From recent romantic escapades to the cultural curations of the '50s, we can all appreciate these California-bred creations.

Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

10 Films That Make Los Angeles the Star

In a city as famous as Los Angeles, it’s only fair to give credit where credit is due. From the sappy romantic comedies to edge-of-your-seat thrillers, there is a multitude of films that hit the nail on the head in showcasing the eclectic culture of LA. The following films tastefully portray the City of Angels in a way we can all appreciate.

1) La La Land (2016)

In this tale written and directed by Damien Chazelle, we follow a young couple’s journey through the cut-throat entertainment industry in LA, observing their trials and tribulations. From the light-hearted elements making fun of the average Prius driver to the grit of casting calls and auditions, this film is nothing short of a humorous play on what it’s like living as a young, aspiring creative in Los Angeles.

2) Mulholland Drive (2001)

David Lynch did it again. In this eery depiction of the Hollywood culture, we follow a young, ambitious starlet Betty Elms through the pitfalls of the entertainment industry when she befriends a recovering amnesiac. A mysterious car crash, elusive brunette and psychological turmoil coalesce to form this visual poem curated by the ingenious Lynch.

3) Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Supposedly the first zombie film to emerge, Sunset Boulevard follows the relationship of struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis as he lands a gig nursing a silent starlet back to movie stardom. In this exposé on the grit of the film and production industry, Billy Wilder takes us through a story of death, deception and drama.

4) Blade Runner (1982)

In Ridley Scott’s depiction of a delusional dystopia, we get a birds-eye-view of Los Angeles as it would be today. We follow the story of Rick Deckard, portrayed by the incredible Harrison Ford, in Los Angeles circa 2019. Deckard is on a mission to eradicate the last of the synthetic human race. Many have praised the visual elements of this cinematic masterpiece, and Blade Runner has inspired numerous other filmmakers and video game creators alike.

5) Nightcrawler (2014)

In this painfully dark depiction of the broadcasting industry directed by Dan Gilroy, we embark on a stealth journey alongside cameraman Louis Bloom, portrayed by fan-favorite Jake Gyllenhaal. Bloom drastically portrays just how far he’s willing to go for the perfect shot, often blurring the line between the art of the profession and ethics. Looking for a cameraman (one that doesn’t lurk during the night)?

6) Die Hard (1988)

Directed by John McTiernan, we follow the story of NYC cop John McClane. McClane thought he was attending your average holiday party. McClane’s life comes to a standstill when a terrorist group encompasses the high-rise in a high-pressure hostage catastrophe. With all odds against him, McClane is tasked with the responsibility of saving his wife, daughters and everyone in the building. Die Hard was nominated for several academy awards, including Best Sound Effects Editing.

7) The Graduate (1967)

Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson. You surely brought us a brilliant depiction of the life of a cougar preying on young, recently graduated college boys. Benjamin Braddock, portrayed by the amazing Dustin Hoffman, just graduated college and everyone is dying to know where he’ll go from here. Well, Benjamin encounters a detour when seduced by an older housewife in the neighborhood. Things get weird when Benjamin falls for Mrs. Robinson’s daughter, Elaine. Among its many nominations and awards, The Graduate received the BAFTA award for Best Editing.

8) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

James Cameron brilliantly directed this interplay of futurism and robots to tell the story of young John Connor, the target of an infamous shape-shifter. Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, the new and improved T-800, is tasked with the liability of protecting young John. We can’t forget the iconic chase scene set in the waterway of the LA River. This film received, among many others, an accolade for Best Sound Mixing.

9) Gidget (1959)

Gidget was our first insight into the Malibu surfer dude, “hang loose” culture. Directed by Paul Wendkos, Gidget follows teenage beach bum Francie Lawrence (Sandra Dee) in her attempt to ride the wave of surfer culture, against the negative reception she received by the surfer dudes of Malibu. Gidget, short for “girl midget,” is a tale of a girl making waves in this well-established world of bronze bodies and Malibu madness. Need a hair and makeup artist for those perfect beachy waves or sun-kissed looks? Check out our list of hair and makeup professionals.

10) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (1959)

To this day, Hollywood remains one of the most popular subjects of films. This film, written and directed by none other than Quentin Tarantino, tells the story of an actor and his stunt double in their quest for fame during the Golden Age of Hollywood circa the late 1960s. Quentin skillfully tells the story of the notorious city of Hollywood and all of the trials and tribulations that come with being a Hollywood star.

This list could go on forever. Los Angeles is home to an innovative and ever-growing film industry. From the neo-noir classics to recent romantic comedies, you can’t go wrong shooting in the City of Angels. Should you need help with location scouting, casting, assembling a crew or any element of production, remember LA 411 has your back.