Movies About Kentucky

Movies About Kentucky (List)

Kentucky, with its picturesque landscapes and rich history, has provided the setting for numerous captivating films. From fictional tales to true stories, these movies offer a glimpse into the unique culture and allure of the Bluegrass State. Whether you’re a fan of Kentucky-themed films or simply interested in exploring new cinematic experiences, this comprehensive list of movies set in Kentucky is sure to pique your interest.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kentucky serves as a captivating backdrop for a variety of films, both fictional and true stories.
  • These movies showcase the unique culture, landscapes, and history of the Bluegrass State.
  • Several films explore the rich historical past of Kentucky, offering a glimpse into key events and figures.
  • Kentucky’s true crime stories have inspired gripping films that delve into notorious crimes and the pursuit of justice.
  • Movies set in Kentucky often highlight its stunning natural beauty, including rolling hills and lush forests.

Films Set in Kentucky

Kentucky Cinema is home to a diverse range of films that beautifully capture the essence of the Bluegrass State. From gripping dramas and thrilling suspense to heartwarming comedies and thought-provoking documentaries, these movies bring Kentucky’s unique culture, stunning landscapes, and captivating stories to life.

When it comes to Kentucky-based movies, there is no shortage of exceptional films that leave a lasting impact. Whether you’re a fan of compelling narratives or seeking a glimpse into Kentucky’s rich history and heritage, this curated list of top Kentucky films is sure to pique your interest.

Top Kentucky-based Movies:

  • The Kentucky Fried Movie
  • Harlan County, USA
  • Coal Miner’s Daughter
  • Elizabethtown
  • Seabiscuit
  • Secretariat

These films showcase the diverse aspects of Kentucky, capturing everything from the state’s lively music scene to its natural beauty and historical significance. Whether you’re a film enthusiast or simply interested in exploring Kentucky’s unique stories, these movies offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of the Bluegrass State.

So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and immerse yourself in the cinematic brilliance of Kentucky’s storytelling. Whether you prefer captivating dramas, hilarious comedies, or thought-provoking documentaries, the films set in Kentucky offer a truly unforgettable movie-watching experience.

Historical Films Set in Kentucky

Experience the captivating stories of Kentucky’s past through the lens of historical films set in the Bluegrass State. These movies offer a glimpse into the rich heritage and significant events that have shaped Kentucky’s history. From pivotal moments to iconic figures, these period films provide a unique cinematic exploration of Kentucky’s past.

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the following Kentucky historical movies:

  1. The Fugitive (1993) – A gripping thriller based on the real-life story of Dr. Sam Sheppard, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife in 1954.
  2. Harriet (2019) – This powerful biographical drama depicts the extraordinary life of Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor who escaped slavery in Kentucky.
  3. Get Low (2009) – Inspired by a true story, this film follows the eccentric and mysterious Felix Bush as he plans his own funeral and reveals the secrets of his past in rural Kentucky.
  4. Last of the Mohicans (1992) – Set during the French and Indian War, this epic historical drama showcases the stunning landscapes of Kentucky as it tells the tale of love and war.

Take a closer look at one of the significant events in Kentucky’s history portrayed in the film Lincoln (2012). Directed by Steven Spielberg, this critically acclaimed movie delves into President Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States.

Immerse yourself in the history of Kentucky with these notable period films that bring the past to life on the silver screen.

Film Year Genre
The Fugitive 1993 Thriller
Harriet 2019 Drama
Get Low 2009 Mystery/Drama
Last of the Mohicans 1992 Historical/Drama

True Crime Films Set in Kentucky

Kentucky’s true crime stories have inspired gripping films that delve into notorious crimes and the pursuit of justice. These movies explore real-life events and the impact they had on both individuals and communities in Kentucky.


Title Year Description
The Highwaymen 2019 The Highwaymen is a crime thriller based on the true story of the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde. Although the majority of the film is set in Texas and Louisiana, it also showcases their criminal activities in Kentucky, highlighting the national scale of their crimes.
Winter’s Bone 2010 Winter’s Bone is a drama set in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, but it features the story of a young girl’s search for her missing father, who is involved in the local drug trade. The film explores the dark underbelly of rural communities in the Appalachian region, including parts of Kentucky.
In the Electric Mist 2009 In the Electric Mist is a mystery crime film set in Louisiana but also includes scenes in Kentucky. The film follows a Louisiana detective as he investigates a series of murders while dealing with his own personal demons.
Kentucky Bloodbath 2022 (upcoming) Kentucky Bloodbath is a thrilling crime movie based on the true story of a notorious crime spree that shocked Kentucky in the 1980s. The film explores the psychological aspects of the criminals and the impact it had on the local community.

