Filmography in Seattle

  • By Alyssa Burrows
  • Posted 1/24/2002
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3678
Since the 1933 debut of Tugboat Annie, Seattle has been featured in more than 100 motion pictures and television features. Generations of Hollywood producers have used Seattle-area scenery and architecture as backdrops of such major releases as The Slender Thread, It Happened at the World’s Fair, The Parallax View, McQ, Cinderella Liberty, Sleepless in Seattle, The Fabulous Baker Boys, War Games, Trouble in Mind, Singles, and Little Buddha. Local actors and extras have also shared the spotlight with film stars including Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Sidney Poitier, Anne Bancroft, Walter Pidgeon, James Coburn, Warren Beatty, James Caan, Marsha Mason, Beau and Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Hanks, and Meg Ryan. More recent made-for-television horror films such as The Night Stalker and Rose Red have taken cues from Seattle history, while the TV series Dark Angel painted an equally dark future -- and we still don’t quite know how to classify Twin Peaks.

Roll Camera and Action!

The first motion pictures made in Seattle were documentary views of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the Nome Gold Rush, and the Denny Regrade. Tugboat Annie was the first Hollywood feature to be made in and (loosely) about Seattle, although set in the imaginary port of “Secoma.” It was based on a series of short stories written by Norman Reilly Raine. Contrary to myth, Marie Dressler’s role as the crusty Annie was not based on the real Thea Foss (who founded the Foss tugboat company on the Tacoma waterfront in the 1880s), but the historic tug Arthur Foss was used in local shooting on Lake Union.

After a long intermission, the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair attracted the interest of a new generation of film makers and led to such productions, memorable and otherwise, as The Slender Thread (based on Seattle’s Crisis Clinic) and It Happened At the World’s Fair (starring Elvis Presley, at the express request of then-Governor Al Rosellini [1910-2011]). The Space Needle has also served as a location for heroes and villains ranging from Warren Beatty in The Parallax View to Austin Powers’ nemesis, Dr. Evil.

Coming Attractions

Star-struck citizens eagerly lined up for brief walk-ons, including then-Mayor Wes Uhlman, whose wallet is lifted in Harry In Your Pocket. Local actors and theater professionals also found employment. In the 1970s, both state and city governments recognized that silver screen could pump gold into local economies and organized formal offices to promote and facilitate film and TV productions.

On the other side of the camera, Seattleites have flocked to the city’s movie theaters since the first Edison “kinetoscope” was demonstrated here in 1894. Beginning in 1974, the annual Seattle International Film festival has attracted growing attention and attendance, and the city has long been popular with independent cineastes.

Ready For Our Close Up

Without further ado, HistoryLink presents a selection of feature films made in and about Seattle:

Tugboat Annie (1933)
Cast: Marie Dressler (Annie Brennan), Wallace Beery (Terry Brennan), Robert Young (Alexander 'Alec' Brennan), Maureen O'Sullivan (Patricia Severn), Red Severn (Willard Robertson). Director: Mervyn LeRoy. Annie and Terry Brennan (Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery) are a couple who live by the waterfront. "Tugboat Annie," the "old sea cow," pilots her boat Narcissus around Puget Sound, constantly on the lookout for the shenanigans of her drunken husband. They raise their son, Alec (Robert Young), intending him to be a sea captain. Instead of the valiant, brave captain material they had hoped for, he is snotty and rebellious. Annie dotes on him anyway. Maureen O'Sullivan plays Alec's equally snotty girlfriend, Patricia Severn. The Narcissus, was played by the real tugboat Arthur Foss, which is preserved as a maritime museum after 101 years of work.

It Happened at the World's Fair (1963) MGM
Cast: Elvis Presley (Mike Edwards), Joan O'Brien (Diane Warren), Gary Lockwood (Danny Burke), Vicky Tui (Sue-Lin), Kam Tong (Walter Ling). Director: Norman Taurog. Elvis plays Mike Edwards, a crop duster, spraying the fictional town of "Sherrington" along with his buddy, Danny Burke (Gary Lockwood), a loveable compulsive gambler. When their plane is seized by the local sheriff to pay for mounting gambling debts, they hitchhike to Seattle looking for work.

