OK, so Western Pennsylvania has become a hub for filmmaking. Over the past few years, we’ve had “Out of the Furnace,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Love and Other Drugs” and a few others. Sure, we’re not Hollywood or the Big Apple, but, give it some time, and, maybe … Well, moving on, here’s a list of the Top 10 movies shot in Western Pennsylvania. It was a rigorous selection process, as we strived to find the movies that had the most scenes filmed in and around Western Pennsylvania.
10. “Warrior” (2011) — Easily, one of the most under-seen movies of 2011, “Warrior” follows the story of two brothers from a hardscrabble Pittsburgh family looking for a big payday in a national UFC event. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton turn in great performances, as well as Nick Nolte, who picked up an Oscar nomination for his role. For a little extra Pittsburgh flavor, Kurt Angle had a supporting part.
9. “Dogma” (1999) — Director Kevin Smith has filmed a couple of movies in Pittsburgh, but “Dogma” is among his best. Yep, right up there with “Clerks” and “Mallrats.” A tremendous cast — Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Linda Fiorentino, Jason Lee, George Carlin and Salma Hayek star — does great work in this thought-provoking comedic assault on Catholicism.
8. “Wonder Boys” (2000) — A stellar cast, including Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr., and Katie Holmes, navigates filmmaker Curtis Hanson’s spectacular comedy drama, adapted from Pitt grad Michael Chabon’s novel of the same name. The picture tracks the relationship between a college professor and one of his outcast students. Well, actually they’re both outcasts.
7. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012) — Credit Stephen Chbosbky for one of the best teen dramedies that’s arrived in theaters since the heyday of John Hughes. The Pittsburgh native penned the bestselling coming-of-age novel of the same name before putting together a screenplay and directing the movie himself. The results turned out to be one of the best films of 2012. Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller have lead roles.
6. “Flashdance” (1983) — One of the movies that’s always identified as being a Pittsburgh movie, director Adrian Lyne’s film was immensely popular in the 1980s. Although it doesn’t hold up as well as some of the others, it’s feel-good final scene is still fantastic. Starring Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri, it presents a gritty Pittsburgh that was still in the process of making its transition to a hub for healthcare, energy and tech companies.
5. “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) — The final film of director Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy was the weakest of the three, but it was still a darn good picture. Not to mention, it’s part of arguably the greatest superhero franchise to ever hit the silver screen. Sorry, Superman. Intense performances from Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Tom Hardy only helped the film’s cause.
4. “Lorenzo’s Oil” (1993) — A real tearjerker, this drama starring Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Peter Ustinov landed two Academy Award nominations. The feature, based on a true story, follows two parents striving to find a cure for what ails their young son. As their son’s health continues to decline, the mother and father are met with constant dead ends by medical specialists. Will their hard work eventually pay off? Pass the tissues, please.
3. “Bob Roberts” (1992) — Tim Robbins made his directorial debut with this mockumentary that will go down as one of the best movies about politics ever made. Packed with satire, Robbins plays the wealthy Bob Roberts, a guitar-slinging conservative who’s making a run for the U.S. Senate. Alan Rickman, Susan Sarandon, Giancarlo Espisito and Gore Vidal back Robbins in hilarious supporting roles.
2. “Silence of the Lambs” (1991) — One of the best thrillers of all time, “Silence of the Lambs,” a winner of five Academy Awards, might’ve even cost Alfred Hitchcock a good night’s sleep. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins give scintillating performances in director Jonathan Demme’s masterpiece. The film follows a hunt for a serial killer in which a young FBI agent turns to an imprisoned psychopath for advice on finding their man.
1. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) — Sick of seeing zombies in movies or on TV all the time? Well, you can thank George A. Romero, a young Carnegie Mellon graduate who made “Night of the Living Dead.” Since its arrival, the film has spawned a genre that refuses to die. The film follows a group of folks trapped in a secluded house surrounded by zombies. It’s a film that still stands as a game changer in the horror genre.
— “Gung Ho” (1986)
— “Adventureland” (2010)
— “The Mothman Prophecies” (2002)
— “Angels in the Outfield” (1951)
— “Hoffa” (1992)
— “Kingpin” (1996)
— “The Road” (2009)
— “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh” (1979)
— “Dominick & Eugene” (1988)
— “Out of the Furnace” (2013)
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