Best Of Chicago

Top Chicago Movie Spots

September 23, 2011 2:00 PM

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Blues Brothers

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in ‘The Blues Brothers’ (Credit: Universal Studios)

Chicago! Not an excessive amount of movies are filmed here, but when they are, you know it. No city in the world has the eclectic, schizophrenic architecture of our downtown, or the intimacy and loving craziness of our two-flat covered neighborhoods. There just ain’t no other place like it. (Don’t judge my grammar now, I’m on a roll here.) We’re radicool (made that word up, sweet, right?), and here are five great movies that recognize that.

5109731211 Top Chicago Movie Spots

"Batman And Robin," not filmed in Chicago, but funnier than "The Dark Knight" (credit: Getty Images)


Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were both filmed in Chicago. And why not? We got it all: crime, check; crazies, check; skyscrapers, check… Chicago definitely contains the gothic and questionable feel that Gotham requires. Sure, the skyline looks all pretty and fancy, but have you been under those skyscrapers? On the street? Chicago can be a dirty, crummy place. And I say this with love! I love my city, and am glad it’s a good substitute for my favorite Superhero’s hometown.

So do you wanna feel like Batman? And not in an insane-dress-up-like-him-and-get-arrested-fighting-crime kinda way? Then check out the same view Christian Bale was privy to in The Dark Knight and visit the Sears – ‘scuse me – Willis Tower Skydeck (233 S. Wacker Drive). Look down on our crime ridden city. Know that you and your possible, latent crime fighting gifts are the answer.

Lemme take a moment to complain here. I can’t believe the next Batman movie isn’t going to be filmed in Chicago. There goes the edginess, I tell ya. The next one’s going to be campier than Adam West’s take on the character. I’d boycott if I wasn’t such a gigantic nerd that I always, desperately need a Batman in my life.

51098590 Top Chicago Movie Spots

Top Five Reason to Love John Cusack: “High Fidelity” x5

All chicks love John Cusack. It’s a fact. And the odd thing? Guys don’t even hate him for it. Well guess what, Mr. Handsome Charmington the third. This guy right here does. So take that.

I love High Fidelity though, and not only because it has Bruce “the Boss” Springsteen in it. Sure, it’s kind of a romantic comedy, but it’s funny too. Not to mention the fact that it does a decent job of showing off Chicago. Not the skyscrapers and all that crap, but the smaller, hip neighborhoods.

Which is the main reason it’s sad you can’t ACTUALLY go to the record shop Cusack owns in the movie. You CAN go to Reckless Records (1532 North Milwaukee) though, down the block from where parts of High Fidelity were filmed. Sure, the service will probably be better at Reckless than it would have been at High Fidelity, but that shouldn’t hamper your time there.

U.S. Cellular Field Outfield View

(credit: US Cellular Field)

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Best Friend’s Wedding

This one’s on here for the ladies. You know who you are (probably).

I’ve never actually watched all of My Best Friend’s Wedding. I tried making out with a girl in the middle of it once, but she refused to lock lips with me, preferring to watch Julia Roberts and her best friend’s wedding, or something. This must mean the movie’s really good.

Or I’m an unattractive monster that nobody wants to kiss. Whatever.

ANYWAYS… As those of you who have actually suffered through the movie might know, the White Sox play quite a big role in the film. Now, I’m a Cubs fan personally, but don’t begrudge the Sox none. All of that North Side VS South Side crap can, as your mom might say, go to H-E-double-hockey-sticks. We’re all Chicagoans, why fight amongst each other when we have St. Louis and Milwaukee to hate? What I’m trying to say is this: US Cellular Field (333 West 35th Street) is actually a pretty cool place, so why not take in a Sox game sometime?

For more info on where the Sox play, check out this Fan’s Guide to US Cellular Field.


Chicago, the movie, wasn’t actually filmed here. So Richard and Renee can shove it.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Bueller… ? Bueller… ? Bueller… ?

