Dozens of movies have been filmed in or around Pittsburgh over the decades. While some were awful, others earned Academy Awards. The coolest movies, however, were those that both earned critical or popular acclaim and showcased various features or attractions within Pittsburgh. Consider the following seven examples:
“Flashdance” was an admittedly silly romantic comedy about a beautiful young woman who worked in a steel mill during the day and danced at a bar at night while hoping to somehow earn a slot in a dance conservatory. In addition to being set in Pittsburgh, the movie also featured Vic Vianca, a Pittsburgh traffic cop known for his flamboyant ways of directing traffic.
Night of The Living Dead (1968)
Considered one of the greatest horror movies ever made, George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” introduced people to the fast-moving and predatory zombies that later inspired shows like “The Walking Dead.” It also features shots of the Evans City Cemetery in Butler County that are among the most telegenic ever.
Dawn of The Dead (1978)
Made a decade after “Night,” most of this sequel was shot at the Monroeville Mall. Romero killed two birds with one stone by making a zombie movie that also satirized mindless consumerism.
“Adventureland” is a romantic comedy set in 1987 that stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Eisenberg plays a recent college grad with big plans that get derailed by money troubles. He thus has to take a job at the titular Adventureland, which is really Kennywood, an amusement park just eight miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Kennywood, which opened in 1898, boasts rides that date as far back as 1920 along with more modern attractions.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
In contrast to the first two movies in “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” which were shot mainly in England, parts of “The Dark Knight Rises” were set in Pittsburgh,including the sequence where the evil Bane sets off a series of bombs that destroy parts of the city, including Gotham Stadium, which is really Heinz Field. Hines Ward, who had played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in real life, had a cameo as a football player outrunning the explosions. Pittsburgh residents can also spot various streets, plus the Carnegie Mellon University Software Science Institute and the Carnegie Institute, which are both in Oakland.
Silence of The Lambs (1991)
“Silence of the Lambs” bagged several Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress and is one of the few horror films to earn such accolades. It also features such Pittsburgh landmarks as the county jail, the Allegheny Courthouse, Oakland’s Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Mall, and Canonsburg’s Western Center. The last has since been demolished.
Striking Distance (1993)
The action thriller “Striking Distance” was set entirely in Pittsburgh; in fact, an early title for the film was “Three Rivers,” which referred to the fact that Pittsburgh sits at the junction of the Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny Rivers. Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker play a pair of cops pursuing a serial killer. The film features such Pittsburgh landmarks as Mt. Washington, Monongahela, and Point State Park.
Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.