They are picked up by Walter Ling (Kam Tong), a kindly Asian farmer and his lovely niece, Sue-Lin (Vicky Tui). Mike takes Sue-Lin to the fair because her uncle is too busy with work. When she gets a stomach ache from eating too much fair junk food, Mike meets Joan O'Brien (Diane Warren), a nurse at the first-aid station. The rest of the movie revolves around Mike trying to hook up with Joan, get Sue-Lin back to her missing father, and foil an international fur smuggling ring.

The Slender Thread (1965) Paramount
Cast: Sidney Poitier (Alan Newell), Anne Bancroft (Inga Dyson), Telly Savalas (Dr. Joe Coburn), Steven Hill (Mark Dyson), Indus Arthur (Marion), Dabney Colman (Charlie), Ed Asner (Detective Judd Riley). Director: Sydney Pollack. "The Slender Thread" of the title is the telephone line between Inga Dyson (Anne Bancroft), a suicidal housewife who has overdosed on barbiturates, and Alan Newel (Sidney Poitier), a psychology student at the UW. Alan has volunteered at the crisis clinic when Inga's call comes in. He tries to get some clues to her identity and location while keeping her on the line. The bulk of the movie consists of flashbacks that show Inga's story and why she attempted suicide. With a half an hour to work in before the barbiturates take her life, the police department frantically works to put together the clues Alan has been able to get out of Inga as the telephone company tries to trace the call.

Harry in Your Pocket (1973) United Artists
Cast: James Coburn (Harry), Michael Sarrazin (Ray), Trish Van Devere (Sandy), Walter Pidgeon (Casey), Michael C. Gwynne (Fence). Director: Bruce Geller. Michael Sarrazin plays Ray, a heavy handed pickpocket working his trade in the King Street Station. He is caught by Sandy (Trish Van Devere), as he tries to steal her watch. Instead of turning him in, she goes to bed with him. Ray's fence, upset with Ray's low-ball merchandise, introduces him to Casey (Walter Pidgeon), the main operative for Harry, a master pickpocket. Harry (James Coburn), agrees to bring Ray and Sandy into his operation. The film shows them as they ply their trade and the audience gets a fascinating look into the world of professional pickpockets. Mayor Wes Uhlman does a cameo as a victim of the gang as he leaves a Seattle First National Bank branch.

Cinderella Liberty (1973) 20th Century Fox
Cast: James Caan (John Baggs, Jr.), Marsha Mason (Maggie Paul), Kirk Calloway (Doug), Eli Wallach (Forshay), Burt Young (Master of Arms), Bruce Kirby Jr. (Alcott), Dabney Coleman (Executive Officer). Director: Mark Rydell. John (James Caan) is a sailor who gets put up in the Seattle Navy Hospital. He gets "Cinderella Liberty," which is leave that ends at midnight, so he heads to the 1st Avenue bars. At "Club Neptune," John meets Maggie (Marsha Mason), a pool hustler. John lets her win a few games, then ups the ante -- $50 if she wins, and if he does -- she goes to bed with him. He wins and goes back to her place where he meets her son Doug (Kirk Calloway), a moody, distrusting street kid. John falls for Maggie and becomes a surrogate father to Doug, who slowly learns to open up to him.

McQ (1974) Warner Brothers
Cast: John Wayne (Lon McQ), Eddie Albert (Captain Kosterman), Diana Muldaur (Lois Boyle), Clu Gulager (Frank Toms), Colleen Dewhurst (Myra), Jim Watkins (J.C.), David Huddleston (Pinky), Al Lettieri (Santiago), Roger E. Mosely (Rosey). Director: John Sturges. John Wayne plays Police Lieutenant Lon McQ, a crusty, cynical cop fed up with bureaucracy who takes it upon himself to investigate the murder of his longtime partner and best friend when he is not assigned the case. Unknown to Lon, the audience is shown that McQ's partner was actually a killer in cahoots with a local drug smuggling ring. Diana Muldaur plays Lois Boyle, the wife of his murdered partner. She fools McQ with her displays of grief, when in actuality she is hooked up with another dirty cop, and they conspire to frame McQ.

