Hometown Celluloid Heroes
|Once in a while - a great while - it is fun to be from Philadelphia. Especially when you are a movie fan. The upcoming Mark Wahlberg film Shooter was filmed in my hometown, and when I saw my fair city in the trailer, a post idea also appeared. Name the three best films shot in (or somewhat nearby) your town.|
My three are as follows (in reverse order):
3. Unbreakable. Remember when M. Night Shyamalan made good films? Unbreakable is, in my opinion, his best. Filmed in and around Philadelphia, this comic book inspired tale had you believing in superheroes. It was Heroes before Heroes. And, in classic Shyamalan fashion, the surprise ending was a jaw-dropper. Take a few points off its total because of Samuel Jackson's terrible hair, but otherwise, this is a truly great movie.
2. Rocky. What? You thought this would be an easy number one? Please. The Academy Award winner for Best Picture (1976) is one of the all-time greats, but the original Rocky didn't make my number one out of spite. I mean, everyone in this berg just gushes over the film so much that it loses some of its appeal. It's a great story with a great ending, filmed in and around some once-great neighborhoods. Take a few points off its total because those same neighborhoods are now crack-infested homicide dens. I should know, I pushed a patrol car around there for six years, and my first homicide occurred just down the street from Adrian and Paulie's house.
1. Witness. I love this film. Harrison Ford. Kelly McGillis. Danny Glover before he became a liberal hippie. And a bunch of Amish and faux Amish (like Viggo Mortensen and Alexander Gudonov) actors. The movie was shot in Philadelphia and nearby Lancaster County, expertly contrasting the filth of the city and the purity of Amish Country. In my opinion, Witness does more for this city and its surrounding region than Rocky ever will, because it is honest. When you watch the scenes inside the police stations, they are just as dingy and dirty as they are now. The streets are tough and the cops are tougher. It's Philly, man. Without the candy topping.
So, does anyone else want to play? Let's hear three of your local favorites.