There are dozens of connections to the city and the whole region in box office blockbusters and indie films alike.
Many are being streamed on popular services or are available for rent or purchase digitally.
Heck, the film projects connected to award-winning hometown heroes Allison Janney, Martin Sheen, Dave Chappelle and Rob Lowe alone could probably keep you busy until the pandemic is over. Here is a rundown of some of our favorites — newer films and classics — that you may or may not be thinking of.
1) SUNSET BOULEVARD, 1950
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? Joe Gillis played by William Holden in the classic film "Sunset Boulevard" makes reference to his time at a Dayton newspaper.
“The time had come to wrap up the whole Hollywood deal and go home. Maybe if I hawked all my junk there’d be enough for a bus ticket back to Ohio. Back to that $35 a week job behind the copy desk at the Dayton Evening Post if it was still open. Back to the smirking delight of the whole office. ‘Alright you wise guys, why don’t you go out and take a crack at Hollywood.’”
That speech is far less known than the Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) line: “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "An aging silent film queen refuses to accept that her stardom has ended. She hires a young screenwriter to help set up her movie comeback. The screenwriter believes he can manipulate her, but he soon finds out he is wrong. The screenwriter's ambivalence about their relationship and her unwillingness to let go leads to a situation of violence, madness, and death."
WHAT'S THE CONNECTION? Yellow Springs residents Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar — longtime pillars of Dayton's art and film community — received the Oscar in the documentary feature category for their critically-acclaimed film "American Factory" at the Academy Award ceremony, Sunday, Feb. 9. They share the award with Jeff Reichert.
Bognar and Reichert, a couple together for more than 30 years, received an Academy Award nomination in the "Best Documentary (short subject)" category for their 2009 HBO film "The Last Truck" about the closing of that very same GM plant in Moraine.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America."
Two of Reichert’s other films — “Union Maids” (1977) and “Seeing Red” (1984) — were also nominated for Academy Awards.
The couple hope to premiere their latest work, "9 to 5 — The Story of a Movement," once the coronavirus situation is resolved, according to a post on Facebook.
3) IDES OF MARCH, 2011
Credit: Meagan Engle
Credit: Meagan Engle
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? "Ides of March," a political drama starring George Clooney and Ryan Gosling, was partially filmed at Miami University in Oxford. The film, which opened in 2011, prominently features Oxford in the first 20 minutes with scenes taking place in Hall Auditorium.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "An idealistic staffer for a newbie presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. Based on the play by Beau Willimon."
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? The bulk of the movie starring Robert Redford,Tika Sumpter, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and Casey Affleck was filmed in and around Cincinnati, but Lisa Grigsby, FilmDayton's executive director, told this news organization in 2018 that the film made a $200,000 economic impact here during its two days of filming in downtown Dayton in May 2017.
About 75 extras from the region were used and about 35 of the 100-member crew were local residents, Grigsby told us then.
The Dayton skyline and Liberty Tower are among the scenes seen in the trailer.
Another scene shows Robert Redford and Danny Glover on top of the Talbott Tower.
Parts of downtown Hamilton, and a gas station and the Midway Theater in Bethel (southeast of Cincinnati) were also used in the movie.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "At the age of 70, Forrest Tucker makes an audacious escape from San Quentin, conducting an unprecedented string of heists that confound authorities and enchant the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt, who becomes captivated with Forrest's commitment to his craft, and a woman who loves him in spite of his chosen profession."
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? Hannah Beachler, a 2005 Wright State University graduate who was raised in Centerville, took home the Academy Award for Best Production Design for helping create the world of Wakanda in the blockbuster Marvel film.
In September 2018, Beachler was inducted into the Dayton Walk of Fame, along with a class that included Oscar-nominated filmmaker Julia Reichert, one of Beachler's professors at Wright State.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he's drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people."
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? Dayton comes up during a conversation between Cody (Jeff Healey), the band singer in the Double Deuce and Dalton (Patrick Swayze).
Cody: "Man, this toilet is worse than the one that we worked in Dayton."
