Philadelphia Films That Highlight the City

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The beautiful city of Philadelphia is the sixth most populated city in the country. Philly is one of the world’s most famous cities for a number of reasons including the Liberty Bell, cheesesteaks, and its rich American history. Philly is also a very popular location in the filming industry with many big Hollywood movies having been shot here. So, in your free time, sit back, relax and enjoy an immersive experience with the following Philadelphia films.

You don’t have to be in Philly to explore the city. In this article, we dive into some movies set in Philadelphia:

The Rocky Franchise (1976)

This cult classic starring the very muscular Sylvester Stallone is an action-packed movie that promises to keep you on the edge of your seat. Known as one of the most popular movies shot in Philadelphia, the Rocky series will always be iconic.

The franchise is about the boxing career of the fictional boxer “Rocky Balboa” fighting for his dignity and title. Some famous Philly locations in the movie include the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Zoo. Props from the movie can still be found in the city, including the famous Rocky statue at the Museum of Art and the fictional grave of Adrian Balboa in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

The Rocky franchise includes Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990) and a much-delayed Rocky Balboa (2006).

The Creed Franchise (2015)

A sequel to one of the best Philadelphia movies (Rocky), Creed (2015) and Creed II (2018) are both the seventh and eighth spin-offs of the original Rocky movie. Also set in the city of Philly, the movie stars the sexy Michael B. Jordan who plays the role of Adonis Creed, who is the son of Rocky’s former deceased friend and rival Apollo Creed.

Adonis is trained by Rocky in the movie to be the world light heavyweight champion. Some Philly locations featured in the film include Laurel Hill Cemetery and the music venue Johnny Brenda’s, along with Max’s, a cheesesteak shop.

Marley and Me (2008)

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston star in this charming film adapted from the bestselling book by John Grogan “Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog.” The popularity of both the book and film generated an equally-popular sequel.

The movie is about a happily married couple and their kids who adopt a naughty but adorable Labrador Retriever dog named Marley. The family eventually comes to learn valuable life lessons from the mutt. The Philly locations featured in the movie include Broad and Walnut streets.

National Treasure (2004)

Another of the action-packed movies that was filmed in Philadelphia, this fanciful film follows a treasure hunter played by Nicholas Cage. Through the film, he is on a quest to find a mythical treasure that is said to have been passed down for centuries, and is possible buried in the city.

Other stars in the movie include Diane Kruger and Jon Voight. The Philly locations spotted in the movie include many of the sites in the historic Old City neighborhood, including the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, Old Pine Street Church, and Philadelphia City Hall.

Stealing Home (1988)

The award-winning actor Jodie Foster stars in this film about a washed-up baseball player, Billy Wyatt, played by Mark Harmon. Wyatt returns home to his Main Line roots to collect the remains of his childhood babysitter and love interest who tragically committed suicide.

Through the journey, he is forced to deal with his past while remembering the relationship they shared. Some Philadelphia locations seen in the movie include the Chestnut Hill neighborhood, Roxborough, and the Vet Stadium, as well as several Jersey Shore locations, including the steel pier in Atlantic City.

Mannequin (1987)

A romantic comedy following a Philly artist Jonathan Switcher who is played by Andrew McCarthy. In the film, Switcher works at a department store and he falls in love with a mannequin played by Cattrall from the popular series Sex and The City.

The department store where Switcher worked was formerly the popular Wanamaker’s store, which is now a Macy’s. Other Philly locations in the movie include The Dorchester, Rittenhouse Square, Locust Street, and 15th Street.

Sixth Sense (1999)

Directed by the Philly director M. Night Shyamalan, who is known for filming most of his movies here in his home city, this thriller stars Bruce Willis who plays troubled child psychiatrist Malcolm Crowe who is treating a young boy played by Haley Joel Osment.

The boy sees ghosts and through the film, acts as a communication medium between Malcolm and some troubled spirits. Some Philadelphian filming locations in the film include Delancey Place, St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, and the Butcher and Singer restaurant.

Philadelphia (1993)

The name of this film gives away that it was shot in Philly. One of the best known movies set in Philadelphia, the film features Tom Hanks finest work, for which he won an Oscar for portraying the role of Andrew Beckett, a successful and secretly gay lawyer who was infected with AIDS.

