Pennsylvania has hosted Hollywood plenty of times. In fact, Pittsburgh has been called the Hollywood of the East Coast because of the many films and television shows filmed there. But, what the movies about Pennsylvania? How many of them do you know? How many of them have you seen? Here are 10 movies about Pennsylvania you need to see.
1. Witness – (1985) Starring Harrison Ford & Kelly McGillis
Philadelphia and the Amish countryside take center stage in this drama starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. McGillis' young son witnesses a brutal murder. Ford's John Book, a police officer, becomes the protector of mother and son. Corruption and romance also add to the drama of this popular film set in Pennsylvania.
2. Groundhog Day (1993) – Starring Bill Murray & Andie MacDowell
Punxsutawney is, arguably, best known for its weather-forecasting groundhog on Groundhogs Day. And, that's just where the film starring Bill Murray is set. Murray's character, a Pittsburgh reporter, heads to the small town to cover the annual Groundhog Day events. But, through a series of mishaps, he ends up living the same day over and over again.
3. Philadelphia (1993) – Starring Tom Hanks & Denzel Washington
Philadelphia tells the powerful story of a gay lawyer (Tom Hanks) fired because of his HIV status. Hanks' character, Andrew Beckett, hires Denzel Washington's Joe Miller to represent him in a lawsuit against Beckett's former firm. The homophobic lawyer eventually comes to see the error of his ways.
4. Gettysburg (1993) – Starring Martin Sheen & Sam Elliott
Pull up a chair for a front row seat to the Battle of Gettysburg. The defining battle of the Civil War is documented in this 1993 film.
5. All The Right Moves (1983) – Starring Tom Cruise & Craig T. Nelson
Sometimes all high schoolers in PA want is to escape their hometown. That's what Tom Cruise's character, a high school football star, wishes for in All the Right Moves. Set in the decaying town of Ampipe, PA, the film follows Cruise's struggles after being blacklisted by college football teams.
6. The Sixth Sense (1999) – Starring Haley Joel Osment & Bruce Willis
"I see dead people." That pretty much sums up the plot of The Sixth Sense, set in Philadelphia. The psychological thriller follows the story of Cole Sear (Osment) and Malcolm Crowe (Willis). Sear can see
and communicate with dead people. Crowe, a child psychologist, is enlisted to help Sear.
7. Kids for Cash (2013)
The documentary Kids for Cash tells the disturbing true story of two judges who accepted bribes from the builder of for-profit juvenile detention facilities. In exchange for cash, the judges sentenced juveniles to excessive sentences at the facilities. One juvenile, for example, made fun of a school principal on MySpace and was subsequently locked up.
8. Amish Grace (2010) – Kimberly Williams-Paisley & Tammy Blanchard
Charles Carl Roberts IV wreaked havoc in Nickel Mines, an Amish village in Lancaster. In October 2006, he took a roomful of students hostage in the one-room schoolhouse West Nickel Mines School. The made-for-TV movie follows the journey of the Amish village as it heals in the wake of the rampage that killed five.
9. At Close Range (1986) – Sean Penn & Mary Stuart Masterson
Based on a true story, At Close Range tells the story of the Whitewood family. The Whitewoods' father, the head of a local crime family, brings his two sons into a life of organized crime.
10. Houseguest (1995) – Sinbad & Phil Hartman
Phil Hartman and Sinbad team up for laughs in Houseguest, set in suburban Pittsburgh. Sinbad plays a conman who takes on the identity of a friend Hartman hasn't seen in decades. The conman moves in with Hartman in an attempt to hide from the mob that is determined to find him.
What other movies about Pennsylvania do you think should be added to a part two of this list?
Click here to read about 10 films you might not know were filmed in PA.