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Maryland on the Big Screen

Crofton residents could find themselves in the middle of a movie set, here in Maryland, if films on the shelf at Blockbuster are any indication. 

And you may see Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Bruce Willis, Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Clint Eastwood, Meg Ryan, George Clooney or another film star browsing the historic streets of Annapolis when they’re in town again to shoot their next movie.

Enemy of the State, starring Will Smith and Gene HackmanThat’s because the film industry generates about $70 million annually in Maryland.

As Maryland’s Film Office points out, Maryland is “America in Miniature”, offering varied settings that range from the gritty inner city of HBO’s The Wire  (2002-2006) to the idyllic period towns of Disney’s Tuck Everlasting (2001); from the urban landscape of NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street (1991-98) to the historic civil war battlefields of Ted Turner’s Gods and Generals (2001); from the Amish farmland doubles of Universal’s For Richer or Poorer (1997) to the Washington D.C. doubles of Touchstone’s Enemy of the State (1997).

They go on to say “Maryland offers a rich array of landscapes from which to choose – from the mountains in the west across the rolling hills and farmlands of central Maryland to the beautiful waterfront and sandy beaches of the Eastern Shore. Architecture that spans the centuries from colonial to modern and illustrates a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds can be found throughout the state.” A slideshow featuring some of this beautiful Maryland scenery is located on the Maryland Film Office website.

Patriot Games, starring Harrison Ford


Whether you work at the U.S. Naval Academy, or you’re visiting there as a tourist, you may recognize the grounds and buildings inside the Academy gates or on the nearby streets of Annapolis from the Harrison Ford movie, Patriot Games.

Sleepless in Seattle, starring Meg Ryan



Did you know that some scenes for Sleepless in Seattle were filmed in Annapolis, at Fells Point, and at the Sun building?


Ladder 49, starring John Travolta


John Travolta fans may have seen his Ladder 99, shot in and around the City of Baltimore including Curtis Bay, near the Baltimore Inner Harbor, and at events such as the 2003 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.


Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis



Die Hard: With a Vengeance was set in New York and Canada but it was actually filmed in Baltimore and Jessup, in Anne Arundel County.


Wedding Crashers


If  you happen to stay at The Inn at Perry Cabin when you visit St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore, you’ll probably recognize it from scenes shot there and at other local sites for Wedding Crashers. 

The Annapolis schooner Woodwind II also plays a role, helmed by Christopher Walken sailing along the Choptank River.

Absolute Power, starring Clint Eastwood


Clint Eastwood starred in Absolute Power, which was centered around Northeast Baltimore.  The cliff scenes were filmed at Elk Neck State Park in Cecil County and other scenes were shot in Towson and Brooklandville . 


Runaway Bride, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere



If you visit the towns of Berlin and Snow Hill in Worcester County or New Windsor in Carroll County, you may notice a resemblance to the fictional Maryland town of Hale in Runaway Bride, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.  Other scenes for the movie were shot in Baltimore. 


Major League II


Are you a sports fan?  When you go watch the Orioles play at Camden Yards, you’ll be in the same stadium where most of Major League II was shot.  In fact, I remember when they were advertising for extras to fill the stands – I seriously considered going. 

If you go to a home game for the Baltimore Ravens or Washington Redskins, you’ll see them play in M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore or FedEx Field in Largo, where The Replacements was filmed.

Home for the Holidays



When you fly out of BWI Airport, you’ll be walking through the same airport where Home for the Holidays was filmed.  Other scenes were shot at the Baltimore Museum of Art. 


Syriana, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon


Scenes for Syriana were shot in several locations around the Baltimore area, including the Avenue at White Marsh, downtown Baltimore, a mansion in Guilford and a yacht in the Inner Harbor.


Anchors Aweigh, starring Frank Sinatra



There are dozens of other films featuring scenes in Maryland, as far back as the 1945 movie about the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Anchors Aweigh, starring Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Kathryn Grayson. 


Blair Witch Project



The Blair Witch Project was filmed entirely in Maryland – in Burkittsville in Frederick County, Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County, and Patapsco Valley State Park along the border of Howard County and Carroll County.  



When you bought your Crofton home, this probably wasn’t something you were expecting.  Yet, as you can see, movie-making is actually quite a common occurrence in Maryland.

Celebrity-watching in this area is further enhanced by visits from big-name performers in film and music who travel to Washington, D.C. to advocate for their favorite issues and make side-trips to Maryland.  We have a few celebrities living in the immediate area, too, such as Pat Sajak and Walter Cronkite, not to mention some retired politicians.  For example, Vice-President Chaney has already purchased a home on the Eastern Shore for his retirement, and a number of prominent Senators and Congressman are alum of the U.S. Naval Academy who visit from time to time – sometimes as speakers, and occasionally for a home football game.

I hope you enjoy this Maryland trivia.  Now you have something interesting to talk about the next time there’s a lull in conversation!  Who knows, maybe sometime soon you’ll be able to tell your friends and relatives that you’re appearing in a crowd scene on the big screen!


This information was gathered from a number of sources including The Baltimore Sun, the Maryland Film Office, The Baltimore Examiner, and online reviews; I accept no responsibility for the accuracy of this content.  All photos are VHS, CD or DVD Covers of the actual films.



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