5 Movies With Locations in St. Louis

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(KTVI) When it comes to the pantheon of Hollywood movies, you won’t find many with film locations in St. Louis. Directors and producers would rather film their projects in more exotic or popular locations. However, St. Louis isn’t without it’s film tradition. Here are five popular movies which have filmed with locations in St. Louis

1. Escape From New York

Ironically, the movie set in a futuristic (to 1981) New York actually had much of the movie filmed in St. Louis. In John Carpenter’s 1981 action flick, Kurt Russell is called upon to rescue the President from New York, which has become a max security prison. Union Station was only one of the films St. Louis locations. Other locations include the parts of downtown near the city museum, the FOX Theatre, St. Louis Masonic Temple on Lindell and the Chain of Rocks Bridge.



2. National Lampoon’s Vacation

What’s a road-trip movie without the Gateway to the West? In the 1983 cult classic, the Griswold family vacation takes all sorts of unexpected turns, but not before they pass St. Louis and the Arch. Part of the film was actually set in East St. Louis, but the only St. Louis shots are of the exterior.



3. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

John Hughes, who wrote National Lampoon’s Vacation, returned to the Lou in 1987 while filming part of his comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Steve Martin’s character must get home for Thanksgiving, but his flight is cancelled, forcing him to travel with an annoying salesman played by John Candy. The airport in the movie is none other than St. Louis’ own Lambert International Airport.



4. King of the Hill

Unlike Escape From New York, the 1993 period piece King of the Hill was both filmed and set in St. Louis. Steven Soderbergh’s drama is a compelling look at Midwest life during the Great Depression, told from the view of a young boy. The entirety of the movie was filmed in and around St. Louis.



5. Up In the Air

The most recent movie to be filmed in St. Louis was the 2009, Oscar-nominated drama Up In the Air. Telling the story of an always-traveling businessman, one would think the location in St. Louis would again be Lambert. And while Lambert was used in the film, Affton High School was also used as George Clooney’s character’s fictional former high school.




  • Dennis Crowe

    The Game of Their Lives (2005)
    101 min – Drama | History | Sport – 26 August 2005
    Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of the 1950 US soccer team who, against all odds, beat England 1 – 0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Although no US team has ever won a World Cup title, this story is about the family traditions and passions which shaped the lives of the players who made up this team of underdogs.
    Director: David Anspaugh
    Writers: Geoffrey Douglas (book), Angelo Pizzo
    Stars: Wes Bentley, Gerard Butler, Gavin Rossdale

  • Brainlock Has Lupus R-Arthritis

    One Night at McCools? Co-starring Affton’s own local boy, it even had the switchover license plates to the current blue gradient, several towns were namechecked, and the McGwire poster was added to help ID the city.

    Brass Ring was set here and featured a couple local newscasters.
    Shiloh 3(?) was filmed in Pacific, but too bad it’s 99% outside the StL county lines. LOL

  • Adam

    I think it has more to do with MO being one of twelve states that offers no tax incentives for filmmakers than it does with producers wanting more exotic/popular locations. Jennifer Lynch wanted very badly to film “A Fall From Grace” completely in St. Louis but couldn’t make it work financially so she’s being forced to film most of it in Georgia. Austin and Detroit are hardly more exotic than St. Louis yet both get more film activity because their state legislators recognize the benefits–both in terms of jobs and publicity–of a thriving film industry. Is it too much to ask that our local media get through one story without crapping all over the city?

  • Tony Melsheimer

    Back in the 70’s, there was a movie shot in Webster Groves. The name was “Lucas Tanner”. It went on to become a TV series.

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