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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

List: Alaska Movies (and one television show)

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the new Republican nominee for Vice-President, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, here’s a list of movies that take place in Alaska:

1. North to Alaska This easy-going comic “Northern” (that’s a western set up north) stars John Wayne and the lovely Capucine

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2. The Gold Rush Charlie Chaplin memorably turns shoelaces into spaghetti in this Klondike classic.

3. Mystery, Alaska Russell Crowe is a hockey player on an underdog team from a small Alaska town that takes on the pros.

4. Insomnia If you have insomnia, going to a place with no nights is probably not a good idea, especially if you’re investigating a murder. Three Oscar-winners — Al Pacino, Hillary Swank, and Robin Williams — star in this remake of a Norwegian thriller written and directed by “The Dark Knight’s” Christopher Nolan.

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5. Grizzly Man Werner Herzog’s tragic documentary about a man who wanted to live with grizzly bears is a thoughtful meditation on the impulse to go to extremes.

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6. Into the Wild Sean Penn wrote and directed this fact-based story of a young man who wanted to leave everything behind and died in the Alaskan countryside.

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7. Balto Kevin Bacon provides voice talent in this animated film based on the true story of the dog who saved the lives of Alaskan children by delivering essential medicine. There’s a statue in his honor in New York’s Central Park.

8. Road to Utopia Hope and Crosby’s “Road” travels take them to Alaska in this silly comedy.

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9. The Simpsons Movie Homer Simpson leaves Springfield for Alaska in the first feature film from this record-breaking comedy classic television series.

10. Northern Exposure This beloved television series about a naive young doctor is well loved for its endearing characters and understated humor.

  • Dustin Putman

    Nice list, Nell. Might I also add that one of my favorite Alaska-set films is John Sayles’ picturesque yet searing 1999 drama “Limbo.” Great scenery, wonderful performances from Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and David Strathairn, a first half that focuses almost wholly on the milieu of what it is like to live in small-town Alaska, and a second that turns into something much more tragic and unpredictable. Kudos, also, to a highly controversial and unorthodox ending that, I think, is just perfect.
    For families: the adventure pic “Alaska,” starring Thora Birch, Vincent Kartheiser and Charlton Heston.

  • Alicia

    “The Gold Rush” is my favorite Chaplin movie, Nell. “Grizzly Man” and “Into the Wild” were both excellent, and “Mystery, Alaska,” was a lot of fun (I used to enjoy Russell Crowe movies before I decided he was a jerk). Thanks for the list.

  • Leon Speencer

    OMG Nell. This isn’t hinting at who you’ll be voting for in November is it?

  • Nell Minow

    Leon, the only think it’s hinting at is what movies I like to watch!

  • Lorraine

    Nell
    I am trying to remember a movie I have seen only once. All I can recall, is a waitress acquires an unfinished house/cabin from her ex husband I think in Alaska, quits her job, takes a battered housewife with her, finds vagrants in the unfinished frame of the cabin, somehow the battered girl meets a truck driver, and they write letters back and forth, and he comes to visit once. Can yo help me with the tittle or at least who was in this movie? I am guessing it is about 20 years old maybe

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Hi, Lorraine! That movie is “Leaving Normal,” with Christine Lahti and Meg Tilly. Thanks for writing!

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