Philadelphia has long been known as America’s City of Brotherly Love.
The city was founded in 1682 by William Penn, who named his new settlement after the biblical town of Bethlehem.
Over time, Philadelphia became a major port, manufacturing center, and cultural hub.
Today, Philadelphia is home to some of the country’s top universities, museums, and attractions.
Philadelphia has served as the backdrop for countless films over the years.
From classic Hollywood blockbusters to independent dramas, the city has played host to some of the biggest names in film history.
Here are some of the best movies filmed in Philadelphia.
“The Italian Job” – 2003
In this remake of the 1969 heist movie, Brian De Palma directs an ensemble cast including Brad Pitt, Shia LeBoeuf, Jason Statham, Edward Norton, Benicio Del Toro, Rosario Dawson, Ian McShane, Harvey Keitel, and Orlando Bloom.
Two brothers, Mickey and Mallory Knox, discover that their parents have left them millions of dollars, but must hurry up and spend it before the IRS catches on.
This film was partly shot in Philadelphia.
“Rocky” – 1976
This boxing drama stars Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, a Philadelphia native whose dreams of becoming champion are challenged by Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).
Filmed almost entirely in Philly, this movie also features appearances from professional wrestlers Andre the Giant and Chief Jay Strongbow.
All the subsequent Rocky films were also shot entirely in Philadelphia.
“Blow Out” – 1981
Written and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, Blow Out follows a New York sound engineer who becomes obsessed with a recording of a murder.
He begins to investigate the case as he finds himself caught up in its deadly web.
Filming locations for this movie including Philadelphia City Hall, Wissahickon Bridge and 30th Street Station.
“Mannequin” – 1987
A young woman moves into a run-down apartment building where she befriends a mysterious stranger.
As they grow closer, she discovers that her new friend may not be quite what he seems.
Filming locations for this movie include Macy’s Center City, Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia and Locust and 15th Street.
“Philadelphia” – 1993
Unsurprisingly, this film was entirely shot in Philadelphia.
Starring Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Joe Mantegna, Jack Lemmon and John Cusack, Philadelphia tells the story of a struggling writer who returns to his hometown to cover the trial of a former high school classmate accused of murdering a radio DJ.
“The Sixth Sense” – 1999
Our sixth spot is going to The Sixth Sense. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense revolves around Cole Sear, a boy who can see dead people.
After witnessing a brutal murder, Cole grows increasingly worried about his ability to trust others.
M. Night Shyamalan was raised in Philadelphia and has remained loyal to his home city. You will find that all of his movies contain shots in Philadelphia.
“National Treasure” – 2004
In this action comedy, Nicolas Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, a man who uncovers clues hidden in paintings throughout Europe.
When the CIA learns of his efforts, they send along Parker Stevenson (Jon Voight), a treasure hunter who believes that the Founding Father buried a fortune in gold somewhere in France.
Filming took place in various parts of Philadelphia, including Old City, Rittenhouse Square, Fairmount Park and Penn’s Landing.
“Shooter” – 2007
Directed by Michael Mann, Shooter centers on two detectives investigating a string of murders committed by a sniper targeting wealthy businessmen.
While searching for a link between the victims, one detective falls under suspicion when a second victim turns out to be his own partner.
Filming locations included the Independence Hall and Municipal Services Building.
“Marley & Me” – 2008
This family drama starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston takes place in Philadelphia.
Marley is an adorable dog adopted by Annie (Aniston) and David (Jason Lee) after their daughter dies from leukemia. But soon, Marley proves to be more than just a pet.
“The Lovely Bones” – 2009
Based on Alice Sebold’s best-selling novel, The Lovely Bones stars Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon, a teenager who is murdered and watches helplessly as her body is discovered by her mother.
Her story is told through the eyes of her ghost, which inhabits her house and relays messages to her friends and family.
The majority of filming for this movie was shot in Philadelphia.
“Limitless” – 2011
A sci-fi thriller with Bradley Cooper at its center. In this film, Eddie Morra (Cooper) is diagnosed with a rare disease that requires him to take any drug in pill form.
He quickly becomes addicted to NZT-48, a new drug that allows him to think faster and solve crimes.
As he begins to use it more frequently, he finds himself becoming smarter and stronger.
Filming locations include the Philadelphia City Hall and Del Frisco’s.
“The Silver Linings Playbook” – 2012
Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a bipolar ex-convict whose life changes drastically after meeting Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence).
She helps him get back on track by teaching him how to live again.
This film was entirely shot in Philadelphia including shots filmed in the Archbishop Prendergast High School and Lansdowne Theater.
“Safe” – 2012
When a young boy disappears during a school field trip, his parents are forced to move into a safe house while the police search for answers.
They learn about the government’s secret program called Safe that monitors every American citizen.
After being recruited by the agency, the boy’s father must decide whether to turn over his son to them.
This movie included shots filmed at Girard College, Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has been home to many great films and television shows. It’s no wonder why people love visiting the city so much.
From the historic buildings to the beautiful scenery, it’s plain to see why directors and producers love to shoot in this beloved city.
Are there any movies we missed or any that you haven’t seen yet?
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘Movies About Redemption‘.
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