I found this article at Chicago Magazine online about the top 40 movies filmed in Chicago: Top 40 Chicago Movies
There are some great ones on there and some I had no idea was even filmed here. Some are a stretch as sometimes people from here like to find the “Chicago Connection” to everything.
For example, when Crystal Bowersox (who is from Toledo, Ohio) was in the running on American Idol last year, the media here kept on connecting her to Chicago…” she used to wait tables here for a year“, “she panhandled at the El stop at Diversey“, “she got her hair done here“….anything to put her from this area.
Then she had to go and get married here at Uncommon Ground last year.
I am sure it’s like this in big cities, small towns and little burgs all over the US and the World. People like to connect with something bigger than themselves.
So here is my list of top Chicago filmed/based movies.
My Favorite Chicago Movies
1- Return To Me (2000)
My all-time favorite movie ever (besides The Color Purple). I cannot say enough wonderful things about this movie: the city looks just spectacular in the movie and they really got Lincoln Park’s vibe down to the restaurant that the family owns. Bonnie Hunt wrote this movie and she is from Chicago so she made sure her city was represented well. Beautiful story, great characters and I always cry when the gorilla touches his hand to the glass at the zoo.
Best line of the movie– “Grace has Bob’s dead wife’s heart“
2- The Blues Brothers (1980)
The best way to represent this classic cult film (entirely filmed in the Chicago area and some spots are within 10 minutes of my neighborhood) is to list some great quotes.
–How often does the train go by? So often that you won’t even notice it.
–Are you the police? No, ma’am. We’re musicians.
–They’re not gonna catch us. We’re on a mission from God.
–Baby clothes… This place has got everything.
– Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.
3- Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink aka- any John Hughes movie (1984,1985,1986 respectively)
There is really no explanation needed if you grew up in the ’80s. These were our coming of age movies. Not sure what movies compare to these for teens now but these films are ageless and can resonate with pretty much any generation. If you have never seen one of these movies, I urge you to rent one this weekend. Oh, and if you live near me, I will be over with popcorn and ice cream.
Best line of the whole bunch (this was really hard to narrow down)
“I can’t believe my grandmother just felt me up“
4- Only The Lonely (1991)
Portrays. Chicago. Perfectly.
My favorite scene in the movie is when John Candy and Ally Sheedy are walking the city all night and the sunrise comes up over the lake shore and the song “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison plays.
My husband and I loved this song so much that we had it played at our wedding.
I should also say that Maureen O’Hara is perfect in her role as an overbearing Irish mother.
My husband says that her character was his Irish grandmother. To. The. Tee.
I say it is my Scottish mother in law. To. The. Tee.
Best line of the movie–
“Sometimes it’s good to be a cop“
5- While You Were Sleeping (1995)
I love Sandra Bullock especially in her early films before she got all famous and stuff. She was just so good at playing the average girl because she was an average girl. This movie has it all, great characters, great Chicago city scenes from the train station to Michigan Avenue to the apartments on the north side. Even the Chicago accent is represented.
Best line of the movie–
“The truth was that I fell in love with you. “
There were so many more that I wanted to list (The Fugitive, Ferris Bueller, Uncle Buck….the list goes on) but the above were on the top of my list.
Thanks to IMDB (love this site!) for the quotes (some I remembered by heart but needed help with others)