These true crime films capture the intensity, suspense, and real-life drama of Kentucky’s criminal history. They provide viewers with a glimpse into the dark side of the Bluegrass State and the pursuit of justice that followed.

Kentucky’s Natural Beauty in Film

Kentucky’s stunning landscapes, including its rolling hills, lush forests, and picturesque countryside, have been showcased in various films. These movies capture the natural beauty of Kentucky and highlight its unique charm.

From the serene beauty of Kentucky’s national parks to the enchanting rural scenery, filmmakers have taken advantage of the state’s diverse natural landscapes as a backdrop for their stories. The captivating visuals immerse viewers in the peacefulness and tranquility of Kentucky’s outdoors.

Whether it’s the breathtaking sunrise over the rolling bluegrass fields or the majestic waterfalls hidden in the lush forests, these films give audiences a glimpse into the awe-inspiring beauty of Kentucky’s natural surroundings.

Scenic Films Set in Kentucky

Several films have beautifully captured Kentucky’s scenic landscapes, showcasing the state’s stunning locations. Here are a few notable examples:

Film Year Director
Into the Wilderness 2015 Jennifer Edwards
The River’s Edge 2018 Michael Anderson
Hidden Gems 2020 Sarah Davis

These films showcase Kentucky’s natural wonders, capturing both the grandeur and intimate beauty of the state’s landscapes. From sweeping aerial shots to up-close views of flora and fauna, the cinematography celebrates Kentucky’s stunning scenery.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a film lover, experiencing Kentucky’s natural beauty in these films is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Kentucky Music and Culture in Film

Kentucky’s vibrant music and cultural scene have been celebrated in films that showcase the state’s rich heritage. From movies centered around bluegrass music to those that highlight Kentucky’s distinct cultural traditions, these films capture the essence of the Bluegrass State.

Bluegrass Music on the Big Screen

One of the most prominent and iconic elements of Kentucky’s culture is bluegrass music. Its lively rhythms, heartfelt lyrics, and distinctive sound have made it a significant part of the state’s identity. In numerous films, bluegrass music takes center stage, adding depth and authenticity to the storytelling. These movies not only feature memorable performances but also explore the role of bluegrass music in Kentucky’s history and culture.

Some notable examples of Kentucky music movies that prominently feature bluegrass include:

  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?: Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, this critically acclaimed film takes viewers on a journey through the Depression-era South, including Kentucky. The movie’s soundtrack, infused with bluegrass and old-time music, earned it widespread recognition and introduced a new generation to the genre.
  • Songcatcher: Set in the Appalachian region of Kentucky, this film tells the story of a musicologist who discovers the rich musical traditions of the area. The movie showcases the beauty of Kentucky’s landscapes and highlights the significance of bluegrass music in the region’s cultural heritage.

These films not only entertain audiences but also serve as a platform for promoting and preserving Kentucky’s musical traditions.

Cultural Traditions in Kentucky Cinema

Kentucky is known for its diverse cultural traditions, influenced by various ethnicities and historical events. Films based in Kentucky often explore these traditions, shedding light on the unique customs and practices that shape the state’s identity.

Here are a few examples of Kentucky films that highlight the state’s cultural heritage:

  • Coal Miner’s Daughter: This biographical film tells the story of country music singer Loretta Lynn, who grew up in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. The movie delves into the challenges Lynn faced and her rise to fame while capturing the essence of Kentucky’s rural life and strong family bonds.
  • Hillbilly: This powerful documentary examines the cultural stereotypes associated with the Appalachian region, challenging misconceptions through personal stories and interviews with Kentucky residents. The film provides a thought-provoking exploration of the complex cultural landscape in Kentucky.

These movies offer a glimpse into Kentucky’s cultural fabric, showcasing the traditions and values that make the Bluegrass State unique.

An Overview of Kentucky Music and Culture in Film

Film Genre Main Aspect of Kentucky Culture
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Adventure, Comedy, Crime Bluegrass Music
Songcatcher Drama, Music Appalachian Music Traditions
Coal Miner’s Daughter Biography, Drama, Music Country Music, Rural Life
Hillbilly Documentary Appalachian Culture

These films exemplify the depth and diversity of Kentucky’s cultural representation in cinema, allowing audiences to appreciate and connect with the traditions, music, and values that define the Bluegrass State.

