Movies About Indiana

Movies About Indiana (List)

Indiana has a special place in the world of cinema, with numerous films set against its backdrop. From dramatic stories to heartwarming comedies, Indiana-based movies capture the essence of the Hoosier spirit and showcase the state’s rich cinematic heritage. Whether you’re a fan of inspiring sports films, nostalgic holiday favorites, or gripping science fiction, Indiana cinema offers a diverse range of movies that are sure to captivate audiences.

So, let’s dive into the world of movies about Indiana and discover the stories that have made their mark on the silver screen.

Key Takeaways:

  • Indiana has a rich cinematic heritage, with a wide range of films set in the Hoosier state.
  • From sports films like “Hoosiers” to holiday classics like “A Christmas Story,” Indiana-based movies offer a variety of genres to cater to different tastes.
  • These films capture the unique culture and spirit of Indiana, showcasing the state’s diverse landscapes and its people’s resilience.
  • Indiana cinema has been recognized for its cultural and historical significance, with movies like “Hoosiers” and “Breaking Away” being preserved in the U.S. National Film Registry.
  • By exploring movies about Indiana, viewers can immerse themselves in the magic of this vibrant state and experience its captivating stories on the screen.

Hoosiers (1986)

“Hoosiers” is a beloved sports film set in fictional Hickory, Indiana. Starring Gene Hackman as Coach Norman Dale, it tells the story of a small-town high school basketball team’s journey to win the state title. The movie, written by Hoosier Angelo Pizzo and based on the true story of Milan High School, was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry for its cultural and historical significance.

This inspiring Indiana basketball movie captures the heart and determination of the players from Hickory High School as they face various challenges on and off the court. Coach Norman Dale, a former college basketball coach, takes the helm of the struggling team and instills discipline, teamwork, and values that transcend the game of basketball.

The movie showcases the resilience of the team, their passion for the game, and the unwavering support of the community. It resonates with audiences worldwide, tapping into the universal themes of underdogs striving for greatness and the power of believing in oneself.


Actor/Actress Character
Gene Hackman Coach Norman Dale
Barbara Hershey Myra Fleener
Dennis Hopper Shooter Flatch
Sheb Wooley Cloyce
Maris Valainis Jimmy Chitwood

Released in 1986, “Hoosiers” remains one of the most cherished Indiana sports movies of all time, capturing the spirit and passion of high school basketball in the state. Its portrayal of small-town life, the rich basketball tradition in Indiana, and the pursuit of dreams has made it a true classic in the genre.

If you’re a fan of Indiana basketball and underdog stories, “Hoosiers” is a must-watch film that will leave you inspired and uplifted.

A Christmas Story (1983)

“A Christmas Story” is a heartwarming holiday film that has become a beloved classic. Loosely based on the experiences of writer Jean Shepherd growing up in Hammond, Indiana, the movie takes viewers on a nostalgic journey through the fictional town of Hohman.

The story revolves around young Ralphie Parker’s quest to receive a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas in 1940. Filled with humor, memorable characters, and iconic moments, the film resonates with audiences of all ages and has become a beloved tradition for many families during the holiday season.

Throughout the movie, we follow Ralphie’s adventures as he navigates the challenges of childhood, deals with bullies, and navigates the ups and downs of family life. Whether it’s his hilarious misadventures with the infamous leg lamp or his persistent pleas to Santa, Ralphie’s journey is relatable and heartwarming.

A Christmas Story transports viewers back in time to a simpler era and captures the magic and excitement of childhood during the holiday season. The film’s timeless appeal and relatable themes have made it a favorite among generations of viewers, and its iconic status has solidified its place as an enduring Indiana Christmas movie.

Key Details Information
Year Released 1983
Director Bob Clark
Writer Jean Shepherd
Starring Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon
Setting Hohman, Indiana

Breaking Away (1979)

Breaking Away is a captivating coming-of-age film that takes place in Bloomington, Indiana. Directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich, this beloved movie follows a group of recent high school graduates as they navigate the challenges of transitioning into adulthood against the vibrant backdrop of Indiana University’s college life.

