The most famous film shot in Durham is the one that bears its name: Bull Durham. Released in 1988, this baseball blockbuster stars Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins. It's commonly listed among the best sports movies of all time, and Sports Illustrated said it was the most popular sports movie of all time.
The film centers around a star pitcher and a veteran catcher playing for the Durham Bulls, a real team that still plays in Durham today. The film was shot at the ballpark that housed the Bulls at the time, as well as at various houses and establishments throughout Durham.
This film adaptation of the James Patterson novel of the same name was set and filmed in Durham and the surrounding area. Morgan Freeman stars as Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist whose niece is kidnapped. Ashley Judd plays a woman who escaped from the same kidnapper and who aids Cross on the case.
Released in 1997, the film grossed over $60 million in its first 5 months in theaters, according to IMDB.
Staring Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, and Natasha Richardson, The Handmaid's Tale is the adaptation of Margaret Atwood's famed novel. Set in a dystopian future, it tells the story of a young woman who is able to bear children – an increasingly rare trait – and the fallout she faces from a totalitarian regime.
The novel was set at Harvard, but the movie was shot at Duke University and other locations around Durham, including on the streets near Brightleaf Square. It was released in 1990.
This 1983 film is a sci-fi thriller about a group of researchers who invent a way to record the experiences, both physical and emotional, people go through so that others can experience them as well. Problems surface when the potential for abuse is discovered, and things spiral out of control.
Brainstorm stars Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood with scenes shot at Research Triangle Park and Duke University. It also gained notoriety as Wood's last film, as she sadly passed away during production.
Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, and Ann Heche star in this drama about a man and a woman who flee their pasts by taking on the identities of the owners of empty homes that they break into. In doing so, they begin to explore what it is they ran away from.
Released in 2012, Arthur Newman was filmed in part at Durham's North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, amongst other locations in the Triangle.