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Most People Don’t Know These 11 Movies Were Filmed In New Jersey

There have been a multitude of movies filmed in New Jersey. In fact, the first production studio was right in West Orange. We have a rich cinematic history and numerous well-known films have been shot here. Many of you are probably aware that Clerks, Mallrats, Garden State and Jersey Girl were shot in the state, but you may be surprised to learn that the following productions were filmed right here in New Jersey.

1. School of Rock

This 2003 comedy starring Jack Black, Joan Cusack and Miranda Cosgrove was filmed in Edison, Rahway, and Franklin Lakes. One of the Rahway locations was the Union County Arts Center.

2. War of the Worlds

The 2005 alien invasion drama starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning was filmed in Bayonne, Howell, Newark, and Elizabeth. When filming on a residential street in Howell, the actors took refuge in the garages of nearby homes for warmth.

3. American Gangster

The 2007 crime drama stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Morgue scenes were shot in the New Jersey National Guard Armory in Morristown.

4. The Dark Knight Rises

This epic Batman flick was released in 2012. It features an all-star cast including Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. Over a week was spent filming at the Military Park Station on the Newark Light Rail.

5. Annie

The 1982 film was shot in East Newark and West Long Branch, on the Monmouth College Campus. It stars Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, and Bernadette Peters.

6. The Wrestler

This gritty 2008 drama was nominated for two Oscars. Starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood, the film was shot in locations all over the state including Carlstadt, Asbury Park, Linden, Roselle Park, Garfield, Hasbrouck Heights, Clifton, Hazlet, Rahway, Bayonne, Elizabeth, and Dover.

7. Ocean’s Eleven

You’d expect this film to have been shot entirely in Las Vegas, but the 2001 blockbuster starring George Clooney, Bernie Mac, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts was partially shot in Rahway and Atlantic City.

8. Goodfellas

A mob movie being shot in New Jersey? I’m shocked! This 1990 film stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, and Jersey-born Joe Pesci. Filming locations included Marlboro, Fort Lee, and the Palisades Parkway.

9. The Amityville Horror

Though the 1979 film was set in Long Island, it was shot in Toms River, Point Pleasant, and Scotch Plains. It stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder.

10. Friday The 13th

This classic horror film was shot entirely in New Jersey. The 1980 flick starring Kevin Bacon was filmed in Blairstown, Freehold, Hardwick, and Hope. Locations include the Blairstown Diner and popular Boy Scout Camp, No-Be-Bo-Sco.

11. Big

This 1988 comedy stars Tom Hanks and was shot in several Cliffside Park and Fort Lee locations including homes on Greenmount Avenue and in convenience store, Garden State News.

Surprisingly, Jersey Boys was filmed mostly in California, though several scenes were shot in Kearny. Other films shot in New Jersey include: When Harry Met Sally, Elizabethtown, The Godfather III, Catch Me If You Can, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, Chasing Amy, In & Out, Guess Who, Burn After Reading, and Being John Malkovich. Which of these is your favorite film? What other movies where shot in New Jersey? Share with me in the comments!

Kristen Koennemann
Kristen is a freelance writer, editor and social-media manager who really loves her state. She's here to share all that New Jersey has to offer with residents and the rest of the world.