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Movies Filmed Locally in the Fox Valley

geneva movie sign
Hollywood comes to Geneva for the filming of Road to Perdition - Photo by Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

In 2002, the movie Road to Perdition was shot right here in the Fox Valley. Maybe you watched some of the filming yourself. It would have been difficult to miss, as the production company pretty much took over the town of Geneva. This article lists some of the many movies filmed in the Illinois Fox Valley!

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Interesting Changes on State Street

Storefront facades and names of most businesses on State Street were changed. They stayed changed for many days!

Listed below are other movies that were also filmed locally. If you have any additional movies to add to this list, please let us know so we can add them.

old cars in geneva, il
Filming of Road to Perdition near the Merra Lee in Geneva – Photo by Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

Movies Filmed in the Fox Valley Area

The titles of the movies below are linked to Amazon.com, where you can watch a trailer or purchase/rent the movie DVD or digital copy. If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you may have access to some of the movies free of charge.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (2017)

A former child star serves community service at his hometown church, leading him to try out for the lead role in the annual Passion Play. The church used in the film is Harvest Bible Church in Elgin, IL.

Munger Road (2012)

On the evening of October 7th, four teenagers from the town of Saint Charles, Illinois venture out to a dark, mysterious road where local legend is that the train tracks have been haunted for years. Unbeknownst to them, while the small town prepares for their annual Scarecrow Festival the next day, a child murderer from the past has escaped imprisonment and his whereabouts are unknown.

The Police Chief and his Deputy begin a search in fear that the murderer has returned home. At the same time, the teenagers become stuck on Munger Road, unable to call for help. As the police collect more suspicious evidence about the child murderer, we slowly realize that the haunting of Munger Road is directly connected to his murderous past. The race is on as the Chief realizes the teenagers are missing and could be in grave danger. As the police search for both the killer and the kids, they realize that the horror hasn’t even begun yet…

black suburban
Tom Hanks waves as he leaves the set of Road to Perdition in Geneva – Photo by Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

Road to Perdition (2002)

Much of the filming of this movie took place in the Fox Valley towns of West Dundee and State Street in downtown Geneva.

“In Road to PerditionTom Hanks plays a hit man who finds his heart. Michael Sullivan (Hanks) is the right-hand man of crime boss John Rooney (Paul Newman). But when Sullivan’s son accidentally witnesses one of his hits, he must choose between his crime family and his real one. The movie has a decidedly slow pace, probably because director Sam Mendes seems to be in love with the gorgeous period locations.

Hanks gives a deceptively battened-down performance at first, only opening up toward the very end of the film, making his character’s personal transformation all the more convincing. Newman turns in a masterful piece of work, revealing Rooney’s advancing age, but also at the same time, his terrifying power. Jude Law is also a standout, playing a hit man-photographer with chilling creepiness.” (Amazon.com)

geneva state street
Geneva storefronts are transformed for the filming of Road to Perdition – Photo by Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

Novocaine (2001)

Some scenes of this comedy were filmed at the Geneva Motel on Rt. 38 just East of Kirk Rd.

A screwball noir comedy that marks a promising directorial debut by first-timer David Atkins. Novocaine has a knack for the offbeat, beginning with the casting of Steve Martin as Frank, a dentist who traps himself in an escalating series of secrets and lies. Frank likens his dilemma to the insidious rot of tooth decay, personified by quirky drug addict Susan (Helena Bonham Carter), who enters his office, steals his narcotics, and draws him into an unexpected flirtation with disaster.

Frank’s brother (Elias Koteas) complicates matters almost as much as Susan’s nut-ball brother (Scott Caan), but it’s Frank’s fiancé and hygienist (Laura Dern) who shotguns the movie to its outrageous and gruesomely off-putting conclusion.

Wayne’s World (1992) & Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and his nerdy pal Garth (Dana Carvey) are teens who live at home and have their own low-rent cable-access show in Aurora, Illinios, in which they celebrate their favorite female movie stars and heavy-metal bands.

When a Chicago TV station smells a potential youth-audience ratings hit, the station’s weasely executive (Rob Lowe) tries to coopt the show–and steal Wayne’s new rock & roll girlfriend (Tia Carrere) at the same time. It’s filled with all kinds of knowing spoofs of movie conventions, from Wayne talking to the camera (and forbidding other characters to do so) to hilariously self-conscious product placements and labeling a moment a “Gratuitous Sex Scene.”

In Wayne’s World 2, Wayne and Garth want to stage Waynestock, a mammoth rock festival in their little Chicago suburb (Aurora, IL), even as Wayne copes with girlfriend Tia Carrere’s interest in record-company exec Christopher Walken. For extra fun, Garth gets involved with the “babelicious” Kim Basinger.

Bad Boys (1983)

The location of Rainford in the movie is actually St. Charles.  Much of the movie was filmed at the Illinois Youth Center out on Route 38 just west of Peck Road.

Sean Penn plays as Mick O’Brien, a chronic offender whose path to a Chicago juvenile corrections facility seems utterly preordained. The institution is hardly conducive to reformation. It’s a jail for problem kids, and a cauldron for all the societal ills that sent kids there in the first place.

Mick’s there because he was involved in a shootout during a botched robbery of drugs from rival street gangster Paco Moreno (Esai Morales), whose little brother was killed when Mick accidentally ran him over with his getaway car.

Coach of the Year (1980)

An ex-football star, paralyzed from the waist down during Vietnam, accepts the challenge of coaching football in a juvenile reform school. The reform school depicted is the St. Charles Boys School and many of the scenes were shot there.

One of the games was filmed at Mooseheart’s football field.  Some local football coaches – including a couple (Jerry Auchstetter & John Barton) from Geneva High School –  had small bit parts in the film that starred Robert Conrad.

Harry and Tonto (1974)

Paul Mazursky’s HARRY AND TONTO is an offbeat comedy-drama with a subtle and remarkable central performance by Art Carney as Harry, a 72-year-old widower who takes off on a cross-country odyssey with his cat, Tonto, after he’s evicted from his Manhattan apartment building. Along the way he visits his eldest daughter, Shirley (Ellen Burstyn), in Chicago and plans to meet up with his son, Eddie (Larry Hagman), in California.

Harry’s road trip is filled with small vignettes that remind him of where he’s come from and where he’s going. Inspired by the vitality of the many characters he comes across, he’s left to ponder his own quiet life. Harry also remembers a past love when he meets up with Jessie (Geraldine Fitzgerald), an old girlfriend who used to be a vivacious ballet dancer but now lies senile in a nursing home.

Among the gallery of other memorable characters he meets on the road are a young female hitchhiker, a hooker, and a down-on-his-luck Indian chief. Ultimately, Harry reaches the West Coast and finds that things are not quite as he planned. But at the end of the road, he remains deeply inspired by his new vision of life, filled with hope for the future. A remarkable ensemble cast of oddball characters infuses Harry’s trip with unique vitality, humor, and honesty.

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