Another week, another business trip... this time to good ole' Chi-town. Although I had little time to actually enjoy the city, it did allow me to reminisce about some of my favorite movies based in the windy city. Some good, some great, and some that are neither but have a special place in my heart.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
The Untouchables (1987)
Brian DePalma's film about Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) who assembles a team of lawmen to bring down Chicago crime boss Al Capone (Robert DeNiro). Although heavily fictional, this great story is set against Chicago's classic architecture still indicative of the time period in which it is based.
Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Naive babysitter (Elizabeth Shue) find herself swept up into one crazy night as she is forced to drag the kids she's watching all around Chicago to save her friend who is stuck at a shady bus stop downtown. They cheat by shooting a lot of this in Canada, but still has some recognizable Chicago locations.
Home Alone (1990)
Shot exclusively in the Chicago area, this movie is about two firefighter brothers who are at odds with each other, but must learn to work together while an arsonist is on the loose. Stars Kurt Russell, Robert DeNiro, Donald Sutherland, and Jennifer Jason Leigh who highlight a stellar cast... oh, and Billy Baldwin has a starring role in this for some reason.
The Fugitive (1993)
Harrison Ford plays a Chicagoan doctor who is falsely accused for the murder of his wife and is on the run to gather proof of his innocence. Lots of Chicago locations including a fight scene on the L train. Great thriller co-starring Tommy Lee Jones as the FBI agent hot on Ford's trail.
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Pre-reality-TV documentary about two kids from inner-city Chicago who pursue their dreams of playing in the NBA. Excellent filmmaking as we watch them turn into young men and witness the ups and downs of their lives.
Stir of Echoes (1999)
Kevin Bacon stars as a man who is haunted by a restless spirit and is compelled to solve the mystery of her death. Set and filmed in a blue-collar Chicago neighborhood that sets the stage for this intimate story.
Road to Perdition (2002)
Set in the Great Depression, a hit man (Tom Hanks) must protect his son after he becomes a witness to his father's line of work. Chicago and its surrounding area was chosen by director Sam Mendes due to all of the historical architecture that fit with the era in which it was based.
Batman Begins (2005) / The Dark Knight (2008) / The Dark Knight Rises (2011)
Although Gotham City is a derivative of many metropolises (metropoli?), Christopher Nolan thought that Chicago was the best representation visually and shot much of his Batman trilogy here (sorry New York... well, not really sorry).