Best Movies Shot in the US Capital

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Do you have a habit of watching films and then going to the places shown in those movies? If yes, you might want to check out this list and travel to these places when on DC bus tours. We have got quite the list for you, ranging from thrillers and court-room drama and political to horror genre works. It is also worth mentioning that if you have not seen any of these films, there are spoilers ahead. Here, we are skipping some usual references in such lists, like “Forrest Gump”, “Independence Day”, etc., but we are also keeping some others.

All the President’s Men

This Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman-starrer revolves around the infamous Watergate scandal, which causes the resignation of President Nixon. The ending of this investigative thriller revolving around two journalists, played by Redford and Hoffman, is known, but the movie version is as fascinating as five decades before. Alan Jay Pakula, who made ‘The Pelican Brief’ too, was good at picking DC locations for this kind of film. Filming at The Washington Post’s newsroom was not allowed to the makers of this movie, so it was filmed at California’s Burbank Studios. In the film, the two journo characters visit the Library of Congress as part of their investigation. As per reports, the makers paid a large amount to be able to film in the Main Reading Room of that library.

Broadcast News

The entertaining and witty satire of James Lawrence Brooks revolves around characters working in a national TV network’s office in DC. William Hurt’s character, Tom Grunick and Holly Hunter’s Jane Craig spend some time romancing at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. This memorial devoted to the third American president also appears in the next film on this list.

Chances Are

If you are a fan of romantic films, then chances are you have seen this film. The Washington Post allowed cameras to be placed in their offices so that the makers could shoot this picture, concerning reincarnation. It so happened, the screenwriters of this film were childhood pals of The Washington Post’s editor, Ben Bradlee’s daughter. What are the odds? Cybill Shepherd’s character, Corinne works as a Smithsonian Institution curator, whose spouse dies in an accident. He reincarnates years later that tragic accident that took his life. The film gets a mention in Smithsonian’s post, “Everyone’s a Curator, Now”.

The Exorcist

Fans of horror genre may remember the chilling climax of this film by William Friedkin. The legendary “Exorcist Steps” is where father Damien Karras tumbles down to his eventual demise in the film. Since its release, this non-descript building and the adjacent stairs shot to fame. Nowadays, everyone from film buffs to early morning joggers and walkers to Halloween’s Day marriage proposal makers visit “The Exorcist” steps in Georgetown. In other words, it is a tourist location known for Friedkin’s film that will keep you up at night.

A Few Good Men

This Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson-starrer is remembered for the rat-a-tat dialogues, penned by the legendary screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Of course, you would expect nothing less than a verbal attack between attorneys and the accused in a courtroom drama. However, a side track to Rob Reiner’s work is a non-romantic relationship between Cruise’s lawyer character, Daniel Alastair Kaffee, and Demi Moore’s Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway. There is that scene where Danny thinks about his moral predicament that was shot nearby the iconic Arlington Memorial Bridge.

State of Play

Much of this motion picture was shot at a location in Washington DC. The synopsis would have political thriller fans jumping up in joy: When a US congressional assistant passes away, a DC journo starts looking into the case that involves the member of Congress, Stephen Collins, played by Ben Affleck. In spite of the usual hurdles related to filming in DC, filmmaker Kevin Macdonald persisted with shooting at this location. The makers were seeking not just DC’s famous landmarks, but locations which showed the District where individuals reside and work. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium was an important location, in which Russell Crowe’s character Cal McAffrey visits his Congressman friend, Affleck’s Collins.

In the Line of Fire

In this fast-paced thriller, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, Frank Horrigan, a veteran Secret Service agent played by Clint Eastwood, chases a killer played by John Malkovich. Horrigan is an employee at the Treasury Building, lives in the Adams Morgan neighborhood and prefers to have a good time at the Old Ebbitt Grill restaurant. He takes Rene Russo’s character, Ella Raines to the iconic Lincoln Memorial.

The Pelican Brief

Alan Jay Pakula revisits the District in a different conspiracy thriller, which is based on a John Grisham novel. Denzel Washington’s reporter character Gray Grantham is a Northeast resident, whereas almost every other DC character usually resides in Georgetown in such films. Pakula takes the audience to some odd places such as Ben’s Chili Bowl, the Washington International School, and Indiana Plaza. Darby Shaw and Grantham find a tape containing incriminating evidence from Bank of America’s vault.

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