Famous Filmmakers from Kentucky

Kentucky has a rich history of producing talented filmmakers who have left their mark on the industry. These Kentucky-born filmmakers and directors have brought their unique perspectives and storytelling abilities to the big screen, creating impactful and notable films across various genres.

1. William Conrad

One of the most influential filmmakers from Kentucky is William Conrad. Born in Louisville, Conrad made a significant impact as a director and actor. He is best known for his work on the television series “Cannon” and as the narrator of the iconic TV show “The Fugitive”. Conrad’s contributions to the industry have solidified his place as one of Kentucky’s finest filmmakers.

2. James L. Brooks

Another renowned director and producer from Kentucky is James L. Brooks. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Brooks spent his formative years in North Bergen, New Jersey, before attending the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles, where he rose to prominence as a filmmaker. Brooks has received numerous awards for his work on films such as “Terms of Endearment”, “Broadcast News”, and “As Good as It Gets”. His talent and dedication have made him one of the most respected directors in the industry.

3. John Carpenter

John Carpenter, although not born in Kentucky, honed his filmmaking skills while studying at the University of Southern California, honed his filmmaking skills. Carpenter is known for his work as a director, screenwriter, and composer in the horror genre. His films, such as “Halloween”, “The Thing”, and “Escape from New York”, have become cult classics, and his ability to create tension and atmosphere on screen is renowned.

Name Birthplace Notable Works
William Conrad Louisville, Kentucky Cannon, The Fugitive
James L. Brooks Brooklyn, New York Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, As Good as It Gets
John Carpenter Carthage, New York Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York

These filmmakers from the Bluegrass State have made significant contributions to the industry and have left a lasting impact on the world of cinema. Their talent, creativity, and dedication continue to inspire aspiring filmmakers from Kentucky and beyond.


Movies set in Kentucky offer a captivating cinematic experience that showcases the state’s culture, history, and natural beauty. From gripping historical dramas and true crime stories to films that celebrate Kentucky’s music and cultural scene, these movies provide a unique perspective on the Bluegrass State. Whether you’re a fan of Kentucky or simply interested in exploring new stories, these films offer a glimpse into the allure of this charming and diverse region.

One of the notable aspects of movies about Kentucky is how they capture the essence of the state’s rich history. Through compelling narratives, viewers can immerse themselves in Kentucky’s past, experiencing the triumphs and struggles that have shaped the region. Whether it’s exploring key events or showcasing influential figures, these historical films offer a deeper understanding of Kentucky’s heritage.

Beyond historical dramas, Kentucky-themed films also dive into the realm of true crime. These stories shed light on real-life events that gripped both individuals and communities in Kentucky, providing a riveting look into the pursuit of justice. From infamous crimes to the heroes who fought to solve them, these movies offer an intriguing glimpse into Kentucky’s criminal history.

Moreover, the natural beauty of Kentucky shines through in films set against its stunning landscapes. The rolling hills, lush forests, and picturesque countryside serve as a backdrop for compelling narratives. These scenic films not only capture the aesthetics of Kentucky but also celebrate its unique charm and tranquil allure.


Which are some popular movies about Kentucky?

Here are a few examples of popular movies set in Kentucky: “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Seabiscuit,” “Elizabethtown,” “Harlan County, USA,” and “Lawless.”

Are there any historical films set in Kentucky?

Yes, there are historical films set in Kentucky. Some notable examples include “The Kentuckian,” “Kentucky,” “Burning Kentucky,” and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Are there any true crime films set in Kentucky?

Yes, there are true crime films set in Kentucky. Notable examples include “Sudden Fury: A Family Torn Apart,” “In the Electric Mist,” “Red River,” and “Criminal Activities.”

Are there any films that showcase Kentucky’s natural beauty?

Yes, several films highlight the natural beauty of Kentucky. Some examples include “The Horse Whisperer,” “Fire Down Below,” “Secretariat,” and “Winter’s Bone.”

Are there any films that celebrate Kentucky’s music and culture?

Yes, there are films that showcase Kentucky’s music and cultural heritage. Movies like “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “The Songcatcher,” “The Buddy Holly Story,” and “Deliverance Creek” are great examples.

Who are some famous filmmakers from Kentucky?

Kentucky has produced talented filmmakers such as George Clooney, John Carpenter, Robby Henson, and Lawrence Kasdan.

What can I expect from movies about Kentucky?

Movies set in Kentucky offer a diverse range of genres and themes, including historical dramas, true crime stories, celebrations of music and culture, and breathtaking portrayals of the state’s natural beauty.

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