Movie mistakes: Hmm, that doesn’t look like DC…

August 21, 2007

According to a post on, there’s a long history of movies set in DC that don’t accurately portray the city, from the new release The Invasion and Live Free or Die Hard to The American President and The Exorcist.

While this is definitely unfortunate, how can we leave the big cities of Chicago and New York out of this hatefest? Herewith, some of the dishonorable mentions:

  • Angel Eyes: The movie takes place in Chicago, but early on you can see Toronto’s CN Tower in the background.
  • Spiderman 2: A raised subway in the middle of midtown Manhattan? See The Gothamist’s thoughts on it.
  • Spiderman 3: Like Gotham City and Metropolis, Spiderman’s New York is clearly another New York that isn’t. Yes, that’s right, although Spiderman 3 is set in New York, some scenes were shot in Cleveland for, I believe, financial reasons (ahem, I mean, because the two cities look so much alike…) and it shows in the film. According to “A part of the movie features the Cleveland Trust Rotunda in the background where one can easily read “Cleveland Trust” inscribed on the Romanesque structure, although the movie is supposed to be set in New York city. Two other unique Cleveland landmarks are also briefly visible – Terminal Tower, and the marquee entrance to Playhouse Square Center.”
  • Independence Day: In an important scene, it looks as if the Empire State Building lines up with the center of a major street. This is impossible. The Empire State Building is at the corner of Fifth Ave and 34th street, there is no street that dead ends into it.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding: According to, the Toronto skyline, along with its mail trucks and restaurants, can be seen in certain scenes. Unfortunately, the movie is set in Chicago. Ah, Toronto, the new Chicago.

If you’re a New Yorker already irate at some of the mistakes above, and want more reasons to yell at movie studios, go here. It’s a quite impressively long list of geographical mistakes in movies that take place in New York.

For general movie goofs at, go here.