7 Renowned Movies Filmed in Chicago

Chicago’s excellent reputation as a filming location is well deserved. The movies filmed in Chicago are some of the most renowned and highly celebrated films ever made. The city is known not only for its movie locations but also for commercials, music videos, and even video games. 

Countless Chicago locations have popped up in major Hollywood blockbusters, like on the streets of Chinatown in “The Godfather” or on the upper floors of an office building in “Office Space.” Other movies that have made Chicago a household name include Hoosiers and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. 

List of Movies Filmed in Chicago

Let us now take you through the most famous movies filmed in Chicago.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Best movie locations: Willis Tower, Wrigley Field

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of the most beloved cult classics of the ’80s. It was filmed almost entirely in Chicago and boasted a stellar cast that includes Matthew Broderick, Alan Rickman, and Mia Sara. Set in the final days of the spring semester at Chicago’s prestigious Stonington High School, the story follows 15-year-old Ferris Bueller (Broderick), who starts the day intending to kill schoolwork and enjoy some freedom before returning to his daily routine. However, after spending the day with friends and enjoying a series of wild pranks, Ferris finds himself caught up in a mock trial as part of a multi-day classroom suspension.


When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Best movie locations: University of Chicago, Drake Hotel

Among the most popular rom-com movies filmed in Chicago, “When Harry Met Sally” was released to critical acclaim in 1989. The film was directed by Rob Reiner and starred Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. The story follows Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) as they go on a whirlwind dating adventure. Chicago played an essential role in the filming of “When Harry Met Sally.” The city served as the backdrop for many scenes in the movie, including the restaurant scene where Harry and Sally discuss their feelings for one another. 

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Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone (1990)

Best movie locations: McCallister family house, Grace Episcopal Church

Looking back on the 1990s, it’s evident that the economic recession struck Chicago. But at the same time, independent filmmakers took advantage of this unique time to film some of the city’s most famous and beloved movies. One such movie was “Home Alone,” filmed in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile district and at iconic locations like Navy Pier. The movie is a holiday classic that has been spoofed multiple times, but its popularity is undeniable. 

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While You Were Sleeping (1995)- One of the Best Movies Filmed in Chicago 

While You Were Sleeping (1995)- One of the best movies filmed in Chicago 

Best movie locations: Wabash station, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Randolph 

“While You Were Sleeping”, starring Sandra Bullock (Lucy Eleanor Moderate) and Peter Gallagher (Peter), is a popular rom-com. This is a story of a lonely Chicago subway cashier who happens to save a commuter by pulling him from the path of a speeding train. Peter ends up in a coma after being admitted to the hospital. Things get complicated when Peter’s family think that Lucy is her fiancée, and they take her to their home. She then starts falling for Peter’s brother, Jack (Bill Pullman).


The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Best movie locations: Willis Tower, IMB Building

It was in the year 2008 when “The Dark Knight” was among the highest-grossing movies filmed in Chicago. The film was shot primarily in Chicago and has since been credited with revitalizing the city’s declining economy. Most of the shooting for the movie took place in Chicago’s streets and buildings. The town had to be completely rebuilt for the film from the ground up, which is why it positively impacted the economy. Also, the production spent more than $140 million in Chicago during filming, which created more than 1,000 jobs. Moreover, Chicago’s Police Department was heavily involved in the production of providing security for sets and actors.

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‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

'Transformers Dark of the Moon (2011)

Best movie locations: Navy Pier, Millennium Park

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is an American science fiction film that was filmed in Chicago, Illinois. The movie set location included parts of the city, such as Millennium Park and Navy Pier. The city also served as a stand-in for Washington, D.C., which made for some exciting juxtapositions on screen. Chicago has long been known as a filmmaking hub, especially with regard to movies shot expressly for the big screen.


The Vow (2012)

The Vow (2012)

Best movie locations: Millennium Park, Downtown

One of the best movies filmed in Chicago featuring Channing Tatum (Leo) and Rachel McAdams (Paige) is about a newlywed couple who meets with an accident. The accident leaves Paige in a coma, and when she wakes up, she forgets everything about her past and Leo. Despite all this, Leo doesn’t give up on her and tries to renew their relationship and rebuild their marriage.

The Bottom Line

Chicago is known for so many things, but it’s no secret that the city’s film industry is booming. From movie sets like Navy Pier to downtown streetscapes and neighborhoods like The West Side, plenty of iconic Chicago scenes have been captured on film. 

So whether you’re a fan of classic Hollywood films or just looking for some inspiration for your next project, look at our list of the most famous movies filmed in Chicago and see which movie set you’d love to visit! Also, you must take a look at 5 Unique Drive-in Movie Theatres in Chicago.  


Abdul has a thing for Multi-tasking and Vlogging. He loves going out, making new friends, and helping anyone he can. He can talk your ear off, but he insists that he isn’t really all that chatty.

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