Scorchy (1976) American International
Cast: Connie Stevens (Jackie Parker), Cesare Danova (Philip Bianco), William Smith (Carl Heinrich), Norman Burton (Chief Frank O'Brien), Greg Evigan (Alan). Director: Hikmet Avedis. The film begins in Rome, where gangster Carl Heinrich (William Smith) is disguised as a priest to do a drug transaction. The deal goes down badly, leads to murder, and he and the drugs end up on a flight to the Pacific Northwest. Sgt. Jackie Parker (Connie Stevens) is a Seattle policewoman working on a major international heroin ring that smuggles junk into Seattle in antique statues. She is on the flight from Rome and scopes out Carl through her makeup compact mirror. Sex, police chases, and gun battles ensue.

The Parallax View (1974) Paramount
Cast: Warren Beatty (Joseph Frady), Hume Cronyn (Bill Rintels), William Daniels, (Austin Tucker), Kenneth Mars, (FBI Agent Will), Walter McGinn (Jack Younger), Kelly Thordsen (Sheriff L.D.), Jim Davis (Senator Hammond). Director: Alan J. Pakula. Warren Beatty plays Joe Frady, a determined investigative reporter who stumbles onto a grand political conspiracy. After the assassination of a prominent U.S. senator at the top of the Space Needle, Joe begins to notice that other reporters present during the assassination are mysteriously dying. After some research, Frady realizes that the assassination was part of a conspiracy somehow involving the Parallax Corporation, an enigmatic therapy institute. To discover the truth, he decides to enroll for the Parallax therapy himself.

The Changeling (1980) Associated Film Distribution
Cast: George C. Scott (John Russell), Trish Van Devere (Claire Norman), Melvyn Douglas (Senator Joseph Carmichael), Barry Morse Jr. (Dr. Pemberton), Chris Gampel (Tuttle), Ruth Springford (Minnie Huxley). Director: Peter Medak. John Russell (George C. Scott) is a New York music professor who moves to Seattle to escape the memory of the auto accident that claimed the life of his wife and daughter. He moves into the Chessman House mansion to work on his unfinished symphony. Strange things begin happening in the house, and he enlists the help of UW parapsychology professor Dr. Pemberton (Barry Morse), to unravel the mystery of why the house "doesn't want people."

Frances (1982) Universal
Cast: Jessica Lange (Frances Farmer), Sam Shepard (Harry York), Kim Stanley (Lillian Farmer), Bart Burns (Earnest Farmer), Jonathan Banks (Hitchhiker). Director: Graeme Clifford. Frances Farmer (Jessica Lange), grows up an idealistic youth who wants to get out of Seattle and escape her greatest fear: that she will lead a boring, average life. She moves to Hollywood and becomes a popular leading lady, but her drinking, drug use, and strong will get her in trouble. Frances's mother (Kim Stanley) tries to rescue her and puts her in Western State Hospital where she is given electric shock therapy and eventually lobotomized.

War Games (1983) MGM/United Artists
Cast: Matthew Broderick (David Lightman), Dabney Coleman (John McKittrick), John Wood (Stephen Falken), Ally Sheedy (Jennifer Mack), Barry Corbin (Gen. Jack Beringer). Director: John Badham. David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) is an exceptionally bright high school student. He becomes obsessed with hacking into what he thinks is a company with a new line of video games. He actually hacks into the U.S. Air Forces War Operations Plan Response computer -- the computer that controls the nation's nuclear weapons. He ends up playing "Global Thermonuclear War." The military command finds itself unable to stop the computer or override the controls before it launches real nuclear bombs.

