3x3: famous landmarks in movies

You know how cool it is at the end of Planet of the Apes when Charleton Heston finds – spoiler! – the Statue of Liberty? What are some other great instances of famous landmarks in movies?

Here are our picks, which we discuss starting at the 38-minute mark in our podcast for Lawless.

3. Lincoln Memorial in Logan’s Run
2. Forbidden City in The Last Emperor

  1. Stonehenge in Halloween 3

3. Statue of Liberty in Cloverfield
2. Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest

  1. World Trade Center in Happy Accidents

3. White House in Superman II
2. Empire State Building in King Kong

  1. Pyramids in Gallipoli

Do natural landmarks count?

If so, then Devil’s Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Monument Valley in The Searchers.

If it’s buildings you want, then, uh… Um… The CN Tower in Canadian Bacon, I guess?

The Bradbury Building interiors in Blade Runner. This building has been in a number of movies, but I think the future-noir shadows in Blade Runner are perfectly used with the ironworks in the halls.

Actually that was Halloween 3: Season of the Witch pushes glasses up nose

Oops, that was a typo, so that’s my fault. Kelly got it right on the podcast.


Golden Gate Bridge in Vertigo.

  1. Mount Rushmore in National Treasure II - Just to add another Mt Rushmore
  2. Statue of Liberty in Planet of the Apes- Oh my God… I’m back. I’m home. All the time it was… we finally really did it. [screaming] YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!
  3. Independence Day- Goodbye White House

2 from Harryhausen:

The Washington Monument in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
Golden Gate Bridge in It Came From Beneath the Sea

  1. Union Square in the opening sequence of The Conversation.
  2. Odessa Steps massacre in Battleship Potemkin.
  3. Queensborough Bridge in Manhattan.

The Statue of Liberty in X-Men.
Alcatraz in The Rock

Well it is as big as a building
The Battleship Missouri, in Under Siege, Pearl Harbor, and Battleship

The Washington Monument in Mars Attacks!
The Grand Canyon in Thelma and Louise
Magdeburg Water Bridge Hanna

Honorable mentions: Ayres Rock in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and A Cry in the Dark.

Arc de Triomphe in Army in the Shadows

The National Monument of Scotland aka Scotland’s Shame in My Way Home.

The Statue of Liberty in The Godfather, very restrained although quite an obvious message.

Mount Rushmore in Team America World Police. Fits my decidedly low brow sense of humor.

Space Needle in Chronicle.

The most unusual use of the Eiffel tower in the French surrealist film Zazie dans le metro.

One of my friends showed me that movie, and I still don’t know what it was about. Neither does she, I don’t think, since she fell asleep.

The Statue of Liberty in Planet of the apes.

  1. Remember the Alamo? Especially Jan Hooks’ cameo there in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure? And there was no basement there? Me too.

  2. Prague Castle in The Brothers Bloom. This beautiful Bohemian castle is in other movies, like Mission: Impossible, but during the caper in this sequence they managed to catch some of my favorite statuary. This was at the point of the movie just before it started to go downhill, but at this point, what a glorious view.

Spoiler for H-scroll. No Solicitors, No Trespassing

  1. The World Trade Center in Mazes and Monsters, King Kong (1976), The Cruise, the first trailer for Spider-Man, and Gangs of New York and many others. I hear Man on Wire is pretty good. Two towers that just overshadowed every other skyscraper in New York’s skyline. They embodied massiveness, stability, permanence…and I don’t mean to be flippant or disrespectful. Obviously they were destroyed, tragically. But while they were up they were an almost supernatural addition to the city: manmade and majestic. Of course a schizophrenic would mistake them as two magical towers in his not-D&D game. Of course a gigantic ape would climb them. Of course a tour guide would tell a kid to spin around between them, then look up at them. Of course the New Yorker of cinematic superheroes would use them to catch bank robbers. Of course a beautiful montage of low lower lowest Manhattan through the decades would feature them.

Runners Up: The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Superman III. He straightens it in a drunken stupor, then, after sobering up, knocks it askew again. Kind of a dick move in both cases.

The Eiffel Tower in The War of the Worlds (1953). There were no gratuitous shots of its destruction at Martian hands. When the aliens tore down the Eiffel Tower, a dedicated French sketch artist had to draw an artist’s depiction. That artifact of the fall of Paris was funneled to the leaders of Earth’s resistance, so they could harrumph at it and realize what a tight spot the Earth was in.

Scott Pilgrim getting punched into a garret on Casa Loma in Toronto in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

The Arc de Triomphe in Army of Shadows, in both the terrific and chilling opening sequence and the final shot.