circa 1940: Hollywood child actor Mickey Rooney with actress Ann Rutherford (1920 - 2012) viewed in a film clip on a postcard. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to It’s a Wonderful Life, our most beloved classic movies have shaped our lives and our world as we know it.  But do you know your state’s favorite film. That’s why the team at Coventry Direct set out to explore these adored films with an analysis of the most popular classic movie in every state. The team compiled a list of over 50 of the best classics, then analyzed Google search volume over the past 12 months to determine each state’s favorite classic movie.

But what constitutes a “classic”? This was my first question. Because I’d consider some fairly recent movies as classics. Here’s the short answer, they had to be at least 50 years old. According to Coventry Direct, the methodology was:

The first thing we did was determine the criteria for a “classic movie.” We decided on films that are at least 50 years old and have seen a lot of success and/or caused at least a small impact on pop culture. This led us to our selection of 51 movies from Town & Country and Rotten Tomatoes which we then ran against the data from each of the 50 states to see which of our 51 movies was the most searched for in each. All the data comes from searches conducted between February 10, 2021 and February 10, 2022.

Here’s what they found:

  • The most popular classic movie in North Carolina is Gone With The Wind.
  • Musicals were hits throughout the country. Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz tied for the #1 spot, winning 7 states each. West Side Story also won in 3 states.
  • Popularity of classic movies has strong regional ties. The Wizard of Oz was the most popular classic movie in the midwest, while The Godfather was the overall winner in the northeast. Gone With the Wind ranked as the #1 most popular movie in the South.
  • There were also interesting state trends. Sunset Boulevard won over California, The Godfather won over New York, and Meet Me in St. Louis won over Missouri.

Keep reading to see what some of the other nearby states ranked as their favorite classic movie!

  • North Carolina

  • South Carolina

    Gone With The Wind

  • Virginia

  • Tennessee

    Gone With The Wind

  • Georgia

    Gone With The Wind

  • Florida

  • New York

  • California

  • Texas

  • Massachusetts