Ranking The Best Movies Shot In Maine

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The state of Maine has no shortage of unique outdoor activities, such as canoeing, rafting and wildlife watching. In fact, BetMaine.com just the other day ranked the best Maine hiking trails for those interested in visiting The Pine Tree State. 

The beauty of Maine nature is also something the film industry has become aware of, with several notable movies being shot in the state over the past few decades. Did you know the 80's adaptation of Stephen King's "Pet Sematary" was shot in Hancock and Bangor? And Robin Williams and co. visited the state to shoot 1995's "Jumanji," as North Berwick's Olde Woolen Mill stood in for the Parrish Shoe Factory.

While those are some notables, it's time to get down to business. Which film takes the crown of best film shot in Maine? 

BetMaine.com used the “Films Shot in Maine” Wikipedia page as a starting basis for the research. We then utilized the following data points – IMDB rating, Rotten Tomatoes Audience score, Rotten Tomatoes Critic score, Box Office gross and Oscars recognition to create a weighted scoring system.

Read on below for the full list, and don't forget when the time comes this site is home to everything around Maine sports betting

Best Films Shot In Maine

Rank Work Total Points
1 Forrest Gump 102.67
2 A New Leaf (1971) 83.3
3 Blow the Man Down 78.67
4 Swallowed72.3
5 The Man Without a Face66
6 Jumanji 62
7 Pet Sematary (1989) 58.67
8 The Preacher’s Wife 54.67
9 Casper53.67
10 Message in a Bottle 53.3

Run Forrest, Run!

To little surprise, Tom Hanks' 1994 classic "Forrest Gump" easily took the crown for best film shot in Maine. An Oscars darling, a box office sensation and later a cable mainstay, the film is perhaps Hanks' most popular role, in a career littered with highlights. While yes, most of the film is set in Alabama, as we all know Forrest covered some ground. Per Wikipedia, the lighthouse that Forrest runs across to reach the Atlantic Ocean the first time is the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Maine.

After "Forrest Gump," our list gets a little eclectic, which feels fitting for Maine. At No. 2 is the well-regarded but still criminally under-seen "A New Leaf," a 1971 comedy from Elaine May. Haven't seen it? Put it on your list the next time you get sick of Halloween horror marathons.

Similarly, No. 3 is critically acclaimed, but somewhat little seen. "Blow The Man Down," a 2020 black comedy thriller, boasts a 98% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, and is available to stream on Amazon Prime. Check it out and let us know if it can rival "Forrest Gump" on this list for years to come.

Speaking of horror, No. 4 "Swallowed" must have made an impression on a certain audience. The gory 2022 film was shot entirely in Maine, and horror fans love the tale of a couple never-do-wells who try to smuggle drugs in a creative, fatal way. At No. 5 is Mel Gibson's "The Man Without a Face," which gained favorable reviews and a decent box office performance before Gibson's career took a turn for the worse off screen.

The later half of the list has some more well-known films, such as "Jumanji," "Pet Sematary," Denzel Washington's "The Preacher's Wife" and "Casper." 

Keep tabs on BetMaine.com if you liked this research piece. In the leadup to Maine betting apps, we're keeping busy with pieces like this, including: The Best Stephen King Adaptations.


Thomas Leary is a news editor and writer for BetMaine.com. He previously spent six years at Sports Business Journal, where he helped identify emerging sectors across sports business, such as legalized gambling, and helped launch a digital newsletter division. Thomas lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife Emmie and their dog, Pickles.