Bombs Away (1985) Shapiro Entertainment
Cast: Pat McCormick (Dispatcher), Michael Huddleston (Kabale), Michael Santo (P.R. Ransom), Ben Tone (Colonel), Lori Larson (Susan), John Tristao (J.J.), Susan Ludlow (Lilian), Don Hubbard (Uncle Ken). Director: Bruce Wilson. The film takes place through the eyes of "Space Needle Cab Company" cab driver Kabale (Michael Huddleston). A 1950s atomic bomb gets mistakenly shipped to an army surplus warehouse in Seattle. The owners refuse to return the bomb until the government admits its wrong-doing on national television. The government refuses the deal and tries to steal back the bomb, and Kabale is caught up in the middle of the intrigue while the bomb is carted and chased through the streets of Seattle.

Trouble in Mind (1985) Alive Films
Cast: Kris Kristofferson (Hawk), Keith Carradine (Coop), Lori Singer (Georgia), Genevieve Bujold (Wanda), Joe Morton (Solo), Divine (Hilly Blue), Dirk Blocker (Rambo), George Kirby (Lt. Gunther). Director: Alan Rudolph. Ex-cop Hawk (Kris Kristofferson), just released from prison, returns to "Rain City" to begin his life anew. He goes to a greasy spoon cafe owned by a former lover Wanda (Genevieve Bujold), who gives him a place to stay as he tries to get his police job back. At Wanda's Cafe, he meets Coop (Keith Carradine). Coop gets involved with another of the cafe's regulars, Solo (Joe Morton), and they begin fencing stolen merchandise. "Rain City's" underworld boss, Hilly Blue (Divine, in men's clothing), arranges their murder while pretending to go into business with them. Gun battles and carnage ensue.

Twice in a Lifetime (1985) Yorkin
Cast: Gene Hackman (Harry), Ann-Margaret (Audrey), Amy Madigan (Sunny), Ellen Burstyn (Kate), Ally Sheedy (Helen), Stephen Lang (Keith), Brian Dennehy (Nick), Darrell Larson (Jerry), Chris Parker (Tim). Director: Bud Yorkin. A middle-aged steelworker, Harry MacKensie (Gene Hackman), lives with his wife, Kate (Ellen Burstyn), in the fictional town of "Holden," (supposedly somewhere between Tacoma and Seattle, but actually shot in Ballard). Their kids are grown and moved away, and the marriage has lost its luster. On Harry's 50th birthday, he goes to a local bar and meets Audrey (Ann-Margaret). They begin seeing each other and he quickly moves in with her. His family, especially his daughter, Sunny (Amy Madigan), has difficulty with this re-adjustment of their lives.

Black Widow (1987) 20th Century Fox
Cast: Debra Winger (Alexandra), Theresa Russell (Catherine), Sami Frey (Paul), Nicol Williamson (William Macauley), Dennis Hopper (Ben), Diane Ladd (Etta), Johnny Willis (James), David Mamet (Herb). Director: Bob Rafelson. Alexandra (Debra Winger) is a Special Investigator for the U.S. Justice Department working on a case of a series of millionaire deaths. Catherine (Theresa Russell), plays the "Black Widow," the woman who seduces, marries, and kills her wealthy prey. Alexandra befriends Catherine in order to stop her murderous rampage, falling in love with one of her victims, Paul (Sami Frey), before he is also killed. Catherine frames Alex for the murder.

Harry and the Hendersons (1987) Universal
Cast: John Lithgow (George Henderson), Melinda Dillon (Nancy Henderson), Kevin Peter Hall (Harry), Lanie Kazan (Irene), David Suchet (Jacques Lafleur), Don Ameche (Dr. Wallace Wrightwood). Director: William Dear. George (John Lithgow), takes his family on a hunting trip and finds a sasquatch "Harry" (Kevin Peter Hall). The Hendersons take Harry back home to Seattle and try to domesticate him. Hilarity ensues before the Hendersons decide they must return him to his natural habitat, but not before he runs away and creates mayhem in the city. A Canadian big game hunter, Jacques La Fleur (David Suchet), plays the villain out to capture himself a bigfoot.

