Who needs a security system, when you have a clever 9-year-old? Kevin McCallister stifled a home invasion by "The Wet Bandits" with shrewdly placed paint cans and the help of his misunderstood neighbor, Marley. The film featured the McCallister home in beautiful suburban Winnetka, shots of the Trinity United Methodist Church, and a memorable scene of a panicked, family-wide sprint through O'Hare Airport.
Steve McQueen played Ralph Thorson, a bounty hunter tasked with catching fugitives and bail jumpers. Speaking of jumpers, the film showcases Chicago's Marina City Towers with a scene in which a fleeing criminal drives his car off of the parking garage and into the Chicago River.
With Robert Deniro as Al Capone, The Untouchables showcased Chicago as it might have appeared at the height of Prohibition. The film features memorable scenes outside the Chicago Board of Trade, Michigan Avenue Bridge and Capone's infamous pep talk about "teamwork" was shot in the Blackstone Hotel.
Wrongfully convicted of murder, Richard Kimbel (Harrison Ford) shakes U.S. Marshalls by running around the downtown area like a marathon runner on Red Bull. Kimbel hides in a parade at Dearborn & Randolph Street, escapes the Feds at the Chicago Hilton Hotel and rendezvous with an old friend on Lower Michigan Avenue.
The Blues Brothers:
A Chicago institution of sorts, Jakes Blues and his brother Elwood send Nazi's to Wrigley Field, end a climactic car chase scene cruises by the Picasso Statue outside the Richard J. Daley Center Plaza and the "Bluesmobile" comes to an anticlimactic stop outside City Hall on Clark Street.
The Color of Money:
Fast Eddie Felson (played by Paul Newman) ran Chicago area pool halls alongside his star pupil Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise). The film featured shots inside Chris's Billiards on the far North Side, St. Paul's Billiards in Lincoln Park, and the purported tournament in Atlantic City was actually shot in Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom.
Entrepreneur Joel Goodson (Tom Cruise) started an enterprise of sorts in his parents' Highland Park home. Infamously, Goodson "met up" with Lana at The Drake Hotel.
The Dark Knight:
Christopher Nolan transformed Chicago into Gotham City for his 2008 blockbuster film. Wayne Enterprises was actually the former IBM building at 330 N. Wabash. The Joker crashes a party at Bruce Wayne's condo atop Hotel 71. And, in an especially intense aerial shot, Batman surveys Gotham City from atop the 1,453 foot tall Willis Tower.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
Ferris Bueller evaded the suspicious Principal Rooney with an exciting afternoon in Chicago. Bueller... Bueller... Bueller... browsed The Art Institute of Chicago, caught a Cubs game at Wrigley Field a led a spontaneous, totally inexplicable rendition of "Twist and Shout" while parading down Dearborn Street.
Rob Gordon (John Cusack) went on an internal journey of discovery by reliving each of his romantic rejections. He was dissed at Lane Technical High School on the North Side, denied by Peggy outside The Music Box Theatre, and waxes poetic about Laura at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge.
The Music Box Theatre: Located in Chicago's charming Southport Corridor, The Music Box Theatre specializes in independent and foreign films. The theatre is known locally for its special events, which include midnight showings and the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.
Logan Theatre: Nearly a century old, the Logan Theatre offers some of the most inexpensive movie tickets in Chicago. The space also hosts live music, performance artists and private parties.
Gene Siskel Film Center: The Film Center of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago presents over 1500 showings per year. This sophisticated, modern theater has hosted almost 65,000 art enthusiasts since it was opened in 2001.
Brew & View at The Vic: The Vic often hosts music acts but, on select dates, it provides one of the most unique movie-going experiences in Chicago. With admission as low as $1 per ticket, the Vic offers pizza and, of course, beer for sale. It's like catching a flick at home, but on a really huge TV.
CHICAGOANS IN THE MOVIES
Walt Disney: One of the most influential entertainment magnates of all-time was born Chicago's Hermosa community in 1901. Mr. Disney would go on to establish one of the most powerful enterprises in film and collect 22 Academy Awards along the way.
Roger Ebert: One of the most successful movie writers in history began penning movie reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He's the only film critic to appear on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame," authored more than a dozen books and won a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975.
John Cusack: The Evanston native and lifelong Cubs fan has appeared in more than 50 films. Most notably, Cusack is known for his roles in Say Anything, High Fidelity and Being John Malkovich.
Chris Farley: Farley perfected his high-energy stage persona while at Chicago's famed The Second City Theatre. His loud-mouthed buffoonery was hit on Saturday Night Live that seamlessly translated to the big screen with films like Tommy Boy, Black Sheep and Beverly Hills Ninja.
Jennifer Hudson: The American Idol finalist honed her singing pipes by performing in local theatres and churches while growing up in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. Her performance along Beyonce Knowles in Dream Girls earned her a Best Supporting Actress nod at the 2007 Academy Awards.
John Malkovich: Before becoming one of Hollywood's most recognizable actors, Malkovich teamed up with Joan Allen and Gary Sinese to become charter members of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.