We often forget that not all box office hits are filmed in Hollywood. In fact, many of our favorite flicks were made right in our home town. Check out our top 7 favorite movies filmed in Dallas.
“Office Space” is a cult classic. The film centered on Peter Gibbons, Michael Bolton and Samir Nagheenanajar, three co-workers at Initech, an IT company. All three men are disgruntled with their jobs, which dealt with making banking software Y2K compliant. They come up with a plot to infect the accounting system with a virus that will divert fractions of a penny from every transaction into a separate account. A mistakenly placed decimal point brings them in over $300,000 in less than a week.
If you are in Dallas, you can check out the space where “Office Space” was shot on in Las Colinas, a suburb of Dallas and Irving, Texas. Also, the infamous freeway shot in the film was of I-635, also known as the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway.
Any Given Sunday
There are few places better suited for a football movie than Dallas, which was the location for “Any Given Sunday” starring Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx. Former NFL players and Pro Football Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor, Jim Brown, Y.A. Tittle, Johnny Unitas, Dick Butkus, Warren Moon and Emmitt Smith also made appearances in the film.
Tony D’Amato (Pacino) is the head coach of the Miami Sharks, who uses traditional play calling, which works with his quarterback Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid). When Rooney is injured, as is his backup, the Sharks are forced to turn to third-string quarterback Willie Beamen. He ends up being benched after his inflated ego alienates his teammates and Rooney plays again once he is healthy enough to return.
The playoff game between the Sharks and the Dallas Knights takes place in Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, which was the home of the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 2008.
It’s fitting that the filming of Oliver Stone’s depiction of the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy takes place where it actually happened, in Dallas. “JFK” is a look at the assassination and following suspected cover up, all through the eyes of Jim Garrison, a former district attorney in New Orleans.
The film is narrated by Martin Sheen and features big-name stars, including Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Joe Pesci, Kevin Bacon, Ed Asner, Donald Sutherland, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Sissy Spacek and John Candy. The 186 minute film made over $205 million at the box office and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including “Best Picture”, and won two.
Stone had to pay a substantial amount of money, $4 million, to restore Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination, to the way it looked in 1963. In addition, the production had to pay the city of Dallas to hire police to reroute traffic and close streets for the shots in that area and paid an additional $50,000 just to put a person in the window where officials believe Oswald fired from. The crew was only able to film during certain hours of the day with five people on the floor.
Batman & Robin
The Dallas area served as the backdrop for Gotham City in “Batman and Robin.” The film featured Bruce Wayne (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O’Donnell) and it marked the first appearance of Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone). This 1997 flick also brought the return of villains Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), and Bane (Robert Swenson).
The film led to the creation of several roller coasters to promote the movie. “Batman: The Ride” was featured at Six Flags Over Texas in the “Gotham City” area of the park. The park also has a “Mr. Freeze” ride, which didn’t debut until 1998 due to issues with the launch system. By that point, the movie had run its course through the theaters, so George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger did not attend the ride opening as originally scheduled.
A 1987 film set in a futuristic version of Detroit, Michigan, “RoboCop” was filmed in Dallas. The producers felt that the city’s skyline had a futuristic look to it. Peter Weller played Officer Alex Murphy, a member of the Detroit police force that is murdered in the line of duty. His body is claimed by Omni Consumer Products, which has the idea to come up with robot replacements for police officers. They use Murphy’s body to help create the first cyborg “RoboCop.”
City Hall and the Dallas Public Library both were prominent filing venues during the movie. Fountain Place, located at 1445 Ross Avenue, was the base for the offices of Omni Consumer Products. For those of you who watched the TV show “Dallas,” the building was the offices of Ewing Oil and later on, Weststar Oil. Other locations around the city that can be seen in the film are the Plaza of the Americas, Reunion Tower and the Sons of Herrmann Hall.
Born on the Fourth of July
This 1989 Oliver Stone film featured Tom Cruise, who earned his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Kovic. The film was the second in a trilogy of Vietnam oriented films by Stone, following 1986’s “Platoon” and preceding 1993’s “Heaven and Earth.”
Dallas Hall, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, was used for the protest scenes in the film and you can see other parts of the SMU campus throughout the film as well. Kovic’s high school in the film is Henderson Elementary School, Milo Butterfingers is Arthur’s Bar and the Elmwood neighborhood in Oak Cliff was used for parades, schools and church scenes.
The Dallas Convention Centre filled in for the Miami Convention Center in the scene depicting the 1972 Republican National Convention. In that scene, Kovic and fellow Vietnam Veterans Against War Bobby Muller, Bill Wieman and Mark Clevenger were spit on.
The X-Files: Fight the Future
Rarely is a movie featuring characters on a current television show put together, but that was the case with “The X-Files: Fight the Future.” The film was released in 1998 and was slotted to fit in with the show’s storyline between the fifth and sixth seasons. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprised their small screen roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
The film allowed writers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz to expand on the storyline of the show in places they were limited in the TV show. The film spans from 35,000 B.C. to the current era and from places like Texas and Salt Lake City to Antarctica. In the first shot of the film during the present day, Dallas scenery is apparent in the background. The producers scouted out the Dallas area to shoot the bombing of the Federal Building but it was determined to be too expensive, which forced the shoot to relocate to Los Angeles.
The film grossed over $189 million worldwide and led to the 2008 sequel, “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” six years after the show went off the air.
What is your favorite Hollywood hit that was filmed in the Dallas area?
Andy has lived in several different areas of the United States, but always calls Texas home. He wrote articles for a local paper about outdoor recreation with pets before joining a local satellite Tv company in 2010. When he is not watching outdoor adventure programs on Animal Planet, The History Channel, or The National Geographic Channel, Andy can be found hiking in the red rock deserts of the Southwest.