Classic Movies Filmed in Chicago
Bueller? Bueller? Did you know that the famous flick “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was based in Chicago? The popular ‘80s movie “Sixteen Candles” was also filmed in the Windy City, as well as “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Blues Brothers,” “The Untouchables” and “When Harry Met Sally.”
The tall skyscrapers, the unique restaurants and the famous landmarks are just a few of the reasons why many producers and filmmakers choose Chicago as a backdrop for their hit movies. Here are a few of the movies filmed in Chi-town and where you can explore to see where your favorite actors once delivered their lines.
Blues Brothers (1980)
Moving from their “Saturday Night Live” skits to the big screen, comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi star in this movie about redemption. The two take on a “mission from God” to save the Catholic orphanage in which they grew up from foreclosure. In order to do so, they must organize a performance with their band, the Blues Brothers. This is no easy task as there are many hurdles thrown in their way, including a relentless police pursuit. “Blues Brothers” was credited with putting Chicago on the map as a venue for filmmaking. Some of the landmarks you’ll recognize in the movie are Wrigley Field and the South Shore Cultural Center, which was the location for the Palace Hotel Ballroom, where the band performs.
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Sixteen Candles (1984)
Teenage years are rough; you go through awkward phases, including falling in love with someone who may not love you back, a difficult family who just doesn’t seem to understand and general growing pains. The story is no different for high school sophomore Sam Baker, played by Molly Ringwald. This popular ‘80s flick was filmed primarily in Chicago’s suburban neighborhoods of Skokie and Highland Park, Ill. The majority of the exterior scenes were filmed at Niles East High School, close to downtown Skokie. The other communities featured were Evanston and Glencoe, where the final scenes of the film take place.
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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Following Matthew Broderick’s character Ferris Bueller, this film goes along with a high school senior who decides to skip school for a day and explore downtown Chicago with his girlfriend and best friend by his side. Some of the famous Chicago landmarks that were featured in the film included the then-Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago and Wrigley Field, where the trio enjoyed a Cubs game. One of the most notable scenes was when Ferris took the stage of a float and sang “Danke Schoen” and “Twist and Shout” in front of a crowd at the Von Steuben Day parade.
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High Fidelity (2000)
Don’t understand women? Neither does John Cusack’s character, Rob Gordon, in “High Fidelity.” This movie takes you on a journey with a self-confessed audiophile who tries to understand women and his relationships with women. Based on Nick Hornby’s book of the same name, the film stayed true to the book with the exception of the main character’s last name and changing the setting from London to Chicago because of the familiarity of Chicago, as well as the “great alternative music scene,” according to producer Steve Pink.
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The Dark Knight (2008)
Directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight” is a sequel to 2005’s “Batman Begins.” Warner Bros. decided to film in Chicago as Nolan claims he had a “truly remarkable experience” filming “Batman Begins” in the Windy City. To showcase Gotham City, the filmmakers used 34 different locations around Chicago, including the legendary bar Twin Anchors. Other prominent locations included Navy Pier, Millennium Station, Hotel 71, James R. Thompson Center and LaSalle Street.
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