Hollywood is in Southern California, so it’s no surprise that many incredible movies have been filmed in (and set in) the area. Have you seen these 10 classic movies about Southern California?
10 Classic Movies about Southern California
#1: Some Like it Hot
Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis star in this 1959 classic movie that was voted the #1 comedy by the American Film Institute and in a 2017 poll of film critics by the BBC. Lemmon and Curtis play musicians who witness a murder and must hide to protect themselves . . . so they decide to disguise themselves (poorly!) as women. The film is set in both Chicago and San Diego (at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado) and is filmed in black and white. Fun fact: the movie was supposed to be in color, but after Marilyn Monroe saw the terrible makeup that Lemmon and Curtis wore during the scenes where they pretend to be women, she decided that it was best to keep the film in black and white!
#2: The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski is a 1998 crime and comedy film starring Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski. Lebowski, who lives in Los Angeles and loves bowling, is attacked; he learns that the attackers thought he was another man, also named Lebowski, who is a millionaire. When the millionaire Lebowski’s wife is kidnapped, he asks “The Dude” Lebowski to help save her.
#3: Almost Famous
Almost Famous is a comedy and drama film released in 2000. It tells the story of a young journalist from San Diego who is still in high school but has the opportunity to following a band, called Stillwater, and write a story for Rolling Stone magazine. The film stars Kate Hudson as Penny, a girl who is in love with a member of the band.
#4: Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 comedy and coming-of-age film written by Cameron Crowe. To write the script, Crowe attended (undercover) a high school in San Diego and then wrote about his experience there. The film is about a year in the life of American teenagers. It stars many famous actors, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Phoebe Cates, and Forest Whitaker.
Speed is a 1994 action movie starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. The movie is about a Los Angeles police officer who tries to rescue people on a city bus. The bus has a bomb that is set to explode if the bus stops moving at a speed of less than 50 miles per hour.
Swingers is a 1996 comedy/drama movie about single actors living in Hollywood. The film stars Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Heather Graham; the movie was responsible for making all of these actors famous. It was rated as one of the 100 Funniest Movies by Bravo.
Clueless is a 1995 comedy starring Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd. The movie was inspired by the Jane Austen novel Emma (1815) and is set in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. The director, Amy Heckerling, said she studied Beverly High School students so that the film would use the correct slang and show just how teenagers in the 1980s talked and lived. It is considered to be one of the best teen movies of all time.
Stay classy, San Diego! Anchorman is a 2004 comedy starring Will Ferrell. It is set in San Diego in the 1970s and portrays TV anchorman Ron Burgundy, who is a clueless and ignorant (yet likable) character that falls in love with another reporter, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate).
#9: Bring It On
Bring It On is a 2000 teen comedy starring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and Gabrielle Union. The movie is about high school cheerleaders in San Diego who are preparing for their senior year . . . and a major cheer competition. Bring on the drama!
Traffic is a 2000 crime and drama movie that shows the illegal drug trade, as experienced by many people: drug addicts, politicians, drug traffickers, and law enforcement. The movie is set in many locations, including Tijuana (the border town between Mexico and the U.S.) and San Diego.