OyChicago blog

Who’s Jewish in Chicago movies

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09/13/2011

Fade to black hats photo 2 

Here is my list of the top 25 movies set in the greater Chicago area… and which of their creators or stars is Jewish. Please feel free (like I have to say this) to disagree with my choices, which are listed alphabetically. I’m not sure what I’m trying to prove— but can I just say: “Wow, that’s a lot.”

Ed Zwick photo 

1. About Last Night 
Director Ed Zwick; writer David Mamet (see the footnote, or “Bonus” section)

Jennifer Jason Leigh photo 

2. Backdraft 
Stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Scott Glenn 

Carrie Fisher photo 

3. Blues Brothers 
Writer/director John Landis; cameo by Carrie Fisher 

Ally Sheedy photo 

4. Breakfast Club 
Stars Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson (who is discussed in Ally’s Bonus section)

5. Brian’s Song 
Star James Caan (discussed in his son Scott’s bio)

6. Chicago  
Songwriters Kander & Ebb (see the Bonus)

Maggie Gyllenhaal photo 

7. Dark Knight 
Star Maggie Gyllenhaal 

8. Doctor Detroit
Star Fran Drescher  

9. Eight Men Out
Star Michael Lerner of When Do We Eat? 

Matthew Broderick photo  Jennifer Grey photo 

10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Stars Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey; cameo by Ben Stein 

Harrison Ford photo 

11. The Fugitive 
Star Harrison Ford 

12. High Fidelity
Stars Jack Black and Lisa Bonet 

13. Home Alone
Star Daniel Stern 

Jeff Garlin photo 

14. I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Writer/director/star Jeff Garlin, stars Sarah Silverman, Paul Mazursky, and Richard Kind 

15. My Best Friend’s Wedding
Maybe writer Ronald Bass...?

16. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Star Lainie Kazan 

17. My Bodyguard
Nada. Star Ruth Gordon plays a Holocaust survivor in Harold and Maude and a Jewish mother in Where’s Poppa, though.

18. Planes, Trains & Automobiles
I’m 90% sure actor Larry Hankin is, and…

19. Risky Business
…I’m also pretty sure director Paul Brickman is. Anyone with info on these two, please send it on.

Paul Newman photo 

20. Road to Perdition 
Stars Paul Newman and Jennifer Jason Leigh 

21. The Sting
Star Paul Newman 

22. Stranger Than Fiction
Stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dustin Hoffman 

23. The Untouchables
Actor Steven Goldstein 

Billy Crystal photo 

24. When Harry Met Sally
Stars Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher. Director/star Rob Reiner; cameo by his mom (“I’ll have…”). Writer Nora Ephron. Soundtrack performed by Harry Connick Jr., mostly of songs written by Jews.

25. While You Were Sleeping
Star Jack Warden 

There are at least 25 other good movies set in Chicago, so look for this post’s sequel in the months to come.

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