House of Games (1987) Orion
Cast: Lindsey Crouse (Dr. Margaret Ford), Joe Mantegna (Mike), Michael Nussbaum (Joey), Lilia Skala (Dr. Littauer), J.T. Walsh (The Businessman), Steve Goldstein (Billy Hahn), Ricky Jay (George the Vegas man), Meshach Taylor (Mr. Dean), Johnny Willis (Hotel Doorman). Director: David Mamet. An obsessive-compulsive psychiatrist, Dr. Margaret Ford (Lindsey Crouse), has an obsessive-compulsive gambling patient named Billy Hahn (Steve Goldstein). He tells her he is sure to be killed over gambling debts, and Margaret offers to talk with his bookie to try to square his accounts. She meets with Mike (Joe Mantegna), who says he will forgive Billy's debts if Margaret comes to Vegas to help fool a gambler in a high-stakes poker game. Fascinated by Mike's criminal professionalism, Margaret agrees and is drawn deeper and deeper into the seductively dangerous world of the high-rolling con-artist.

Plain Clothes (1988) Paramount
Cast: Arliss Howard (Nick Dunbar), Suzy Amis (Robin Torrance), George Wendt (Chet Butler), Diane Ladd (Jane Melway), Seymour Cassel (Ed Malmberg), Jackie Gayle (Coach Zeffer), Abe Vigoda (Mr. Wiseman), Robert Stack (Principal Gardner), Alexandra Powers (Daun-Marie Zeffer), Harry Shearer (Simon Feck), Loren Dean (Matt Dunbar). Director: Martha Coolidge. Nick Dunbar (Arliss Howard) is a baby-faced undercover officer languishing in his allotment of less-than-exciting small-time arrests. All that changes when a hated teacher at his brother's high school is murdered and his brother Matt (Loren Dean) is accused of it. Nick goes undercover as a student to suss out the slaying and clear Matt of the charge.

Seven Hours to Judgement (1988) Trans World Entertainment
Cast: Beau Bridges (John Edsen), Ron Liebman (David Reardon), Julianne Phillips (Lisa Edsen), Al Freeman, Jr. (Danny Larwin), Tiny Ron (Ira), Reggie Johnson (Chino), Glen-Michael Jones (Doctor), Chris Garcia (Victor), Johnny Willis (Officer Wilton), Jane Bray (TV Reporter). Director: Beau Bridges. John Edsen (Beau Bridges) is a prominent Seattle Judge whose wife, Lisa (Juliane Phillips), gets kidnapped by David Reardon (Ron Liebman). David's wife Ellen was murdered by a street gang who call themselves the "Icemen," and John presides over the trial of the men accused of Ellen's death, but he has to drop the case due to lack of evidence. Reardon kidnaps Lisa, telling him that he will spare her life if John can find the missing crucial evidence that will convict his wife's killers. The catch is David gives John only seven hours to do this.

Say Anything (1989) 20th Century Fox
Cast: John Cusack (Lloyd Dobler), Ione Skye (Diane Court), John Mahoney (James Court), Lois Chiles (Mrs. Court), Joan Cusack (Constance), Lili Taylor (Corey Flood), Amy Brooks (D.C.) Pamela Segall (Rebecca). Director: Cameron Crowe. Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), a recent high school grad, sets his sights on Diane Court (Ione Skye), an out-of-his-league girl. To the surprise of his friends, she accepts a date from him. Her father, James Court (John Mahoney), doesn't think Lloyd is good enough for Diane and tries to intervene, but cannot quench the lovebirds' budding relationship.

