The City of Brotherly love has served as the backdrop for hundreds of feature films (and many music videos as well). From the obvious — Philadelphia and Rocky — to the not-so obvious — George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and David Lynch’s iconic Eraserhead — here’s a list of some of the best movies set in Philadelphia. — Nicola A. Menzie
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Released June 24, 2009
The second installment of the movie adaptation of everyone’s favorite cartoon now involves Sam Witwicky trying poorly to avoid getting caught up in an intergalactic war between Transformers and their foes the Decepticons.
Filming locations: There are quite a few scenes in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that showcase Philly but some notable scenes were filmed at City Hall, Eastern State Penitentiary, Fairmount Park, Free Library of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.
The Sixth Sense
Released Aug. 6, 1999
What could a kid who sees dead people and a child psychologist confused by his wife’s apparent aloofness possibly have in common? In the photo above, director and writer M. Night Shyamalan is seen with The Sixth Sense crew outside the home where actor Haley Joel Osment’s character, Cole, lives alone (well, almost alone) with his mom.
Filming locations: For the most part, The Sixth Sense is a Philly movie, but some notable scenes were filmed in St. Augustine Catholic Church at 4th and Vine Streets and the Striped Bass restaurant at 1500 Walnut Street.
Released Dec. 23, 1993
Tom Hanks plays opposite Denzel Washington in this film about a man living with AIDS wrongfully fired from a law firm who seeks the help of a homophobic lawyer in need of a break.
Filming locations: The prime filming location for Philadelphia, if the name doesn’t give any hints, is the City of Brotherly love, and viewers get a visual treat of the city from many angles and hot spots from the very beginning of the film. City Hall (seen in the image above), the Furness Building and Wachovia Spectrum are just some of the locales seen in the film.
Released June 8, 1983
Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, 1983. End of story. This classic comedy, which features Jamie Lee Curtis as a prostitute, shows how a privileged businessman and a serious crook get back at two wealthy old men for toying with their lives.
Filming locations: Trading Places is set in Philadelphia and shows many sides of the city — some glamorous and some not so glamorous. Some locales featured in the film are Independence Hall, City Hall and Rittenhouse Square.
Rocky I (II, III, IV, V and Rocky Balboa)
Released Dec. 3, 1976
Has Rocky Balboa finally hung up his gloves? Because if not, all of Philly will gladly gather around the city’s son once again to cheer the always-triumphant underdog as he takes on his arrogant, over-hyped adversary. Sylvester Stallone, a Philly native, shows special love to his city in the original Rocky as well as in subsequent titles.
Filming locations: Since the Rocky movies are based in Philly, Fairmount Park, Pat’s King of Steaks, City Hall and the Museum of Art (seen in the image above) are some of the easily recognizable locales in the 1976 feature film.