Hollywood isn’t the only town that produces box office gold and Academy Award-winning movies. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been the scene for many top films in the past and will in the future. The City of Brotherly Love loves the movie business. The city government even has a department just for movie makers, the Greater Philadelphia News Office. Here is a brief list of the most popular movies made in Philly.
The popular franchise about boxer Rocky Balboa launched Sylvester Stallone to superstardom features Philadelphia scenery and accents. The steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum became the most famous set of steps in the world because of this film. The first Rocky film won worldwide acclaim and over $225 million worldwide. Subsequent sequels also featured scenes in Philly.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
This successful spooky thriller about a boy that sees dead people made director M. Night Shyamalan a household name. Starring Bruce Willis, the film raked in more than $700 million worldwide and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. The city of Philadelphia is used as a silent brooding character, with shots of crowded SEPTA bus interiors and gargoyles that do actually exist on some building walls.
This comedy was a surprise hit for 1987. A worker in a department store discovers that a shop mannequin, played by Kim Cattral, is alive. One of Philadelphia’s icons, the store Wannamaker’s, hosted the fictitious department store. Although Wannamaker’s closed and became a Macy’s, the film still earns fans today. Some scenes were filmed in Hershey, Pennsylvania which is about 90 minutes from Philadelphia.
Although many scenes were filmed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, key scenes of this tense drama were filmed in Center City, including a murder scene at the actual 30th Street station. Harrison Ford earned a Best Actor nomination as a tough Philly cop who has to hide as an Amish man in order to help catch a murderer. The little movie that could earned nearly $70 million in the United States.
No list of films made in Philadelphia is complete without Jonathan Demme’s Academy Award winning legal drama. The legal industry was one of the leading industries in Philadelphia at the time the film was made. The film won numerous Oscars, including Best Original Song for Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” (with a video filmed in Philly) and Best Actor for Tom Hanks.