The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) 20th Century Fox
Cast: Jeff Bridges (Jack Baker), Beau Bridges (Frank Baker), Michelle Pfeiffer (Susie Diamond), Ellie Raub (Nina), Xander Berkeley (Lloyd), Dakin Matthews (Charlie), Ken Lerner (Ray), Albert Hall (Henry). Director: Steve Kloves. Frank (Beau Bridges) and Jack Baker (Jeff Bridges) are a twin-piano nightclub act. They have played together for 15 years, so the act has become old hat, lacking energy and they lose some regular gigs. They decide to look for a lounge singer to complement their act and turn their luck around. They choose Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), a crude, foul-mouthed beauty with a voice like an angel.

Dogfight (1991) Warner Brothers
Cast: River Phoenix (Eddie Birdlace), Lili Taylor (Rose Fenney), Richard Panebianco (Berzin), Anthony Clark (Okie), Mitchell Whitfield (Benjamin), Holly Near (Rose Sr.), E.G. Daily (Marcie). Director: Nancy Savoca. Although this movie is set in mid-sixties San Francisco, it was actually filmed in Seattle. The story revolves around a group of Marines who are going to be shipped off to Vietnam in a few days. They make a bet to see who can bring the ugliest girl as a date, (a "dogfight"), with the winner taking the substantial pot. Eddie (River Phoenix), asks Rose (Lily Taylor), as his date, but when he sees how sweet she is, he feels bad and tries to get her not to come to the bar where they will all meet. She does anyway.

American Heart (1992) Triton Pictures
Cast: Jeff Bridges (Jack Keely), Edward Furlong (Nick Keely), Lucinda Jenney (Charlotte), Don Harvey (Rainey), Tracey Kapisky (Molly), Shareen Mitchell (Diane), Christian Frizzell (Rollie). Director: Martin Bell. Convicted burglar Jack Keely (Jeff Bridges), returns to Seattle after prison to get back on his feet and fund his dream of moving to Alaska. His teenage son Nick (Edward Furlong), unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep after running away from his aunt's home where he was staying. They struggle together living in a cheap, run-down apartment and sleeping on the floor -- when Jack's former partner-in-crime reappears and tries to get Jack to work with him again -- complicating Jack's attempt to start his life over.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992) Hollywood Pictures
Cast: Annabella Sciorra (Claire Bartel), Rebecca De Mornay (Peyton Flanders/Mrs. Mott), Matt McCoy (Michael Bartel), Ernie Hudson (Solomon), Julianne Moore (Marlene Craven), Madeline Zima (Emma Bartel), John de Lancie (Victor Mott), Kevin Skousen (Marty Craven), Penny LeGate and Cliff Lenz (Seattle Today Hosts). Director: Curtis Hanson. Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra) hires Peyton Flanders (Rebecca De Mornay) to be her child's nanny, but Peyton is secretly out to wreck the lives of the Bartel family. Although Peyton seems like the perfect applicant, Claire doesn't know she has a grudge against her.

Singles (1992) Warner Brothers
Cast: Campbell Scott (Steve Dunne), Kyra Sedwick (Linda Powell), Bridget Fonda (Janet Livermore), Matt Dillon (Cliff Poncier), Sheila Kelly (Debbie Hunt), Jim True (David Bailey), Bill Pullman (Dr. Jamison), Tom Skerritt (Mayor Weber), Peter Horton (Jaime), Eric Stolz (Mime), Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament (Seattle Rock guys), Tim Burton (Brian), Johhny Willis (Rick). Director: Cameron Crowe. This film revolves around a group of 20-something single Seattleites who all live in the same apartment complex. Love interests and life complications abound. It captures the time when Seattle was the hippest of all the music scenes. Some of the Cameos include: three-quarters of Pearl Jam, right before they really hit it big; Chris Cornell of Soundgarden; Bruce Pavitt, the founder of Sub-Pop Records; and film director Tim Burton.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Tri-Star/Sony
Cast: Tom Hanks (Sam Baldwin), Meg Ryan (Annie Reed), Ross Malinger (Jonah Baldwin), Rosie O'Donnell (Becky), Rob Reiner (Jay), Rita Wilson (Suzy), Carey Lowell (Maggie Baldwin), Bill Pullman (Walter), Barbara Garrick (Victoria), David Hyde Pierce Dennis Reed), Brian McConnachie (Bob). Director: Nora Ephron. Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) is a recently widowed architect with a young son, Jonah (Ross Malinger). Jonah calls a national talk radio show and tells the host that his father needs to stop grieving. Sam gets on the line and talks for a few minutes, whereupon he is dubbed "Sleepless in Seattle," by the talk-show psychologist. Women from across the country start sending him marriage proposals. Charmed by Sam on the radio, Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a Baltimore Sun reporter, pitches a story idea to her editors as an excuse to track down "Sleepless" for herself.

