Washington DC and its monumental landmarks are a source of inspiration for filmmakers and the setting for iconic film moments. Steven Spielberg’s “The Post”, which stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, depicts journalists who published the controversial “Pentagon Papers”. It is one in a series of films set in America’s political heartland, some of which takes creative liberties to the hilt. Below are 5 must-visit film locations in the US capital, which you should include in your tours of Washington DC.
The White House
In the disaster/sci-fi film titled “Independence Day”, a laser beam demolishes the White House, the home of the American President. This scene is not all CGI, but Director Roland Emmerich had created a scale model to film it. The spectacle took seven days to plan with more than forty explosions.
The National Archives
This building features in the “National Treasure” movie starring Nicholas Cage in the lead role. His character, a historian cum cryptologist named Benjamin Franklin Gates, goes in search of rumored treasure that traces back to America’s creation. In one scene, he even steals the United States Declaration of Independence. The neo-classical building has majestic columns as well as the Presidential Libraries.
The Lincoln Memorial
This where Tom Hank’s character in Forrest Gump delivers an impromptu speech that is anti-Vietnam war. Although the crowds shown in the scene was achieved thanks to effects, they did shoot something on the location, and the result is there for everyone to see. Perhaps no other film except Robert Zemeckis’s Forrest Gump captured the Memorial on celluloid in a better way.
The Watergate Hotel
Perhaps the film that best captured the Watergate Hotel on celluloid was “All the President’s Men”. The film documents how two Washington Post reports plotted the controversial political exposé. It is quite amazing that the “Watergate Scandal” occurred in the same decade in which the film came out. The sweeping curves of the hotel are instantly recognizable, of course.
St Elmo’s Bar
The 1980’s classic flick, “St Elmo’s Fire” tracks the lives of former students of the Georgetown University who navigate their way through their post-graduate lives. The center stage to the film was the “St Elmo’s Bar”, which is still open to public. Situated on the Georgetown Campus’s fringe, The Tombs, as it is actually called, looks pretty much the same as it did in the movie. In fact, little has changed since 1962, so a visit here will surely give a touch of vintage feel to your tours of Washington DC.