10 motion picture favorites starring Pittsburgh

Gene Selby

What would make Pittsburgh such an appealing movie locale? Tax credits for movie organizations are just the commencing, says Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Movie Business. “We have this sort of a variety of places. Pittsburgh can glance like any spot in the environment,” she claims. “The only matters […]

What would make Pittsburgh such an appealing movie locale?

Tax credits for movie organizations are just the commencing, says Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Movie Business.

“We have this sort of a variety of places. Pittsburgh can glance like any spot in the environment,” she claims. “The only matters we never have are a beach and a desert.

“We do New York superior than New York,” she says. “We’ve been San Francisco, Paris, Ukraine and Atlanta.”

There is the beauty of the city considered from the West Stop Overlook or Mt. Washington and downtown’s blend of modern-day and historical architecture, she claims. Push for an hour and you have mountains, tiny cities, farmland and other interesting configurations.

The metropolis also does a wonderful career of accommodating movie-makers, in logistics such as closing down streets, Keezer states. And Pittsburghers by themselves give a heat welcome to anyone from the stars to the crew.

Fond favorites

Keezer states a single of her favored homegrown films is “Flashdance,” the 1983 romantic drama starring Jennifer Beals as a steelworker who aspires to be a professional ballet dancer: “It’s so substantially enjoyment, and it’s quintessential Pittsburgh.”

She also has a fondness for the two finest photograph Oscar winners, “The Deer Hunter” and “Silence of the Lambs.”

“Deer Hunter” also is a favourite of Alyssa Bruno Walls, a community actor who portrays Rosie the Riveter and is musical director for Leechburg Location Faculty District.

“Every time I glimpse at Meryl Streep in that film, I see my mother when she married my father,” she claims. “She utilised to get advised she seemed like (Streep) all of the time.”

Jeanne-Claude Van Damme’s 1995 action-thriller, “Sudden Demise,” ranks substantial with Tony Marino, co-founder of Stage Correct in Greensburg, “because I’m in it.”

Marino also likes “Won’t Back again Down,” because it is his son Anthony’s initial expert film credit. The 2012 launch stars Viola Davis and Holly Hunter as mothers attempting to help save a failing Pittsburgh internal-metropolis faculty.

Being “old school,” Greensburg actor and mediations legal professional John Noble states “1978’s frightful post-Vietnam era ‘The Deer Hunter’ tops the checklist with the at any time-so-youthful Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep.” He also likes “Flashdance” and “Sudden Death” for his buddy and fellow entertainer Marino’s cameo as a popcorn vendor.

Noble, founder of Westmoreland Evening of the Stars, also offers an honorable point out to “Striking Length,” from 1993 with Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“Not a excellent film, but gorgeous river views of the town,” he states.

Very a large amount of movies

In her 26 years at the film place of work, Keezer says, there have been far more that 250 film tasks in the city.

“We did have a partnership with Big Eagle Video clip (bear in mind when we rented videos and DVDs in shop?),” she suggests. “They made a ‘Filmed in Pittsburgh’ label and marked all the built-in-Pittsburgh movies with the label. They experienced also designed a brochure that you could get and check off the Pittsburgh films you had found.

“It was a fun notion and aided them hire far more video clips and get the Pittsburgh-created movies far more notice,” she says.

Now, the film place of work website has a page listing them, equally theater releases and motion pictures produced for tv and streaming.

That’s are plenty of selections for a weekend Pittsburgh motion picture marathon, if wintertime weather or social distancing demands just one.

Adhering to are 10 suggested videos, in chronological order of launch, picked out not for inventive benefit or awards earned, but only for the highlight they place on the metropolis by itself. Get a snack and a cold consume, queue them up and see how lots of legendary Pittsburgh locations you can establish.


Nevertheless numerous scenes have been filmed in Los Angeles, there is adequate of the Metal Metropolis to make it a Pittsburgh movie. Do not neglect, she’s a steelworker, and there are loads of on-the-job scenes.

Beals’ character bikes throughout the Smithfield Bridge from her house in Fineview. She visits her mentor’s property at 2100 Sidney St. in the South Side Flats.

Panicking at an audition established in the Carnegie Museum of Organic Background, she flees through the adjoining Hall of Sculpture, and she hugs her boyfriend on a leaf-strewn sidewalk outdoors. Viewers get legendary metropolis sights as she will take a journey on the Duquesne Incline.


‘Striking Distance’

Willis stars as a Pittsburgh homicide detective on the outs with his fellow officers as he pursues a serial killer identified as the Polish Hill Strangler. The thriller at first was called “Three Rivers.” How Pittsburgh is that?

The Strangler sales opportunities Willis and his fellow-cop father on a chase filmed on Bigelow Boulevard, Mount Troy Hill Road, Ridgeway Avenue, the Armstrong Tunnel and a maze of Downtown streets. View for the collision of a Port Authority bus and an Iron Town Beer truck.

Other places bundled Pittsburgh City Corridor, Position State Park, Allegheny County Courthouse, Mt. Washington and Neville Island, along with close by Duquesne, Elizabeth, Monessen and Natrona.