The Vanishing (1993) 20th Century Fox
Cast: Jeff Bridges (Barney Cousins), Keifer Sutherland (Jeff Harriman), Nancy Travis (Rita), Sandra Bullock (Diane Shaver), Park Overall (Lynn), Maggie Linderman (Denise Cousins), Lisa Eichhorn (Helene). Director: George Sluizer. Barney Cousins (Jeff Bridges) seems like a normal college professor and family man, but at the beginning of the movie he is practicing how to kidnap and murder an unsuspecting victim. Jeff Harriman (Keifer Sutherland), and his girlfriend, Diane Shaver (Sandra Bullock) are a couple driving through the Cascade mountains when they stop so she can get something to eat. She never returns to the car. He searches for her to no avail. Three years later, Jeff is still obsessed with finding Diane. Barney Cousins finds Jeff and makes him a proposition: He will tell him what happened to Diane if he agrees to experience what she did.

Little Buddha (1994) CiBy 2000
Cast: Chris Isaak (Dean Conrad), Bridget Fonda (Lisa Conrad), Keanu Reeves (Prince Siddhartha), Ying Ruocheng (Lama Norbu), Alex Wisendanger (Jesse Conrad). Director: Bernardo Bertolucci. Lama Norbu (Ying Ruocheng) is teaching his students in a monastery in Bhutan when he receives a telegram that Tibetan monks in Seattle believe they have found the reincarnation of a beloved Lama in the body of a young boy in Seattle named Jesse Conrad (Alex Wisendanger). Lama Norbu flies to Seattle to meet the boy and ask his parents' permission to take him back to Bhutan to make sure. Interspersed within this story is a reenactment of the life of Prince Siddhartha (later Buddha -- played by Keanu Reeves), tracing his spiritual journey from ignorance to enlightenment.

Disclosure (1994) Warner Brothers
Cast: Michael Douglas (Tom Sanders), Demi Moore (Meredith Johnson), Donald Sutherland (Bob Garvin), Caroline Goodall (Susan Hendler), Roma Maffia (Catherine Alvarez), Nicholas Sadler (Don Cherry), Dennis Miller (Mark Lewyn). Director: Barry Levinson. Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) is a happily married Seattle Businessman in line for a lucrative promotion at his computer firm. Tom gets passed up when the promotion is given to his beautiful co-worker, Meredith (Demi Moore), also a former lover of his. Meredith invites him to her office the next day under the pretense of reminiscing about old times and makes a pass at him -- which he rejects. He decides to file a sexual harassment charge against her. The next day Tom finds out she has already filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. He hires a lawyer, Roma Maffia (Catherine Alvarez) only to find out the company has rallied around Meredith and an important project of his looks like it's been sabotaged.

Assassins (1995) Warner Brothers
Cast: Sylvester Stallone (Robert Rath), Antonio Banderas (Miguel Bain), Julianne Moore (Electra), Anatoli Davydov (Nicolai Tashlinkov), Muse Watson (Ketcham), Steve Kahan (Alan Branch). Director: Richard Donner. Robert Rath (Sylvester Stallone) is a seasoned hitman who wants out of the business. An assassin named Bain (Antonio Banderas) is desperately trying to kill him. Rath teams up with a computer hacker named Electra (Julianne Moore), to defeat the murderously obsessed Bain.

