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7 Movies You Forgot Were Filmed in Chicagoland

If you’re a Chicago-area resident, you probably know about “The Fugitive,” “The Blues Brothers,” and “Ferris Bueller” (and other various John Hughes movies). Not only are they cinema classics, but they’re among the most famous movies shot in Chicago. But what about the ones you forgot were filmed here, or perhaps, didn’t even know were set in Chicago to begin with?

In preparation for our double-feature of “Risky Business” and “Weird Science” to benefit the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society on February 28, we’ve compiled a short list of other classic movies that happened right here in our backyard, and that don’t include the predictable prohibition-era gangsters. Or Batman.

  1. Ordinary People

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1980, this classic, directed by Robert Redford, deals with the dark memories and subsequent deterioration of a seemingly-picturesque Lake Forest family. Ever daydream about sailing on Lake Michigan? This one will make you think twice.

  1. Home Alone


Yet another Jon Hughes film. Would Macaulay Culkin’s zany home defense tactics pack half the punch if crooks didn’t end up perpetually stuck outside in several feet of freezing snow? Probably not. 

  1. The Color of Money

Between this film and “Risky Business,” we can deduce that burgeoning superstar Tom Cruise spent more than a little time here in the mid 80s. This drama places Cruise’s character and his pool shark mentor, played by Paul Newman, in the city’s gritty South and West sides, as opposed to the green and groomed suburbs. 

  1. While You Were Sleeping

Before Sandra Bullock was an Oscar-winning actress, she had a formidable career playing witty action heroines and the Girl Next Door. Such was her turn in this under-the-radar rom-com about a Transit Authority worker who endears herself to her crush’s family after he falls into a coma. 

  1. High Fidelity

Listed web articles with “Top 5” lists for everything. Hipster appreciation of vinyl and disdain for mainstream music. Making retro mixtapes for your crush. All these trends can be traced back 15 years to this comedy-drama about a lackadaisical record store owner revisiting past relationships. The book by Nick Hornby originally set the story in London, and while Midwesterners may be a bit friendlier than the Brits, we definitely share the same grey skies for the better part of the year. 

  1. North By Northwest

Everyone remembers Cary Grant trying to outrun that crop duster, but do you remember him outrunning sinister hitmen in the LaSalle Street train station or the Ambassador East hotel? 

  1. Backdraft

25 years before the “Chicago Fire” TV show, this 1991 flick directed by Ron Howard is (according to Box Office Mojo) the highest-grossing film about firefighters ever made. Kurt Russell and William Baldwin star as brothers continuing the family firefighting trade in the wake of their father’s death on the job.

Hollywood Blvd. Cinema and Eatery will be hosting a classic comedy matinee double-feature – “Weird Science” at 1 p.m. and “Risky Business” at 3 p.m. -- on Saturday February 28. Tickets are $12 each for a single movie, or $20 for the double feature. All admission profits will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which works to find cures for and improve the lives of blood cancer patients and their families. Please join us for an afternoon of nostalgic laughs for this great cause!


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