When it comes to size, at 8,968 square miles, New Hampshire ranks 44th. But with almost 1.4 million people, it actually moves up a bit as the 42nd most populated state. But these numbers certainly don’t mean that the state should be counted out for anything.
The Granite State is pretty proud of what it has to offer, so much so that its slogan is “You’re Going to Love It Here.” And many would agree, especially poets like Robert Frost, whose poems like “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” were actually inspired by the state.
Other offers from New Hampshire? Well, it’s not called the Granite State for nothing. There are literally tons of it in the state. Another major industry is tourism; many people flock to the state for its outdoor recreation, including skiing in the winter season.
The 9th state to enter the union is home to 4.8 million acres of forest, with 93 state parks, including Mount Washington State Park. Its mountain is not only the highest peak in the northeast US, but it also happens to have the worst weather on earth; the current world record for wind speed at 231 miles per hour occurred there in 1934.
Of course, there are a few areas where it falls short. There are no major sports teams, nor any seat belt laws for passengers over 18. At 13 miles long, it has the shortest coastline of all the states. But don’t get misled on the state’s water; there are over 1000 lakes or ponds and almost 40 rivers in the state, totaling over 40,000 miles.
It also has had more than one film crew visit over the years to use its scenery as a backdrop for movies. See below for a list of some of the most interesting:
Movies filmed in New Hampshire
This drama was actress Madeline Brewer’s first film role, although she has appeared on numerous TV shows. Here, she portrays Ali, a young woman trying to find her place in the world, which she believes might be where her late father had found his as a comic. Costars included Ann Dowd and Robbie Tann. Some filming was done in Portsmouth.
1 h 34 min | PG
Live Free or Die (2006)
Not to be confused with 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, this film was a comedy starring Zooey Deschanel, Michael Rapaport, and Judah Friedlander. A criminal who isn’t so great at committing crimes gets himself wrapped up in one that involves swindling a brother and sister. Some filming was done in Claremont.
1h 29m | R
Before I Sleep (2013)
This drama had an ensemble cast that included Tom Sizemore, David Warner, Bonnie Wright, and Eric Roberts. The film centers around an elderly poet who was once quite famous and revered and is now trying to wrong his many rights with family and friends. Some filming was done in Franconia.
1 h 20 min | NR
The Good Son(1993)
Hot off the heels of being the forgotten son in the first two Home Alone movies, Macaulay Culkin starred alongside Elijah Wood in this thriller about a young boy shipped off to live with his aunt and uncle and their violent son. The film was set in Maine, with some filming done in Newington and Jackson.
1 h 26 min | R
Mystery Team (2009)
This comedy starred in the group known as Derrick Comedy. It was both written by and starred Donald Glover, with appearances by many other comedic TV stars, such as Aubrey Plaza, Ellie Kemper, and Ben Schwartz. The mystery team consists of amateur detectives who want to prove that they’ve finally grown up. Filming was done in Manchester.
1 h 37 min | R
Love Comes Lately (2007)
This film was based on Polish author Issac Bashevis Singer’s short stories. It starred Otto Tausig, Barbara Hershey, and Rhea Perlman. An elderly and very eccentric writer in NYC heads to Hanover to work on his newest tale and gets himself embroiled in an actual mystery. Filming was done in Claremont.
1 h 21 min | 18+
The Skulls (2000)
This thriller starred Paul Walker, Joshua Jackson, and Leslie Bibb. Although far from having grown up privileged, Luke got good enough grades to be accepted to an Ivy League school. He is also accepted by The Skulls, a secret society, which turns out to be much less promising. Some filming was done in Hanover.
1 h 46 min | PG-13
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
This movie was Steve McQueen’s 18th and Faye Dunaway’s 4th. His Thomas Crown is the mastermind of a substantial robbery. Her Vicki Anderson is hired to try and retrieve the money. Which of course becomes quite an entangled romance. Some filming was done in Salem.
1 h 42 min | R
The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951)
This drama starred Lloyd Bridges and Dorothy Gish. It tells the story of a man who gets promoted to plant supervisor at his job, only to learn that he is now in the position to have to let several of his coworkers go. Filming was done in Portsmouth, Exeter, and Dover.
Our Town (1940)
Going from the small stage to the big screen, this romance had Martha Scott and William Holden in the lead roles. The film was very faithful to the play, except for the part where Emily dies; the film made it as if it was all a dream. The film was set in fictional Grover’s Corners, with some filming done in Petersborough.
1 h 38 min | 13+
This adventure movie was based in part on a 1981 picture book by Chris Van Allsburg. The first in the series, it starred Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, and David Alan Grier. A dangerous game that trapped a young boy decades ago is found by a pair of siblings. Some filming was done in Keene, Swanzey, and Jaffrey Center.
2 h 9 min | PG
Terror Train (1980)
Two years after Jamie Lee Curtis began being stalked by her crazed brother in the Halloween movie franchise, she starred in this horror film alongside Hart Bochner and Ben Johnson. This time, she is being stalked by a crazed killer aboard a train on New Year’s Eve. Some filming was done in Claremont.
1 h 36 min | R
This horror movie was based on a 1984 Stephen King (as Richard Bachman) novel. After a corrupt lawyer is found not guilty of running over a woman with his car by his friends in high places, her father curses him to never gain weight. In true King fashion, most of the movie was done in Maine, but there were some scenes in Portsmouth.
1 h 32 min | R
Yellow Brick Road (2010)
This horror movie starred Cassidy Freeman, Laura Heisler, and Anessa Ramsey. In 1940, an entire town up and left their homes after a viewing of The Wizard of Oz. No one knows why half were found dead and the other half was never seen again. Fifty years later, a group intends to discover what happened. Filming was done in Lancaster.
1 h 39 min | 18+
In Dreams (1999)
Director Neil Jordan’s 11th film, this horror movie starred Annette Bening, Robert Downey, Jr., and Aidan Quinn. After experiencing violent visions, followed by the death of her daughter in a similar manner to what she saw, a mother vows to stop the killer. Some filming was done in New Castle.
1 h 39 min | R
Lost Boundaries (1949)
Mel Ferrer’s first-ever starring role, this movie was based on a William Lindsay White short story. Other stars included Beatrice Pearson and Susan Douglas Rubeš. Convinced they will be prejudiced against in New Hampshire, an African American family pretends to be white. Some filming was done in New Castle.
1 h 39 min | NR
Beyond the Mat (1999)
This documentary looked at the lives of several professional wrestlers, including Terry Funk, Jake Roberts, and Mick Foley, as well as up-and-coming wrestlers of the time such as The Rock and Chyna. Narrator Barry Blaustein spent three years amidst the wrestling world. The film was shot all over the US, including Nashua.
1 h 43 min | R
While it might not be on the radar for every filmmaker out there due to its smaller size and northeastern location, there have been enough movies that had New Hampshire to thank for their setting over the years, that there are bound to be many more in the future.