3 Movies that Showcase Chicago Architecture


Famous American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, said, “Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.”

There are many movies that give due justice to the beauty of Chicago architecture, including:

  1. The Fugitive 

Starring Harrison Ford, this epic crime thriller primarily takes place in Chicago. Ford is wrongfully accused of murdering his wife and throughout the entire movie, is trying to prove his innocence.

Constantly moving around the city to avoid the crime detectives, Ford’s character hits many Chicago spots. The lovely LaSalle building downtown, the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Ave., Daley Plaza, Chicago City Hall, John Crerar Library, and even the green tinted Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day weekend are highlighted in The Fugitive. 

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Ford at the Clark/Lake CTA stop. Find here.

Curbed Chicago created an entire interactive map with the locations Ford hit throughout the movie.

  1. While You Were Sleeping

Far different than The Fugitive, this Sandra Bullock movie is a darling Rom-Com. In While You Were Sleeping, Bullock’s character is a lonely CTA employee, looking for love. When the man she’s been secretly admiring for months falls onto the CTA tracks, she jumps at the chance to save him. This sets up the rest of the delightful movie, in which several parts of Chicago are showcased.

A good chunk of the movie takes place on the Randolph/Wabash Redline stop, where Bullock’s character works. She also often gets a Chicago hotdog on The Wabash Avenue Bridge, with a great view of downtown. After Bullock’s love interest injures himself on the CTA tracks, they spend a lot of time at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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Bullock at the Randolph/Wabash CTA stop. Find here.

For any diehard Bullock or While You Were Sleeping fans, here are exact addresses of where the film was shot.

  1. The Big Sick

More recent than the past two films, The Big Sick was filmed in 2017. Kumail Nanjiani plays a comedian by day, Uber driver by night in this romantic comedy set in Chicago. Nanjiani’s character falls in love with an American girl, and worries that his traditional Muslim family will not accept her. Nanjiani’s love interest falls into a coma after becoming very ill. He spends many weeks with her parents, giving them a place to stay while their daughter is in the hospital and showing them around Chicago.

the big sick
The Big Sick cast, Chicago skyline in the background. Find here.

The Big Sick is based on a true story. Nanjiani plays himself and acts alongside Zoe Kazan, who plays his wife from real life. Nanjiani lived in the northern side of Chicago, in Wrigleyville and Lakeview, for years. This is where he met his wife and was inspired to write The Big Sick.

What are your favorite movies that show off Chicago’s beautiful architecture?

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