Location. Location. Location. This adage is usually spouted by real estate agents when emphasizing how important of a factor location is to a property. Location is also crucial for filming a movie, and over the decades, Pittsburgh has proven a great place for cinematographers.

The city and region have been the setting for numerous films since the birth of the industry, but there was a resurgence of filming here after former Governor Ed Rendell signed into law the Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit in July of 2004, which awarded a 25% film tax credit to productions that spend at least 60% of their budget in the Commonwealth.

Some locations in the area are particularly photogenic and are featured in several films. For instance, Mellon Institute on the Campus of Carnegie Mellon University has appeared in The Dark Night Rises and The Mothman Prophecies. The Duquesne Incline and Pittsburgh International have had several cameos too.

Though few may know the amazing history of our city on film, Pittsburgh has been and will continue to be one of the film industry’s leading lights. Below is a list of some memorable films shot in Pittsburgh from 1950 onward, along with a brief summary of the movie and some locations, if available, where they were filmed. Several of these movies are links to more in depth summaries, histories and reviews. Be aware: there may be spoilers.

50’s and 60’s

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Angels in the Outfield – 1951

I Was a Communist for the FBI – 1951

Night of the Living Dead – 1968

The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh - 1979

70’s

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Slap Shot – 1977

The Deer Hunter – 1978

Dawn of the Dead - 1978

80’s

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Flashdance – 1983

All the Right Moves – 1983

Mrs. Soffel – 1984

Gung Ho – 1986

Dominick & Eugene – 1988

90’s

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The Silence of the Lambs – 1991

Lorenzo’s Oil – 1992

The Cemetery Club – 1993

Striking Distance – 1993

Roommates – 1995

Houseguest – 1995

Sudden Death – 1995

Kingpin – 1996

Diabolique – 1996

Inspector Gadget – 1999

Dogma – 1999

2000’s

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Wonder Boys – 2000

The Mothman Prophecies – 2002

Zack and Miri Make a Porno – 2008

Smart People – 2008

Adventureland – 2009

2010’s

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She’s Out of My League - 2010

Love and Other Drugs – 2010

One for the Money – 2012

The Dark Knight Rises – 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 2012

Jack Reacher – 2012

Concussion – 2015

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl – 2015

Fences – 2016

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood– 2019

2020

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Happiest Season – 2020

By Janice Lane Palko