The film delves deep into the themes of identity, dreams, and relationships, resonating with audiences worldwide. Its authentic portrayal of small-town life has garnered critical acclaim, making it a standout in the coming-of-age genre.

Set in Bloomington, Indiana, the movie showcases the beauty of the town and the essence of its residents, collectively capturing the spirit of the Hoosier state. Through compelling characters and heartfelt storytelling, Breaking Away reminds us of the universal experiences and struggles we face as we find our place in the world.

Notable Highlights of Breaking Away:

  • Authentic portrayal of small-town life in Bloomington, Indiana
  • Exploration of themes of identity, dreams, and relationships
  • Acclaimed direction by Peter Yates and writing by Steve Tesich
  • Heartfelt storytelling that resonates with audiences
  • Recognized as a ground-breaking coming-of-age film set in Indiana
Year Director Writer Notable Actors
1979 Peter Yates Steve Tesich Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” takes viewers on an otherworldly journey that begins in the heart of Indiana. In this iconic sci-fi film, the state becomes the backdrop for thrilling encounters with extraterrestrial life. Set in the late 1970s, the movie showcases Indiana’s landscapes and cities, captivating audiences with its mysterious and mesmerizing storyline.

The film opens with a jaw-dropping scene at an Indianapolis air traffic control tower, where two jets have a close encounter with a massive unidentified flying object (UFO). This gripping sequence sets the stage for the extraordinary events that unfold throughout the movie.

In addition to the thrilling UFO sighting, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” introduces us to memorable characters such as Roy Neary, Jillian Guiler, and her son Barry. These characters, played by Richard Dreyfuss and Melinda Dillon, reside in Muncie, Indiana, further emphasizing the connection between the story and the state.

The inclusion of authentic Ball State memorabilia throughout the film adds an intriguing layer of realism to the Indiana setting. From Roy’s Ball State sweatshirt to various scenes filmed on the university’s campus, the movie pays homage to the state’s educational institutions and further immerses viewers in the Indiana sci-fi experience.

The Cultural Impact of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” left an indelible mark on both the sci-fi genre and popular culture. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film expertly combines suspense, wonder, and a sense of awe, cementing its status as a classic in the genre and solidifying Spielberg’s reputation as a master storyteller.

Beyond its technical achievements and gripping storyline, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” resonates with audiences for its exploration of humanity’s fascination with the unknown. It taps into our collective curiosity about the possibility of contact with extraterrestrial beings, sparking discussions and fueling the imagination of moviegoers around the world.

With its Ohio Valley setting, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” showcases Indiana’s unique blend of small-town charm and mysterious intrigue. The state’s natural beauty and Midwestern landscapes provide a visually stunning backdrop to the unfolding events, captivating viewers and inviting them to embark on an unforgettable journey into the unknown.

Join us in the upcoming sections as we continue to explore the captivating world of Indiana-based films and their enduring impact on cinema.

Rudy (1993)

“Rudy” is an inspiring sports film that tells the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger’s journey to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame. Despite numerous challenges and personal struggles, Rudy’s unwavering determination and perseverance drive him to overcome all odds. This Indiana sports film captures the indomitable spirit of the state and showcases the power of chasing one’s dreams.

Filmed on the iconic Notre Dame campus, “Rudy” immerses viewers in the rich history and tradition of Notre Dame football. The picturesque setting lends an authentic backdrop to the emotionally charged story, evoking a sense of awe and inspiration. With its heartfelt portrayal of Rudy’s unwavering spirit, the film resonates with audiences and reinforces the belief that anything is possible with dedication and hard work.

This inspiring Indiana movie serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the pursuit of one’s passions. It reminds viewers that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, dreams can be realized. Rudy’s story continues to inspire people of all ages, making it a timeless classic in the realm of sports films and a beloved addition to the Indiana cinematic landscape.