Cody: "Oh man, it's a mean scene around here, man. There's blood on the floor of this joint every night."
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "Patrick Swayze stars in this sexy thriller from the producer of Die Hard and the Matrix. Co-starring Ben Gazzara (The Thomas Crown Affair), Kelly Lynch (Charlie's Angels) and Sam Elliott (We Were Soldiers), Road House delivers no-holds-barred action that pushes the envelope for high-octane thrills! Swayze is Dalton, a legendary bouncer who comes to Jasper, Missouri, for a special purpose: to restore order at the notorious Double Deuce Bar. In one spectacular fight after another, Dalton rids the bar of thugs and henchmen. But when he runs afoul of a ruthless crime boss (Gazzara) who controls the town, the stage is set for a blistering showdown that'll leave only one man standing."
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? A map of Dayton is included in the 2011 sci-fi film "Super 8." Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is mentioned in the film that follows a group of Ohio kids who witness a train derailment while filming a zombie flick with a Super-8 camera.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "In 1979 Ohio, several youngsters (Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso) are making a zombie movie with a Super-8 camera. In the midst of filming, the friends witness a horrifying train derailment and are lucky to escape with their lives. They soon discover that the catastrophe was no accident, as a series of unexplained events and disappearances soon follows. Deputy Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler), the father of one of the kids, searches for the terrifying truth behind the crash."
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? The story of Robert Bilott, a 1983 Fairborn High School graduate and partner in the law firm Taft Stettinius and Hollister in Cincinnati, is the subject of the film by Todd Haynes thatstars Mark Ruffalo.
Standouts include Bruce Cromer, a Wright State acting professor who plays an attorney in then film.
Wright State graduate Hannah Beachler, an Oscar winner for her work on "Black Panther," was the film's production designer.
Beachler learned of her Oscar nomination during the filming of “Black Waters.”
Dayton resident Karri O'Reilly was the film's production supervisor.
According to O'Reilly and Jonathan McNeal, the manager of The Neon movie theater, others from the Dayton area who were involved with the film include Chance Madison, Mike Dittiacur, Casey Shelton, Laura Dennings, Scott Lipez, Scott Bowers, Denise Dal Vera, Selena Burks-Rentschler, Ryan Tudor,Russ Faust, Kasey Hosp, Leah Byrd and Sara Mackie.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "A tenacious attorney uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world's largest corporations. While trying to expose the truth, he soon finds himself risking his future, his family and his own life.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? Several scenes that appear in the 2016 movie starring Don Cheadle were filmed in the Dayton and Kettering area for the story about Miles Davis, the legendary jazz musician. Cheadle filmed at the former Dayton City Jail.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "The true story of jazz music legend Miles Davis. After disappearing for a period of five years in the 1970s, Miles and a music reporter set out to recover a stolen sessions tape."
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? The Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated movie "Carol" was filmed in parts of Hamilton, Lebanon and Cincinnati. The Kostas Restaurant in downtown Hamilton has a sign saying "Carol was filmed here." The movie, which starred Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, featured many Dayton-area actors as extras.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department store. The two women develop a fast bond that becomes a love with complicated consequences.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "A hard-partying woman receives a startling wake-up call when a visit to the doctor reveals how unhealthy she is. Motivated to lose weight, she soon takes up running to help her prepare for her ultimate goal of competing in the New York City Marathon."
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION? Christopher Pentecost, aKettering-raised, 2015 Alter High School graduate who's now an LA-based special effects sound editor, worked on this film, which was the winner of the 2020 Academy Award in the Best Short Film category.
HOW IS THE MOVIE DESCRIBED? "Hair Love is a 2019 American animated short film written and directed by Matthew A. Cherry and co-produced with Karen Rupert Toliver. It follows the story of a man who must do his daughter's hair for the first time, and it features Issa Rae as a voice of the mother."
WHAT'S THE CONNECTION? Dayton-based independent filmmaker Henrique Coutohas a slew of comedies, horrors and other films under his belt including "Marty Jenkins and the Vampire Bitches," "A Bulldog for Christmas," and the feminist western "Calamity Jane's Revenge."