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Arts & Culture

Best Movies Set In Philadelphia

October 27, 2010 2:44 PM

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A scene from "Rocky" featuring Sylvester Stallone running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

A scene from “Rocky” featuring Sylvester Stallone running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (credit: United Artist)

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

Kevin Dunn, Shia LaBeouf and Julie White in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"

Kevin Dunn, Shia LaBeouf and Julie White in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (credit: Dreamworks LLC/Paramount Pictures).

 

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.

M. Night Shyamalan on the set of the film "The Sixth Sense."

M. Night Shyamalan on the set of the film "The Sixth Sense." (credit: Ron Phillips/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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.

Actors Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are seen in a still from the 1993 movie "Philadelphia."

Actors Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are seen in a still from the 1993 movie "Philadelphia." (credit: TriStar Pictures)

 

Philadelphia

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.

Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd are seen in this still from "Trading Places."

Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd are seen in this still from "Trading Places." (credit: Paramount Pictures)

 

Trading Places

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.

A scene from "Rocky" featuring Sylvester Stallone running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

A scene from "Rocky" featuring Sylvester Stallone running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (credit: United Artist)

 

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.

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