Release Year Genre Director Notable Cast
1993 Sports, Drama David Anspaugh Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, Charles S. Dutton, Jon Favreau

Noteworthy Quotes from Rudy:

  • “In this life, you don’t have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself. And after what you’ve been through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen.”
  • “I’ve been ready for this my whole life!”
  • “No one, and I mean no one, comes into our house and pushes us around.”

Knute Rockne: All American (1940)

“Knute Rockne: All American” is a classic film that portrays the inspiring story of legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. Starring Pat O’Brien as Knute Rockne and featuring Ronald Reagan as star player George Gipp, the movie captures the indomitable spirit of Notre Dame football and the dedication of its players.

Filmed on the iconic Notre Dame campus, the movie immerses viewers into the rich history and tradition of the Fighting Irish. It showcases the passion and determination that Rockne instilled in his team, leaving a lasting impact on the sport.

The film is also renowned for popularizing the phrase “Win one for the Gipper,” referring to George Gipp’s last words to Rockne before his tragic passing. This memorable line has become synonymous with motivation and achieving victory against all odds.

Notable Features of “Knute Rockne: All American”:

  • Authentic portrayal of Notre Dame football and the influential role of Knute Rockne.
  • Star-studded cast, including Pat O’Brien and Ronald Reagan.
  • Captivating storyline that showcases the resilience and determination of the Fighting Irish.
  • Filmed on location at the renowned Notre Dame campus for added authenticity.

Experience the captivating story of Knute Rockne and the indomitable spirit of Notre Dame football in this timeless Indiana football film.


Indiana’s cinematic history is a testament to its enduring impact on the film industry. The state has served as a captivating backdrop for a diverse range of movies, from inspiring sports dramas to beloved holiday classics. These films authentically capture the spirit of Indiana, showcasing its unique culture and heritage.

Some of the best Indiana movies include the iconic “Hoosiers,” a tale of triumph in high school basketball, and “Rudy,” a story of perseverance and determination at the University of Notre Dame. Additionally, the heartwarming “A Christmas Story” and the coming-of-age film “Breaking Away” resonate with audiences, evoking nostalgia and exploring themes of self-discovery.

Indiana’s filmography caters to various genres and interests, allowing movie enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the vibrant world of the Hoosier state. Whether you’re a fan of sports, drama, or science fiction, Indiana’s rich cinematic offerings have something for everyone. Explore the captivating movie list of Indiana and get ready to be transported to the magic of the Hoosier state on screen.


What are some movies about Indiana?

Some notable movies about Indiana include “Hoosiers”, “A Christmas Story”, “Breaking Away”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Rudy”, and “Knute Rockne: All American”.

Where is “Hoosiers” set?

“Hoosiers” is set in fictional Hickory, Indiana.

What is “A Christmas Story” about?

“A Christmas Story” is a holiday film that follows young Ralphie Parker’s quest to receive a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas in 1940.

What is “Breaking Away” about?

“Breaking Away” is a coming-of-age film set in Bloomington, Indiana, that explores the lives of recent high school graduates in the backdrop of Indiana University college life.

What role does Indiana play in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”?

Indiana serves as a significant setting in the first half of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, with scenes featuring a UFO encounter at an Indianapolis air traffic control tower and characters residing in Muncie, Indiana.

What is “Rudy” about?

“Rudy” is a sports film based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and his journey to fulfill his dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame despite numerous challenges.

Who stars in “Knute Rockne: All American”?

“Knute Rockne: All American” stars Pat O’Brien as Knute Rockne and features Ronald Reagan in the role of star player George Gipp.

What is the significance of these movies in Indiana’s film history?

These movies, along with many others set in Indiana, have made a significant impact on Indiana’s film history. They capture the essence of the Hoosier spirit and showcase the state’s rich cinematic heritage.

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