advertisement

Filmed in Maryland

Charm City has had a starring, or at least supporting role, in movies since the early 20th century. Alfred Hitchcock re-created a waterfront street for Marnie, and James Bond landed at Friendship Airport (now BWI) with Pussy Galore in Goldfinger.

Two Baltimoreans have put their hometown in a variety of movies. John Waters filmed lots of movies in Baltimore from the early Pink Flamingoes to the more mainstream Cry-Baby, with Johnny Depp, and Serial Mom, with Kathleen Turner. Serial Mom was a homecoming for Turner, who studied drama at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The musical version of Hairspray wasn't really filmed in Baltimore -- that was Toronto, hon. And that's John Travolta trying to sound like he's really from "Muriland." He'd been to B-more before to film Ladder 49 in 2004, and we loved him then, too.

Local boy Barry Levinson paid homage to our town in a number of his early movies: Tin Men, Avalon, and Liberty Heights, and the most famous of them all, Diner.

We've had our fair share of silver screen beauties here, too. Nicole Kidman was in town to shoot the Invasion, released in 2007. Renee Zellweger starred in He's Just Not That Into You, with Baltimore stepping into the role of Boston. Diana Ross never actually came to Baltimore when she starred in the 1972 biopic Lady Sings the Blues, about Baltimore's Billie Holiday. But that was Whoopie Goldberg in the two-hankie Clara's Heart. Elizabeth McGovern came to town twice for Bedroom Window, a 1987 murder mystery, and 1991's He said, She Said, which also starred Kevin Bacon, one of the original Diner stars.

Thrillers by Marylander Tom Clancy were filmed locally as well. That's the Ravens' stadium being blown up in The Sum of All Fears. Annapolis was the setting for Harrison Ford in 1992's Patriot Games. Ford had previously been in Baltimore to film the forgettable Mosquito Coast in 1986.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards got its star turn, too, in Major League, with Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenson; and in The Babe, with John Goodman playing Baltimore's Babe Ruth. Kevin Kline came to an Orioles game to throw out the first pitch in Dave.

And what better place for a romance than Baltimore, setting for Sleepless in Seattle and The Accidental Tourist (based on a novel by Baltimorean Anne Tyler). Step Up (and Step Up 2) showed the grittier side of Baltimore -- as well as the refined Baltimore School for the Arts.

The Maryland countryside was the backdrop of a few movies as well. Wedding Crashers and Failure to Launch are set on the Eastern Shore. Oprah Winfrey starred in Beloved, shot in the countryside north of Baltimore in 1988. Sissie Spacek spent time in Ocean City for Violets Are Blue in 1986, and then returned to nearby Berlin to film Tuck Everlasting in 2002. Little Berlin was turned upside down earlier by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, when they came to film Runaway Bride.

Oh, and one more. The people of suburban Baltimore County and Frederick County would like it if everyone forgot that the Blair Witch Project was shot there in 1999.

TV & Books Too

Baltimoreans remain proud of their town's starring role in Homicide: Life on the Streets. HBO's The Wire, also by David Simon, was filmed here, as well.

The good-natured folks of Delaware haven't gotten their own television show (and thank goodness, not even one about urban violence), but the Delaware-based Punkin' Chunkin' has given the state its 15 minutes of fame. It's been featured on ESPN and the Smithsonian Channel among other outlets.

A wide variety of books have local settings. James Michener wrote his historical Chesapeake (Random House, 1978) while living on the Eastern Shore. Though it's fiction, the book offers a good history of the area and the watermen who make their living on the Bay.

Several other books celebrate the Chesapeake: William H. Warner's Beautiful Swimmers (Little, Brown, 1976), a Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the blue crab; An Island Out of Time (Norton, 1996), by Tom Horton, chronicles his 3 years living on remote Smith Island. Cambridge native John Barth set his epic The Sotweed Factor (Atlantic Books, 1960) on the Eastern Shore. Children have been reading Katherine Paterson's Jacob I Have Loved, a Newbery Medal winner, since Crowell published it in 1980.

Roots (Doubleday, 1976) opens in Annapolis. Author Alex Haley and his main character Kunta Kinte are remembered at the City Dock there.

Anne Tyler sets her books in and around the Baltimore neighborhood where she has lived. Several have been made into movies, most notably The Accidental Tourist (Knopf, 1985). Ladder of Years (Knopf, 1995) takes place at the beach.

Nora Roberts, a prolific romance writer, has set several of her books in her adopted state of Maryland. The four-book Chesapeake Bay collection is set in St. Michaels and Baltimore.

Baltimore native and sportswriter Frank DeFord based his novel An American Summer (Sourcebooks, 2002) in 1954 Baltimore County.

The newest Maryland-based book is James McBride's Song Yet Sung, published in 2008, which chronicles a runaway slave's experiences on the Eastern Shore.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.