Local Culture

Wholesome or Horrible: Wisconsin Through the Hollywood Lens

Ty Randerson |

Alice Cooper in Wayne's World.
Alice Cooper gets into Milwaukee during a scene from Wayne's World.

How many movies can you name with characters from Wisconsin? What about movies that just reference Wisconsin? Even the non-film buffs among us can probably name quite a few. That's because Hollywood seems to have quite the obsession with our great state.

Films set in Wisconsin 

Wisconsin Public Radio even had an episode dedicated to just that topic not too long ago. And as they point out, it seems that whenever Hollywood wants to create a character with a wholesome background or banish someone to a horrible place – they end up with Wisconsin. (And I won't even get into Making a Murderer.)

That and much more are part of an exhibit currently running at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison. The exhibit, titled "Wisconsin Goes Hollywood", looks how we as a state are portrayed in television and film. 

You can read or listen to the whole WPR show for yourself and if you're traveling, the exhibit in Madison lasts until Feb. 13. In the meantime, here's a compilation of popular movies referencing Wisconsin!