Lower Merion has been buzzing with movie stars lately: Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard filmed in Merion on May 31 for the upcoming film Dead Man Down, and last year, James Van Der Beek filmed in Ardmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr for his role in Backwards, written by and starring Haverford native Sarah Megan Thomas.
In light of Lower Merion's recent encounters with the rich and famous, we've compiled a list of movies that were filmed in Lower Merion Township. The list is not exhaustive—at least, we think—so if you can name any other movies that have filmed here, tell us in the comments.
Also following this list are a few instances within film and television that mention Lower Merion locales (for example: Betty Draper, from the television series Mad Men, is a Bryn Mawr College alumna). If you can think of more, we'd love to hear them.
Lower Merion in the Movies
- Dead Man Down (2013), starring Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard: Exterior shots filmed on Brookway Road in Merion. See a few photos from the filming, which happened on Farrell's birthday.
- Backwards (2012), starring James Van Der Beek and Haverford native Sarah Megan Thomas, who also wrote the film: filming throughout Lower Merion, including shots of the Ardmore train station and the Shipley School. Check out shots of the filming, an interview with Thomas and the trailer for Backwards.
- The Mighty Macs (2011), which follows the story of Immaculata College's women's basketball team and stars Carla Gugino and David Boreanaz: The shots of basketball practice were filmed in the basement of St. Colman Church in Ardmore.
- Dare (2009), starring Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford and Ashley Springer: Filming done at Friends' Central School (interior prep school shots), Bryn Mawr College (exterior prep school shots) and at various places in Ardmore
- Tenure (2009), starring Luke Wilson: Some filming done at Lower Merion High School, Bryn Mawr College and Rosemont College (interiors)
- The Happening (2008), directed by Penn Valley native M. Night Shyamalan, starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel: Some filming was done in Wynnewood—along with filming in Philadelphia, Ridley Creek State Park, Kennett Square, Phoenixville, New York and Paris.
- The Sixth Sense (1999), starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment: Some exterior shots (murdered little girl's house and grocery stores) filmed in Bryn Mawr
- Wide Awake (1998), starring Denis Leary, Dana Delaney and Rosie O'Donnell: Filming done at Bryn Mawr College
- The Big One (1997), written and directed by Michael Moore: Filming done in Bryn Mawr
- Philadelphia (1993), starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington: Scenes of the Beckett family's house were filmed in Merion, including the family gathering scene.
- I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (1992), starring Jason Alexander: Interestingly, part of the filming was done in Ardmore, and the rest of the filming was done in California.
- Eddie and the Cruisers (1983): Filmed at Haverford College
- David and Lisa (1962): Sites include the Wynnewood train station and what is now the Armenian Apostolic Church. This YouTube video details the scenes filmed in specific spots.
Local Film Connections
Mentions in Media:
- Betty Draper in the AMC television series Mad Men graduated from Bryn Mawr College.
- In To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Patrick Swayze's character is from Bala Cynwyd, which he and two other characters visit, before seeing his estranged mother and booking it.
- Kitty Foyle (1940) revolves around a woman's choice between marrying a doctor or the man she truly loves, Wynnewood Strafford VI, who comes from a stereotypical Main Line family. The 1940 movie was based on a 1939 book, written by Haverford native Christopher Morley, whose father was a Haverford College professor.
- Lt. Joe Cable, a character in the musical South Pacific, grew up in Ardmore
Stars Around Town:
- Actor David Boreanaz (Angel) attended school in Rosemont
- M. Night Shyamalan, a screenwriter, director and producer (The Sixth Sense, The Village), is a Penn Valley native
- Kate Flannery, who plays Meredith on the NBC series The Office, grew up in Ardmore
- Bryn Mawr native Kat Dennings has a starring role in the CBS show Two Broke Girls in was also in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
- Gladwyne native Josh Cooke had a role in the last season of Dexter
- Actress Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents, Will and Grace), mother of Gwyneth Paltrow, grew up in Rosemont
- Katharine Hepburn attended Bryn Mawr College
What else have you got? Tell us in the comments.