Cedar Rapids and 9 other movies that weren’t shot in the city they were named from


When a film bears the title of a city or country, it is expected to be a cinematic tribute to the actual location in question. However, this is not the case for these films in particular, which are not too different from Rapids of the Cedars.

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In Cedar Rapids’ case it was named after the real Iowan town where its story took place, but it was actually filmed in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For mainly pragmatic reasons, these films were far from the places promoted by their titles.

ten Cedar Rapids was shot in Michigan, not Iowa



Just when he thought his life was at an all-time low, naive insurance agent Tim Lippe gets the fresh start he’s been waiting for when his boss sends him to a business conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Despite what the title suggests, Cedars Rapids was not filmed near the state of Iowa for tax reasons.

Cedars Rapids was supposed to shoot on location, but Iowa ended its film production tax credit benefits. Following this development, production moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The state offered a 40% tax cut plus an additional 2% if the filmmakers worked in central communities like Ann Arbor, which more than made up for the failure of the original plans.

9 Home Alone 2: Lost In New York Was Shot In Chicago, Not New York



Home Alone 2 Lost in New York: Home Alone 2: Wet Bandits Track Kevin

Following Alone at home runaway success, it made sense for Kevin McCallister’s shenanigans to escalate. This led to the second movie, Lost in New York, which focused on Kevin turning the Big Apple into his biggest playground yet. That being said, most of her trip to New York was filmed in Chicago.

Lost in New York used Chicago as a replacement for New York for budgetary reasons, while scenes set in the McCallister Residence were filmed in California. The few sequences that were actually filmed in the eponymous metropolis were those that took place in iconic New York landmarks, such as Central Park and the lobby of the Plaza Hotel.


8 Escape From New York was filmed in Missouri, not New York



Snake aims for the brain to escape New York

A lingering criticism of the otherwise revered cult classic Escape from New York it barely felt like it was in a New York movie. For example, Snake Plissken never visited Times Square. The reason was more financial than anything else, because filming in St. Louis, Missouri was much cheaper than filming in the real Big Apple.

Some of the rare exceptions were the scenes set in the prison command center on Liberty Island, which in itself was an impressive feat as John Carpenter managed to convince Island Security to let them film shortly thereafter. a bomb threat. On the other hand, a good part of the less received suite Escape from LA was filmed in Los Angeles.


seven Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan was filmed in Vancouver, not New York



Jason walks in Times Square on Friday the 13th Jason takes Manhattan

Nowadays, Jason takes Manhattan remains one of the most hilariously infamous Friday 13 entries because of how he broke his title promise in every way imaginable. Besides spending the first half of the film on a boat and the rest in a wet sewage system, Jason Voorhees never “took Manhattan” because he was truly in Canada.

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Due to the high cost of filming in New York, Jason takes Manhattan filming spread between seven American locations and Vancouver, Canada. The latter was used for primary scenes, such as the chase down the alley. Jason had a scene in New York (especially Times Square), but it was a quick cut that was filmed after the fact.


6 Four of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies were not made in Texas



Leatherface rolls out his chainsaw in Texas Chainsaw 3D

As the franchise title suggests, Leatherface, the Sawyer clan, and their legacy are linked in Texas. Not only were the stories and killers of the show firmly entrenched in Texan culture and life, most were also filmed in a sunburnt state. This does not apply to four of the current nine films, two of which were not even shot in the United States.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was filmed in California but, to be fair, the characters were on their way to California. In the same way, The Texas 3D chainsaw was filmed in Louisiana, while Leatherface’s last two films—Leatherface and Chainsaw Massacre (2022) – were filmed in Bulgaria for budgetary reasons.


5 None of the Amityville movies were shot in Amityville, New York City



The Lutzs pose outside their new home in Amityville horror

Though debunked long ago, the Haunting of Amityville is still one of the most iconic and memorable urban legends that have emerged from the village of Amityville in Long Island, New York. The hauntings of December 1975 inspired Amityville Horror and its remake 2oo5, which were filmed in New Jersey or Illinois and Wisconsin respectively.

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The countless anonymous adaptations and interpretations of the Lutz family’s stay in the infamous Haunted House have also been filmed in remote locations on Long Island, like Mexico City or even Canada. Oddly, the closest exception is the direct to DVD function. Amityville: Vanishing Point, which was filmed in Staten Island, New York.


4 Hamburger Hill was shot in the Philippines, not Vietnam



Surviving soldiers take a break at Hamburger Hill

During the Vietnam War (particularly in May 1969), US forces attacked the fortified North Vietnamese encampment in Dong Ap Bia Mountain. For Americans, the mountain was Hill 937 or Hamburger Hill, and it was located between the borders of Laos and Vietnam. Hamburger Hill’s “Vietnam” was actually the Philippines.

This was not new, as most of the wars in Vietnam the films were shot in the Philippines. Besides the fact that the Philippines cannot be visually distinguished from Vietnam for casual moviegoers, American productions were hardly ever allowed in Vietnam for obvious political reasons. In contrast, the Philippines eagerly welcomed American filmmakers.




3 The Bridge over the River Kwai was shot in Sri Lanka, not Thailand



Colonel Nicholson observes his work on the River Kwai Bridge

The River Kwai Bridge is considered one of the greatest films ever made, and it should be noted that it is a heavily dramatized and sensationalistic tale of similar railway bridge constructions during WWII. The fictionalization also extended to production, as the film was not shot near the real River Kwai.

The Khwae Yai River is located in Thailand, but the river, bridge, and camps in the movie were found in Kitulgala, Sri Lanka. The film was shot in Sri Lanka, but it still had an impact on Thailand. Previously, the Khwae Yai River was called the Mae Klong River. After the film success, the Thai government changed its name to boost tourism.


2 Chicago was filmed in Canada, not Chicago



Roxy and Velma enjoy their fame in Chicago

If his title was anything, Chicago was a very American musical and period piece about the Roaring Twenties and the famous city. The production told a different story, as it was shot entirely in Ontario and Toronto, Canada to keep costs down and save on the budget. Naturally, this caused a hilarious backlash among Chicagoans.

Although Chicago was adored and well received, almost everyone who watched the stellar musical didn’t miss the chance to poke fun at it for not even having a scene filmed in the titular city. One of the production’s most famous detractors was Roger Ebert, himself a Chicago resident, who got angry with that of Chicago filming audience based in Canada.


1 Borat was shot in Romania, not Kazakhstan



Borat gives Borat a tour of his hometown

Si Borat Sagdiyev and his titular fake documentary (full title: Borat! America’s Cultural Learnings for the Benefit of the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) are to be taken at face value, they are from Kazakhstan. As is now known, Borat had nothing to do with the Central Asian country, and the same goes for the production despite the film’s title.

The scenes set in the so-called Kazakh city of Borat were filmed in Glod, Romania. by Borat The portrayal of Glod as an incestuous and ignorant Kazakh town actually angered locals so much that they took legal action. Romania was again used to Borat’s later films Kazakh scenes, but not in God.

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