Wicked Good Boston Movies
I’m a film buff, and honestly, who here at Emerson isn’t? There’s never a day that goes by when I don’t hear someone in the hallways talking about their favorite scene from ‘Psycho’ or how excited they are for some indie low budget film to come out next month. You know what’s better than being a film buff? Being a film buff in Boston. One of the coolest feelings ever is watching a movie and knowing exactly where they are and what surrounds that area, so what I did was compile a cohesive list of some of the most famous and then underrated movies that took place and were filmed in Boston.
Fever Pitch (2005) Directed by: Peter and Robert Farrelly Starring: Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore
Whether you’ve heard of it or not, Fever Pitch is a staple of baseball movies. It follows Red Sox fanatic and high school teacher Ben Wrightman (Fallon) whose obsession with the Red Sox puts strain on his relationship with businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Barrymore).
Fun Fact: Originally the plot of the film showed the Red Sox losing in the playoffs. However, that year the Sox won eight straight games and won the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees. The Farrelly brothers decided to attend the last game of the World Series with Fallon, Barrymore and a film crew. When the Sox won the game, Fallon and Barrymore ran onto the field in character to celebrate. Those shots were put into final film.
Filming Locations: Fenway Park, The North End, Copley, and East Boston High School.
The Departed Directed By: Martin Scorsese Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Jack Nicholson
Probably the most famous Boston movie around. Set in present day, an Irish mob boss (Nicholson) grooms Colin Sullivan (Damon) to join the Massachusetts State Police as a mole for him. At the same time Billy Costigan (DiCaprio), a police officer, is recruited to go undercover to infiltrate the mob.
Fun Fact: Jack Nicholson’s character in the film is loosely based on Whitey Bulger, the infamous Boston mob boss and FBI informant who was second on the FBI’s Most Wanted List until he was caught in 2011.
Filming Locations: The Boston Common, Suffolk University Law School, Flagship Wharf, Hurley Building, Leonard Zakim Building, Moakley Courthouse, and 17 Charles Street.
Black Mass (2015) Directed By: Scott Cooper Starring: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, and Dakota Johnson
Speaking of Whitey Bulger, Johnny Depp most recently starred as him in the film adaptation of Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill’s book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob. The film starts in 1975 and chronicles Bulger’s criminal activities as a small time gangster and leader of the Winter Hill Gang. He then becomes an FBI informant at the request of his childhood friend John Connolly (Edgerton).
Fun Fact: When preparing to portray Bulger, Depp studied police surveillance and audio footage to get a better grasp as to who he was. Depp requested a meeting with Bulger who is currently serving two life sentences but Bulger refused.
Filming Locations: South Boston Waterfront, Revere Beach, Lynn, Highland Street, 747 Cambridge Street, Lancaster Street, The Harvard Club.
Next Stop Wonderland (1998) Directed By: Brad Anderson Starring: Hope Davis, Alan Gelfant, Philip Seymour Hoffman
As an independent romantic comedy, this film made headlines at the Sundance Film Festival when it was involved in a bidding war between multiple major studios. Hope Davis plays night nurse Erin Castleton who is dumped by her political activist boyfriend, (Seymour-Hoffman) but falls in love with plumber Alan Monteiro (Gelfant) on their daily commute to Wonderland.
Fun Fact: Wonderland is a stop on the MBTA blue line.
Filming Locations: Commonwealth Avenue, Revere, Copley Plaza Hotel, Davis Square, New England Aquarium, Public Garden, and Union Park.
Gone Baby Gone (2007) Directed By: Ben Affleck Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton, and Amy Ryan
The plot of the movie revolves around two Boston private investigators Patrick Kenzie (Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Monaghan) and their search into a four-year old girl's kidnapping from Dorchester.
Fun Fact: This film marks Ben Affleck’s feature length directorial debut.
Filming Locations: Murphy’s Law, Quincy Quarries, Dorchester, Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center, and Homel Stadium.