Boston, Massachusetts is one of America’s most historically significant and widely-visited cities.
Surrounded by inviting waters, smooth-sailing boats and nature, “Beantown” offers something for visitors of all sorts. Several of the world’s most prestigious post-secondary schools are located in or around Boston — including Harvard University (in nearby Cambridge), Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (also in Cambridge).
So it’s no wonder that several all-time great films have been filmed at or around the Boston area. Three of the biggest actors of this era in Mark Wahlberg, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, emerged as A-listers thanks largely to their successful movies filmed in Boston.
Wahlberg, Affleck and Damon are renowned Boston sports fans — and references on these teams have been made in a plethora of their projects.
Speaking of sports betting, the state of Massachusetts launched sports betting last week. New customers who are interested in signing up can cash in on the upcoming BetMGM Massachusetts bonus code which is expected to be a free wager worth up to $1,000.
With that, here is a dive into three of the best films that were filmed in Boston
“Good Will Hunting” (1997)
Much of this timeless classic was actually filmed up north in Toronto, Ontario. But areas such as the Boston Public Garden, 100 Federal Street and Harvard Square (in Cambridge) and South Boston District Municipal Court were also used for Good Will Hunting.
Affleck, Damon and Robin Williams lead the way for another deep cast that pieced together one of the best films of the ‘90s.
Damon plays the title character, Will Hunting, a troubled 20-year-old who works at MIT as a janitor. His high IQ in mathematics is soon discovered by a professor, who then helps Hunting avoid his troubled life by having him meet Dr. Sean Maguire (played by Williams).
This is a very inspiring, emotional and moving film that put Damon and Affleck on the map in Hollywood, and their careers changed for the better from there. This is an absolute must-watch for fans of all movie genres.
“The Departed” (2006)
Martin Scorsese has directed many hits, but there’s a case to be made that The Departed stands as his very best project.
The Departed features a star-studded cast headlined by Leonardo DiCaprio (Trooper Billy Costigan Jr.), Jack Nicholson (Frank Costello) and Boston’s very own Matt Damon (Sergeant Colin Sullivan) and Mark Wahlberg (Sergeant Sean Dignam).
The Costello character is based on real-life Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, one of America’s most notorious crime bosses. Bulger’s life and career became more well-documented when it was discovered that he had a close relationship with FBI agent John Connolly.
The Sullivan character is based on Connolly. In real life, Bulger exchanged information on the mafia with Connolly, which helped “Whitey” bring down his rivals. Connolly would also withhold information on Bulger’s many crimes, and in 1996, warned the widely feared gangster to leave Boston as soon as possible. Bulger was on the run for 15 years before being apprehended in 2011.
The Departed follows a very similar storyline, and it too takes place in Boston. Early in the film, a young Sullivan meets the highly-ranked Costello, and they form a partnership from there.
Sullivan works for the Massachusetts State Police and gives Costello tips to help him avoid capture. Ultimately, Sullivan is forced to make a move when he learns that Costello has been working as an informant for the FBI. Without spoiling what happens from there, it leads to one of the greatest movie twists and endings in cinema history.
The Departed won four awards at the 79th Academy Awards – more victories than any other film. Scorsese for Best Director, Graham King for Best Picture, William Monahan for Best Adapted Screenplay Writing and Thelma Schoonmaker for Best Film Editing.
“Fever Pitch” (2005)
Some folks may not know this, but Fever Pitch is actually a remake from a 1997 British movie with the same title. The latter was based on Nick Hornby’s memoir, “Fever Pitch.”
The 1997 film stars Colin Firth and focuses around the Arsenal FC soccer team. The 2005 remake, directed by brothers Peter and Bob Farrelly, stars Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore and is based on the Boston Red Sox and their 2004 World Series championship season.
The Farrelly’s remake tells the story of a lifelong Red Sox fan named Ben (played by Fallon). He falls for an executive named Lindsay (played by Barrymore) and inherits the Red Sox season tickets from his uncle.
Fenway Park, the baseball team’s home venue, was one of the main filming locations for Fever Pitch. The end of the film has references to Boston’s unforgettable comeback from 3-0 down to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, as well as their World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Several Boston players at the time like Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek were also used in Fever Pitch. This is simply a must-see film for comedy and sports movie lovers of all sorts.