When you think of Indiana, most people picture soybeans before celebrities. We’re okay with that.
Most Hoosiers are familiar with the few movies that were either filmed in Indiana or used our state as its setting (Breaking Away, Rudy, Hoosiers), but you’d be surprised how many productions decided to stop in at the Crossroads of America and shoot a few scenes. Here’s a few…
(And before you ask, Stranger Things is filmed in Atlanta)
Rain Man (1988)
Besides receiving an army of awards, Rain Man stands as 1988’s highest-grossing film. More importantly, the film humanized autism more than any other film before, bringing the condition into the national consciousness.
Several key scenes of the film featured Indiana or neighboring Ohio and Kentucky (Director Barry Levinson enjoyed Cincinnati, so he based the film’s first month of production there). The scene in which Cruise and Hoffman’s characters are trapped in a cramped motel room during a rainstorm was filmed at the Hearthstone Restaurant in Metamora, Indiana. The funeral scene and the iconic walk down the asylum’s tree-lined driveway were both filmed in Kentucky.
Brian’s Song (1971)
A made-for-TV film that became a macho tear-jerker, Brian’s Song tells the true story of Brian Piccolo, a football player diagnosed with terminal cancer just as he realizes his dream of playing professional football. The film made stars of both Billy Dee Williams and James Caan. The training camp scenes were filmed at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana.
Eight Men Out (1988)
A must-see film for baseball fans, Eight Men Out dramatizes the notorious Chicago ‘Black Sox’ scandal, in which Chicago ball players betrayed the national pastime by fixing the 1919 World Series. The film featured a cavalcade of 80s stars like John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, Christopher Lloyd and John Mahoney. Most of the ball playing scenes were filmed at the former Bush Stadium in Indianapolis (demolished in 2011).
Blue Chips (1994)
This basketball film stars Nick Nolte as a desperate college basketball coach who breaks the rules of the NCAA to put together a competitive basketball team. Most interesting of all was the unusual turn of Shaquelle O’Neal in an acting gig. After this film, O’Neal would go on to star in (uh) Kazaam and Steel.…No comment. More famous for a laundry list of mid-90s basketball player cameos than for its story, Blue Chips spent weeks filming in French Lick and Frankfort, Indiana.
A League of Their Own (1992)