Philadelphia in the Movies

by Anthony Manzanares on May 1, 2017

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The City of Brotherly Love has starred in numerous blockbuster movies, showcasing the city’s iconic sights. For film buffs, it’s the perfect guide for exploring Philadelphia’s historic, culturally rich and ever-growing neighborhoods which are the fabric of the city.

Here’s how you can discover Philadelphia’s innovative spirit through the movies.

  • ROCKY and CREED: “Rocky,” “Rocky II,” “Rocky III,” “Rocky V,” “Rocky Balboa” and “Creed”. You may recall the famous scenes where Rocky runs through the Italian Market in South Philadelphia. Challenge yourself to a run up the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then throw your fists in the air and pose with the bronze Rocky statue that can be found at the bottom of the steps.
  • LIMITLESS: The action-thriller “Limitless” stars Philadelphia’s own leading man Bradley Cooper. The final scene of the film was shot with Cooper and Robert DeNiro in the heart of Philadelphia’s business district, Center City west. The corner of 21st and Market streets was transformed into 57th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City for the climactic finale.
  • SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK: “Silver Linings Playbook,” starring Philadelphia native Bradley Cooper, is a dramatic film based on a true story taking place in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Feel the sense of community as parts of the city and both sides of the Delaware fill the screen. See Ridley Township, Upper Darby and a taste of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in this award-winning romantic comedy.
  • PHILADELPHIA: “Philadelphia,” starring Academy Award-winners Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, was directed by Academy Award-winner Jonathan Demme. It was filmed in many locations throughout Philadelphia, notably City Hall.
  • THE SIXTH SENSE: “The Sixth Sense”, starring Bruce Willis, was filmed throughout Philadelphia including Boathouse Row and the streets of the Fairmount Neighborhood, known for its young artsy vibe and grand architecture.
  • BABY MAMA: Philadelphia is the home of many firsts — including the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey. This comedic mastermind starred in “Baby Mama” with Amy Poehler. Head to Love Park, the University of Pennsylvania or Rittenhouse Square to follow in the footsteps of this hilarious duo.
  • TWELVE MONKEYS: “Twelve Monkeys,” starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, features the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Eastern State Penitentiary, and the historic Girard College.
  • TRANSFORMERS: Philadelphia welcomed plenty of blockbuster entertainment when “Transformers Revenge of the Fallen” was filmed all over our city. Some of the most iconic locations of the film include the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, where visitors can get a great view from the Race Street Pier; The University of Pennsylvania where Shia LeBouf’s character was a student; and Eastern State Penitentiary, where LeBouf and co-star Megan Fox take shelter after running from the Transformers along the Schuylkill River.
  • NATIONAL TREASURE: Philadelphia’s incredible historic monuments help star Nicolas Cage of “National Treasure” throughout his journey. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are featured prominently – as well as a prized possession of Philadelphia’s favorite founding father, Benjamin Franklin.
  • UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: “Up Close and Personal,” with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer, features Philadelphia’s local television scene. Head to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for a glimpse into one of its settings.
  • TRADING PLACES: “Trading Places,” starring Eddie Murphy, Dan Akroyd and the late Don Ameche, has memorable scenes in and around one of Philadelphia’s most beautiful parks and buzzing restaurant scenes, Rittenhouse Square, and on the steps of the Curtis Institute of Music. Philadelphia is a hub for education, innovation, food, and culture (we’re ranked #1 in the country for culture by Travel + Leisure!); “Trading Places” showcases many of our city’s best locales.
  • WITNESS: “Witness,” starring Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, and Danny Glover, is the story of a Philadelphia cop who tries to solve a murder witnessed by a young Amish boy. The most memorable scene is set in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

Do you have a favorite movie set or filmed in Philadelphia?

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For film buffs, it's the perfect guide for exploring Philadelphia's historic, culturally rich and ever-growing neighborhoods which are the fabric of the city.


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| Anthony has found travel provides a healthy balance to his day job as a criminal defense attorney. Living on the periphery of blogging for years, he's now decided to flex his creative muscles with a little writing and photography of his own. Anthony's favorite travel destinations are the Caribbean, Italy, and Ireland.

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