3 Famous Movies & Films Set in Kansas

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Kansas has many wide-open spaces, small-town values, and friendly folks as a daily way of life. Dull, some might call it. But in the far-off land of Hollywood, those features can be downright exotic. In Hollywood, clean air and rain are the stuff of dreams. Maybe this is why movies keep coming back to this state to tell stories, especially those hoping to illustrate middle America. Kansas is often portrayed as a place of strong-willed people who can overcome just about any obstacle to rebuilding their lives, keeping the family together, or getting back home. 

Here are 3 of the famous movies and films set in Kansas: 

The Casserole Club (2011)

The Casserole Club features Steve Balderson's new film, "The Casserole Club," which is about a group of mod suburban women in the 1960's. Despite their close connections and neighborliness, they are all trying to outdo each other, trying to be "the hostess with the mostess." They decide to start a recipe club and have dinner parties to test out their new recipes. The story quickly shifts from stylized and campy to a drama about irresponsibility, selfishness, and damaged people when the gatherings are more about boozy flirtation than recipes. There is a desolate landscape to "The Casserole Club" coupled with unspoken desires, as well as an empty life. Raw and uncompromising, it evokes classics like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and more contemporary works like "American Beauty." While the film is set in America during the first moonwalk, the moon is a metaphor for the film's tragic heroines, full of mysteries, secrets, and the potential of people who exist without really living.

Filming locations:

  • Wamego, Kansas, USA
  • Kansas, USA

My Own Love Song (2010)

My Own Log Song narrates the life of Jane (Renée Zellweger), who hides from life after an accident leaves her wheelchair-bound. Joey (Forest Whitaker) is her friend who sees and hears ghosts and angels that no one else can see or hear. Jane is convinced to go with him when he reads in the newspaper that his favorite author will be speaking in New Orleans, Louisiana. They meet up with Billie (Madeline Zima), a young woman searching for her missing husband, along the way. There are many obstacles in the form of travelers. They meet many different "angels" and "devils" along the way. Will they make it in time for the most important gig of Jane's life?

Filming locations:

  • Kansas, USA

Kansas vs. Darwin (2007)

Kansas vs. Darwin is a character-driven story of the politics and motivations behind the school board's decision to challenge the teaching of evolution in Kansas public schools. Kansas educators and scientists organize a worldwide boycott of the hearings, which some say confuses the issues. However, participating school board members admit they don't believe in evolution at the outset, and some acknowledge they don't understand the science presented by the witnesses. All witnesses brought in by Intelligent Design Network. The film shows both sides with in-depth, revealing interviews and 3-camera coverage of the hearings. If you are into politics, this is a must-watch film! 

Filming locations:

  • Clay Center, Kansas, USA
  • Lawrence, Kansas, USA
  • Olathe, Kansas, USA
  • St. Francis, Kansas, USA
  • Topeka, Kansas, USA

Bonus: Here are more movies and films set in Kansas:

  • Winchester '73 (1950)
  • In Cold Blood (1967)
  • Red River (1948)
  • Resurrection (1980)
  • Picnic (1955)

What can you say about these movies? Share your thoughts if you know more films and films that were set in Kansas! Hit the comment section below!









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