‘Inspector Gadget’

It is identified as Riverton City in the 1999 movie, but it’s unmistakably Pittsburgh. Starring as the bumbling sleuth, Matthew Broderick life in the South Side Slopes, at the corner of St. Leo and Roscoe streets, and flies his Go Go Gadget Copter about Liberty Avenue.

There also are aerial photographs of Downtown’s Stanwix Road, Forbes Avenue, Wooden Avenue and the Boulevard of the Allies. The Sixth Street (Roberto Clemente) Bridge has a well known job, as does PPG Plaza, and Level State Park also tends to make an visual appeal.


‘Wonder Boys’

Everyone who has trod Pittsburgh’s hallowed halls of academe will identify several Carnegie Mellon College places in the 2000 adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon’s novel. Michael Douglas performs an English professor plagued by dependancy, writer’s block and questionable romantic options in the dim comedy with an unexpectedly sweet ending.

The Burgh’s bridges are a recurring motif, and areas involve Friendship and the campuses of Shady Facet Academy and Chatham University. Countless numbers of web pages of the only copy of Douglas’ never ever-completed novel close up scattered alongside the financial institutions of the Ohio River in Beaver.

Enjoyment fact: Chabon, who analyzed at CMU and graduated from the College of Pittsburgh, gave the Bellefield Boiler Plant in Oakland its enduring nickname, “the Cloud Factory,” in his 1984 debut novel, “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.”



The 2009 coming-of-age comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart was largely filmed at Kennywood in West Mifflin. Most of the scenes get place in the video games space, wherever the figures perform, but the Phantom’s Revenge roller coaster can be spotted in many shots, together with the vintage wooden coasters Thunderbolt, Racer and Jack Rabbit.

A little something of a box-business office dud when it was introduced, the film has considering the fact that made a cult next.

‘Jack Reacher’

It is worth observing just for the sight of megastar Tom Cruise boarding a PAT bus, if not for the dizzying chase with Cruise going the incorrect way through the Armstrong Tunnel at the wheel of a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle.

Filmed entirely in Pittsburgh, the 2012 motion picture tracks Cruise as a former Army investigator, now an enigmatic drifter, on the path of a sniper firing throughout the Allegheny River to decide on off victims on the Riverfront Walk in the vicinity of PNC Park. The hunt also requires him to the South Side Slopes, Strip District and Sewickley.


‘The Dim Knight Rises’

Batman will come out of exile in the 2012 movie to conserve Gotham City from extremely-villain Bane. The jail breakout and brawl scene between law enforcement officers and escaped prisoners was established at Carnegie Mellon’s Application Engineering Institute and the Mellon Institute of Industrial Investigate.

Heinz Industry is destroyed digitally as Bane sets off underground bombs throughout Gotham that trigger the field to collapse, as previous Steelers star Hines Ward operates for his lifestyle — and returns a kickoff for a touchdown in the process. Pittsburghers will spy other Steelers on the sidelines (and chuckle at the identify on the kicker’s jersey.)

‘The Perks of Currently being a Wallflower’

A socially uncomfortable teenager is drawn into the orbit of two absolutely free-spirited, charismatic classmates who instruct him the joys of friendship and tunes, although a teacher can help him produce his love of creating.

The legendary scene in this 2012 film is a experience by means of the Fort Pitt Tunnel heading toward the nighttime check out of downtown, as Emma Watson’s character stands in the again of a pickup with arms outstretched as David Bowie’s “Heroes” blasts from the radio — a deed the protagonist repeats in the remaining scene.

Settings also incorporate Peters Township Large College in McMurray, the Hollywood Theater in Dormont and King’s Household Restaurant in Higher St. Clair.



A property on Anaheim Road in the Hill District was the location for the 2016 film adaptation of Pittsburgh-born playwright August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-successful participate in. A performing-course African-American man’s struggles with his own missing options guide him to dash his son’s hopes for a football job.

Set in 1957, the tense spouse and children drama instructions authenticity by working with artifacts from legendary Hill District venues like the Pittsburgh Courier and the Granville Hotel Bar & Grill. Scenes also were shot in the West Close, at the Allegheny County Courthouse and in Oakland. The leading of downtown’s Gulf Tower is seen in the track record of specified scenes.

https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=CRlBgbni9no

‘A Attractive Day in the Neighborhood’

Thank all those tax credits for the 2019 movie about Fred Rogers remaining filmed mostly in Pittsburgh, Keezer informed the Tribune-Overview in 2019. She and some others championed the cause, making confident that the motion picture about Western Pennsylvania’s most loved neighbor, performed by Tom Hanks, was filmed in his old stomping grounds.

Scenes have been shot in WQED’s Oakland studios where by “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” was filmed, and also in the Jewish Group Centre in Squirrel Hill, in which Rogers worked out. Other spots bundled the downtown William Penn Lodge, Port Authority Bus Terminal and a Chinese restaurant.

Extras in the cafe scene had been actual-life citizens of Roger’s neighborhood, like his widow, the late Joanne Rogers producers Bill Isler, Hedda Sharapan and Margaret Whitmer and David Newell, who portrayed Mr. McFeely.

https://www.youtube.com/check out?v=9AzXX_2BrVk

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review personnel author. You can call Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or by means of Twitter .

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