Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

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miss ellen / August 26, 2003 10:35 AM

gotta go with Ferris Bueller for the youth vote. and, Chicago is a fun addition from the days of "liquor & jazz".

A lex, x, x / August 26, 2003 10:48 AM

Well one of my Chicago favorites has always been "Untouchables" with the classic lines, "They pull out a knife, you pull out a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue. And that's the Chicago way."

I also thought "High Fidelity" was pretty good in showing Chicago, or at least places I frequent.

Andrew / August 26, 2003 11:04 AM

I was going to list "Ferris Buehler's Day Off" and "High Fidelity," but instead I'll go with "The Blues Brothers." It's got everything: music, comedy, Chicago sights and the biggest car crash in movie history. Not to mention the vehicular destruction of a shopping mall. Gotta love it.

Wendy / August 26, 2003 11:19 AM

I'm with Andrew on the "Blues Brothers." It's a great movie and also a pretty good record of what the city looked like 20 years ago--especially the Loop and Maxwell Street.

And check it out: that mall is still standing.

Naz / August 26, 2003 11:40 AM

How about Chain Reaction?! I mean come on, Keanu Reeves running across the Michigan bridge as it's going up in the middle of winter? Also, the Fugitive. And Road to Perdition no?

Craig / August 26, 2003 11:48 AM

Just because I loved the movie when I was younger, The Fugitive is my vote. Ever since seeing that I've wanted to handcuff a one-armed man to a pole inside the El and beat the crap out of him.

ryan p / August 26, 2003 12:11 PM

No doubt about it - the most emblematic film about our fair city is Dr. Detroit.

Lena / August 26, 2003 12:15 PM

What about The Matrix? The first one. It's cool when they're running to like State and Lake from Roosevelt and Wabash or something. It's not really in Chicago, but the loop streets are all there.

Wiz of Odds / August 26, 2003 12:41 PM

I'm tempted to vote for the Keanu Reeves vehicle "Hardball" just because it was filmed behind my old apartment and I tried out to be an extra (me and 75 black guys. The casting lady nervously told me they were looking for "Uh, drug dealers.")

In reality though? "Barbershop." And even though they placed the movie in Brooklyn, "Glengarry Glen Ross." They mention Chicago locales and use that wonderful Chicago swearing cadence.

And, best exchange from "The Untouchables":

Mountie: "We do not approve of your methods."
Ness: "Yeah? Well you're not from Chicago."

brian / August 26, 2003 1:48 PM

I'm going to buck the trend slightly. I do love Blues Brothers, and have seen that movie more times than I can count.

But one of my favorite Chicago movies, if a bit outside of the norm, is "Go Fish". One of the reasons I like it so much (besides the obvious) is the scenes filmed at the old Green St. Cafe. I love that place, and some of my happiest memories from this city took place there. "Go Fish" also has some very neighborhood shots of Chicago, not the areas that we're all used to seeing in film.

A lex, x, x / August 26, 2003 1:54 PM

Yes! The old Green Street Cafe. Remember the photo they had of Kirk and Spock? Good times.

dce / August 26, 2003 2:39 PM

At the risk of being trendy, I'd like to nominate Wilco's I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. I've never seen Chicago portrayed so beautifully on film as in the opening credits. Watching it, I get all choked up: "That's my city man, that's my beautiful city!"

And as far as drama goes, can you think of something more engrossing than Jay Bennett getting kicked out of the band? You can't even visit their website (linked above) without feeling weird. Jay's in the front page photo, but his name is conspicuously absent from the navigation.

paul / August 26, 2003 4:33 PM

Risky Business should be mentioned, as well as Running Scared, with the late great Gregory Hines repelling down the inside of the State of Illinois building, and Red Heat, where Arnold takes out a Chicago landmark with a bus.

But Backdraft, with its real Chicago feel and locations is my vote.

Jeff / August 26, 2003 5:08 PM

I'm not saying this is a great movie or anything, but have you folks seen "Return to Me" with David Duchovny and Minnie Driver? Major plot points revolve around the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Wiz of Odds / August 26, 2003 5:40 PM

And, for the record, I can think of absolutely no single thing less engrossing than Jay Bennett getting kicked out of the band.

kegz / August 26, 2003 5:42 PM

Road to Perdition had some good old feel Chicago shots similar to The Untouchables.

Most of the movies I can think of were filmed in north shore suburban settings, but without a doubt, the first movie I thought of when I read the question was The Blues Brothers.

Naz / August 26, 2003 6:24 PM

Actually a film that has a lot of spots in Chicago: Kissing a Fool (David Schwimmer and Jason Lee). Schwimmer plays a sportscaster so he's at Wrigley, characters walk all around downtown at all the touristy sports and on the Lake Shore Path, not to mention various neighbourhood stoops and locales (probably Lincoln Park and such). Makes Chicago look like New York or something.

Also, two Mel Gibson films: What Women Want (saw that one being filmed) and Payback.

susan / August 26, 2003 9:23 PM

Oooh, definitely The Hunt.

Rex / August 26, 2003 11:16 PM

Blues Brothers gets my vote. It manages to weave the Chicago landscape and famous landmarks into its story the exact same way the Ipili do with mountains, streams, etc. As I tried to explain to some of them tearfully when I actually ended up in front of a TV in the mine with a few of them watching Indonesian HBO. Ferris Bueller

I'm surprised no one has mentioned 'The Sting', tho.

Kevin / August 27, 2003 1:06 AM

"High Fidelity" for me. Always likes "Running Scared" too.

Kevin / August 27, 2003 1:07 AM

"likes"? Arghhh... "liked".

dce / August 27, 2003 9:05 AM

Pertinent to this discussion: Hollywood on Lake Michigan 100 Years of Chicago and the movies.

Unfortunately, I don't think it mentions Jay Bennett getting kicked out of the band. Pity.

+mojan. / August 27, 2003 9:48 AM

What? No one mentioned "Save the Last Dance" with Julia Stiles?!?

*sigh* Kids today.

Mike / August 27, 2003 10:34 AM

1980's "My Bodyguard" is my favorite because I loved the movie before I ever even liven in Chicago. It's a great story of friendship and the underdog. It has a great scene where the kids chase each other across Ashland in front of Lake View High School. It has a few el scenes, a Maxwell Street scene and some Gold Coast and Lincoln Park scenes too.

James Caan blowing up the Green Mill sign in "Thief" is also another good one.

And "Adventures in Babysitting" is a classic.

brian / August 27, 2003 10:57 AM

Yep, I was just about to write back and say Adventures in Babysitting. The Greyhound Bus Station is *totally* like that, and who wouldn't want to scale down the side of the Stone Container Building.

Oh, and that woodie station wagon!

Phineas / August 27, 2003 11:36 AM

Good call on 'Return to Me', Jeff. No, it's not a fabulous movie, but it has a scene shot in my favorite bowling alley! Everytime I go to the Marigold now I think, "Wow, David Duchovny bowled here..."

They really should put up an engraved plaque or something...

kegz / August 27, 2003 12:30 PM

And the restaurant scenes in 'Return to Me' were filmed at Twin Anchors in Old Town across from St. Michaels. Trivia, trivia.

april / August 28, 2003 10:34 AM

Adventures in Babysitting, yo. You gotta love the ghetto fabulous el!

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