Where do I even start? Ferris gives you a tour of Chicago like no other, all while dodging an angry sister and crazed principal. He drives fast, leads a parade, and even visits the Art Institute (111 S. Michigan Avenue).

If Ferris can visit the Art Institute and still be cool… that must mean we can too.

So why not? I ain’t sayin’ you gotta be classy from here on out, but one visit to see some of the finest art in the world ain’t gonna hurt you. Just don’t sit on any of the furniture in the post modern exhibits, apparently they’re art.

For a more in depth look at Bueller, check out the Guide to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Blues Brothers

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in 'The Blues Brothers' (Credit: Universal Studios)

Jake & Elwood, Brothers

The Blues Brothers is arguably the best Chicago movie in existence. Armed with nothing but the sultry blues, they cut a path through Illinois, fighting everything from cops to nazis.

Why not follow their footsteps?

To even things out for this article, you can visit Wrigley Field (1060 W. Addison Street). You might see some lost nazis there, but don’t worry, they’ll get what’s comin’ to them.

Also, feel free to visit the Richard J. Daley center (118 North Clark Street), on the North end of the loop. Just make sure not to drive your car on the sidewalk there. This isn’t the movies, you just might hit someone (important). From there, you can have a fun day downtown. Visiting Millennium Park, and maybe even the Bean! Just make sure to pour somethin’ down on the ground for the brother who couldn’t be there with you, John Belushi.

Check out this Guide to Wrigley Field… if you want.

You can’t really beat the Blues Brothers, so I’m endin’ this rodeo (charade?) here and now. I missed a lot of movies, I know. You got a problem with it? Then let me know in the comments section, loser (aka, Doug. Sorry for not adding Home Alone, bro… NOT).
Mason Johnson, CBS Local Chicago
View Comments
  • Fabby Tovar

    You forgot the movie CANDYMAN and THE BREAK-UP.

    • Mason Johnson

      “Forgot” isn’t exactly the word I’d use. If it helps you feel any better, I have horrible taste. In everything.

  • kevin brown

    You also forgot “Risky Business” and “Code of Silence”

    • Mason Johnson

      Risky Business sullied the CTA with horrible acts of… well… I can’t say it. Nor can I, in good conscious, support that movie because of this.

      I’d make a wise crack about Code of Silence, but am afraid of Chuck Norris.

  • Jana Santucci-Stilphen

    What about The Color Of Money…Classic!! Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. I watched them filming part of that movie as a kid!

    • Mason Johnson

      That IS an actual oversight. For whatever reason, I’d convinced myself The Color of Money was based in Chicago, but filmed elsewhere. I was wrong.

      • Jana Santucci-Stilphen

        Oops thought you said I was wrong…blonde moment!!!!

      • Jana Santucci-Stilphen

        Sorry you are dead WRONG I was THERE and seen it.

  • Kelvin Sandridge

    The color of money was filmed mostly on Cottage Grove south. It was hard to recognize the city. They also forgot The fugitive, Public enemies, Blank man, Mo’ money, The Fury, The Untouchables, Mad dog and glory, and one of my favorites, A family thing. James Earl Jones was great.

    • Jana Santucci-Stilphen

      Actually it was filmed a lot on the northside. One of the pool halls was on Fullerton and southport. Another was at Lincoln and Southport. And another was the Golden Cue of Montrose….!!!! My brother and I followed the filming crew around a lot!

    • Mason Johnson

      I can’t just let every movie under the sun in, Kelvin!

      Mo’ Money was pretty great though. As was Blank Man. Public Enemies was a big, ol’ bore though.

  • Kelvin Sandridge

    Beautiful city indeed

  • Jana Santucci-Stilphen

    Going a little further back, MY Bodyguard was an awesome movie that really highlighted the city from the zoo, to downtown to Lakeview H.S. And it stars a handsome young Matt Dillon!

  • Tom Schumacher

    You forgot that Sandra Bullock movie where they filmed part of it in Roosevelt Universities entryway. I was told it was filmed there like 30 times in the 3 years I went there…

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