Hype (1996) Helvey-Pray Productions (Documentary)
Interviewees: Matt Cameron (Soundgarden), Art Chantry (Graphic Designer), Van Conner (Screaming Trees), Dave Crider (Estrus Records Founder), Dale Crover (The Melvins), Kurt Danielson and Thomas A. Doyle (Tad), Elizabeth F. Davis (7 Year Bitch). Director: Doug Pray. This documentary examines the Seattle scene as it became the focus of a merging of punk rock, garage, heavy metal music, and innovation -- "Grunge." Northwest Bands struggled until the break-out success of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam brought the record industry to the area. More than just an examination of the music, this documentary is also an in-depth look at how this artistic movement became a fashion and societal trend with a major effect on American culture.

Prefontaine (1997) Hollywood Pictures
Cast: Jared Leto (Steve Prefontaine), R. Lee Ermey (Bill Bowerman), Ed O'Neill (Bill Dellinger), Breckin Meyer (Pat Tyson), Lindsey Crouse (Elfriede Prefontaine). Director: Steve James. This is the story of Steve Prefontaine, the young long-distance runner from Oregon who pursued Olympic gold in Munich to become one of the biggest, yet most tragic sport stars in America.

Practical Magic (1998) Warner Brothers
Cast: Sally Owens (Sandra Bullock), Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman), Aunt Frances Owens (Stockard Channing), Aunt Bridget Owens (Dianne Wiest), James Angelov (Goran Visnjic), Officer Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn), Kylie Owens (Evan Rachel Wood). Director: Griffin Dunne. This movie follows the Owens sisters, Sally (Sandra Bullock), and Gillian (Nicole Kidman), as they struggle to use their hereditary gift for magic to overcome the obstacles in discovering true love. Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing play the sisters' eccentric aunts.

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) Universal
Cast: Ishmael Chambers (Ethan Hawke), Hatsue Miyamoto (Youki Kudoh), Kazuo Miyamoto (Rick Yune), Nels Gudmundsson (Max Von Sydow), Alvin Hooks (James Reborn), Judge Fielding (James Cromwell), Sheriff Art Moran (Richard Jenkins). Director: Scott Hicks. Based on the novel by local author David Guterson. Carl, a fisherman on the Sound is found dead -- drowned in his own nets -- but sporting a serious head wound as well. Was he murdered? Post-war anti-Japanese sentiments are still running high, and a murder suspect is found in the local Japanese community. Kazuo (Rick Yune), the suspect is another fisherman who had a grudge against Carl's family. Ishmael (Ethan Hawke), the small town's newspaperman, may have the information that would acquit Kazuo, but he also loves Kazuo's wife (Hatsue, played by Youki Kudoh).

10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Touchstone Pictures
Cast: Katarina Stratford (Julia Stiles), Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik), Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Director: Gil Junger. A current version of Taming of the Shrew, this movie has Larisa Oleynik as popular, pretty Bianca Stratford. She has a dilemma -- her dad says she can't date until her unpopular, rebellious, boy-hating older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) has a boyfriend of her own. In an attempt to win Bianca, a potential boyfriend (Andrew Keegan) desperately attempts to set Kat up with Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger).

Other Films with Seattle Locations

Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Hit (1973)
Joyride (1974)
Bustin' Loose (1981)
Power (1986)
The Nutcracker (1986)
Class of 1999 (1991)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995)
Georgia (1995)
Men of Honor (2000)
Get Carter (2000)
Enough (2001)
Life, or Something Like It (2001)


Sources: Randy Hodgins and Steve McLellan, Seattle on Film (Olympia, WA: Punchline Productions, 1995); International Movie Database (www.imdb.com); City of Seattle Mayor's Film Office.
Note: This essay was corrected on February 1, 2007, and on October 20, 2015.

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