2023

July 3, 2023
Wally Nowinski
editor
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The Fourth of July movie is a summer tradition, as American as grilling and fireworks -- and everyone has a favorite. While blockbusters like Independence Day, Saving Private Ryan and Top Gun are loved everywhere, PerfectRec looked at the top classics of the genre, and parsed Google Search data to see where each of the top 35 patriotic movies according to IMDB was disproportionately popular.

The results shed some light on regional preferences and, in some cases, the events that shaped people's sense of American identity. 

Hawaiians search for Pearl Harbor (2003) more than anywhere else. Virginia, with its proximity to DC and large population of government employees, disproportionally favors the 1939 classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In Minnesota, with its strong ice hockey culture, the 2004 film Miracle about the ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey victory over the Soviet Union is the relative favorite.

There are a few ties as well. New York and Florida both love United 93, which may reflect the large number of snow birds flying between the two states. West Virginians also love this film about drama on the Hudson River.

Both Alabama and South Carolina are passionate about Forrest Gump. Perhaps this is explained by the fact that while the 1994 film was set in the fictional town of Greenbow, Alabama it was largely filmed in real communities of Varnville and Beaufort, South Carolina. 

What is your state's patriotic favorite? Check out the map and full list below.

Favorite patriotic movies by state

Each State's Disproportionate Favorite Patriotic Film

State

Movie

Alabama

Forrest Gump (1994)

Alaska

Argo (2012)

Arkansas

We Were Soldiers (2002)

California

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Colorado

Team America: World Police (2004)

Connecticut

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Delaware

The Right Stuff (1983)

District of Columbia

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Florida

United 93 (2006)

Georgia

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Hawaii

Pearl Harbor (2001)

Idaho

Independence Day (1996)

Illinois

Argo (2012)

Indiana

Air Force One (1997)

Iowa

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Kansas

Patton (1970)

Kentucky

Gettysburg (1993)

Louisiana

Armageddon (1998)

Maine

Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

Maryland

Glory (1989)

Massachusetts

Argo (2012)

Michigan

The Longest Day (1962)

Minnesota

Miracle (2004)

Mississippi

The Longest Day (1962)

Missouri

Red Dawn (1984)

Montana

Black Hawk Down (2001)

Nebraska

American Sniper (2014)

Nevada

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

New Hampshire

Apollo 13 (1995)

New Jersey

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

New Mexico

Lone Survivor (2013)

New York

United 93 (2006)

North Carolina

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

North Dakota

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Ohio

1776 (1972)

Oklahoma

The Patriot (2000)

Oregon

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Pennsylvania

Rocky IV (1985)

Rhode Island

Lincoln (2012)

South Carolina

Forrest Gump (1994)

South Dakota

Armageddon (1998)

Tennessee

Sergeant York (1941)

Texas

Forrest Gump (1994)

Utah

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Vermont

Live Free Or Die Hard (2007)

Virginia

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)

Washington

Black Hawk Down (2001)

West Virginia

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Wisconsin

Air Force One (1997)

Wyoming

Top Gun (1986)

Methodology

  • The list of patriotic movies comes from IMDB's list of Hollywood's Most Patriotic Movies

  • We sorted the IMDB list in terms of number of reviews and looked at Google Trends data for each film in order from most to least reviewed. Each state was only allowed to be the top position for a single movie.

  • Google Trends data measures relative search interest over the given time period in the specified region. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular.

  • PerfectRec is a personalized product recommendation site that offers personalized recommendations on the best TVs to buy.

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