His employers eventually dismiss him and he hires a lawyer, suing them for wrongful termination and discrimination. The University of Pennsylvania Fine Arts Library and City Hall are two Philly locations in the movie. The feature song, “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen is one of the best-known songs about the city.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Bringing Philly’s suburbs to the big screen, this feel-good romantic drama stars A-listers Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper (a celebrity born in Philly), and Robert De Niro. The film follows a bi-polar man Pat Solitano Jr, who is sent to a mental facility after assaulting the man his wife was having an affair with.

He then meets a widow named Tiffany Maxwell to help him get his wife back. Some Philadelphian locations recognizable in the movie include Benjamin Franklin House, Jeweler’s Row, and Wells Fargo Center.

Trading Places (1983)

Another one of Philadelphia films, this comedy directed by John Landis is about two millionaire brothers who stage a ploy switching the lives of a snobbish wealthy stockbroker with a street hustler. Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis all-star in the movie.

Get to see what Philadelphia locations like Rittenhouse Square, Wells Fargo Building, Clothespin statue (outside City Hall), Curtis Institute, Independence Hall, and Delancey Place all looked like in the 1980s.

In Her Shoes (2005)

Based on the bestselling book by Jennifer Weiner with the same title (also one of the great books about Philly), the movie is a comedy-drama about the relationship between two sisters played by Cameron Diaz and Toni Collete. One is a successful attorney and the other is a hardcore party girl. They then meet their grandmother who eventually helps fix their shaky relationship.

Most of the movie was shot in Philly featuring locations like the Famous 4th St. Deli, Jamaican Jerk Hut, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Walnut Street.

Invincible (2006)

If you are a Philadelphia Eagles fan, then you most certainly will enjoy this film. Invincible is a sports drama following 1970s wide receiver Vince Papale who is played by the brilliant Mark Wahlberg. Vince, prior to joining the Eagles, was a struggling 30-year-old man whose wife just filed for divorce.

His life completely takes a turn for the better upon joining the American football team. The Veterans Stadium, Pat’s Steaks, and Franklin Field are some of the Philly locations in the movie.

Shooter (2007)

No stranger to Philadelphia films, Mark Wahlberg plays Bob Lee Swagger, an exiled sniper who is on a mission of redemption to find an assassin planning to kill the President of the United States. He suddenly finds himself being double-crossed after being framed for committing murder. The film also stars Kate Mara, Danny Glover, Rhona Mitra, and Michael Pena.

The Municipal Services Building and Independence Hall are two of the Philadelphia locations in the movie.

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Brian De Palma directed this classic were a prostitute witnesses a woman mysteriously commit murder. She then finds herself in a bit of a fix as she becomes the lead suspect of the case, and as the murderer is also out to get her because she is a witness.

The prostitute teams up with the son of the victim to find the real killer. Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Dennis Franz, Nancy Allen, and Keith Gordon feature in this all-star cast. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the locations where the film was shot.

The Italian Job (2003)

Philadelphia’s Delancey Place features in this iconic film. Starring Charlize Theron who plays Stella Bridger and Donald Sutherland who plays John Bridger, the duo both assemble a heist team to rob a vault in Venice, Italy containing gold bars.

However, they face a betrayal by one of the team members. Many years later, Stella Bridger carefully plots another heist. The star-studded movie also features Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, Edward Norton, and Seth Green.

Jersey Girl (2004)

Losing his wife during childbirth, a music executive Ollie Trinke has to raise his newborn daughter by himself. He is helped by his father in New Jersey who he finds annoying.

Written and directed by Kevin Smith, the movie features Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, George Carlin, Stephen Root, Jason Biggs, Jennifer Lopez and S. Epatha Merkerson. The Famous 4th St. Deli and Hard Rock Cafe are some of the Philly spots in the flick.

Glass (2019)

A sequel to the movie Unbreakable, this thriller drama is an unconventional superhero movie. Written and directed by Philadelphia’s M. Night Shyamalan, who is known for making Philly movies.

Superhuman David Dunn played by Bruce Willis is imprisoned in a mental institute together with his soon-to-be enemy Elijah Price (also known as Mr. Glass) played by Samuel L. Jackson. David also uses his powers to track Kevin Wendell Crum (James McAvoy), a man with twenty-four personalities.

The film was mostly shot at Allentown State Hospital in Allentown, but other locations were in Philly, including the Center City skyline from Fairmount Park (Belmont Plateau), as well as 30th Street Station and Stephen Starr’s Parc restaurant.

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