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From Wynnewood to Hollywood: Lower Merion in Film

Movies that were filmed in, or feature, Lower Merion locales.

Lower Merion has been buzzing with movie stars lately: Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard for the upcoming film Dead Man Down, and last year, , Haverford and Bryn Mawr for his role in Backwards,

In light of Lower Merion's recent encounters with the rich and famous, we've compiled a list of movies that were filmed in Lower Merion Township. The list is not exhaustive—at least, we think—so if you can name any other movies that have filmed here, tell us in the comments.

Also following this list are a few instances within film and television that mention Lower Merion locales (for example: Betty Draper, from the television series Mad Men, is a Bryn Mawr College alumna). If you can think of more, we'd love to hear them.

Lower Merion in the Movies

  • Dead Man Down (2013), starring Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard: Exterior shots filmed on Brookway Road in Merion. See
  • Backwards (2012), starring James Van Der Beek and Haverford native Sarah Megan Thomas, : filming , including shots of the Ardmore train station and the Shipley School. Check out , an and .
  • The Mighty Macs (2011), which follows the story of Immaculata College's women's basketball team and stars Carla Gugino and David Boreanaz: The shots of basketball practice were filmed in the basement of St. Colman Church in Ardmore.
  • Dare (2009), starring Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford and Ashley Springer: Filming done at (interior prep school shots), Bryn Mawr College (exterior prep school shots) and at various places in Ardmore
  • Tenure (2009), starring Luke Wilson: Some filming done at , Bryn Mawr College and Rosemont College (interiors)
  • The Happening (2008), directed by Penn Valley native M. Night Shyamalan, starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel: Some filming was done in Wynnewood—along with filming in Philadelphia, Ridley Creek State Park, Kennett Square, Phoenixville, New York and Paris.
  • The Sixth Sense (1999), starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment: Some exterior shots (murdered little girl's house and grocery stores) filmed in Bryn Mawr
  • Wide Awake (1998), starring Denis Leary, Dana Delaney and Rosie O'Donnell: Filming done at Bryn Mawr College
  • The Big One (1997), written and directed by Michael Moore: Filming done in Bryn Mawr
  • Philadelphia (1993), starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington: Scenes of the Beckett family's house were filmed in Merion, including the family gathering scene.
  • I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (1992), starring Jason Alexander: Interestingly, part of the filming was done in Ardmore, and the rest of the filming was done in California.
  • Eddie and the Cruisers (1983): Filmed at Haverford College
  • David and Lisa (1962): Sites include the Wynnewood train station and what is now the . This YouTube video details the scenes filmed in specific spots.

Local Film Connections

Mentions in Media:

  • Betty Draper in the AMC television series Mad Men graduated from Bryn Mawr College.
  • In To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Patrick Swayze's character is from Bala Cynwyd, which he and two other characters visit, before seeing his estranged mother and booking it.
  • Kitty Foyle (1940) revolves around a woman's choice between marrying a doctor or the man she truly loves, Wynnewood Strafford VI, who comes from a stereotypical Main Line family. The 1940 movie was based on a 1939 book, written by Haverford native Christopher Morley, whose father was a Haverford College professor.
  • Lt. Joe Cable, a character in the musical South Pacific, grew up in Ardmore

Stars Around Town:

  • Actor David Boreanaz (Angel) attended school in Rosemont
  • M. Night Shyamalan, a screenwriter, director and producer (The Sixth Sense, The Village), is a Penn Valley native
  • Kate Flannery, who plays Meredith on the NBC series The Office, grew up in Ardmore
  • Bryn Mawr native Kat Dennings has a starring role in the CBS show Two Broke Girls in was also in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  • Gladwyne native Josh Cooke had a role in the last season of Dexter
  • Actress Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents, Will and Grace), mother of Gwyneth Paltrow, grew up in Rosemont
  • Katharine Hepburn attended Bryn Mawr College

What else have you got? Tell us in the comments.

This list was compiled with the help of members of the Lower Merion Community Group on Facebook, along with IMDb's location search.


Beege Marshall June 13, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Since you touched on the 1940's and 50's with "Kitty Foyle" and "South Pacific" character Lt. Joe Cable, I take it you didn't mean to include ONLY recent years of Hollywood connection. How could you forget to mention that Katharine Hepburn attended Bryn Mawr College, and Blythe Danner grew up in Rosemont ?
Amanda Mahnke (Editor) June 13, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Beege, they've been added— thanks for your contributions!
Wake Up Lower Merion June 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
You forgot Lower Merion own Marc Erlbaum's movie CAFE which was filmed in entirety in Bala Cynwyd. See; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1436572/ And http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/22083/Movie_Magician_of_the_Main_Line/ http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/35397875.html
Adrian Hickman June 14, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Anthony Edwards was in a film called DOWNTOWN where they made Bryn Mawr a neighborhood in Philly. I DON'T BUY KISSES ANYMORE also has a scene filmed in Bala. I think you can see the Bala Theater in it.
James June 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM
The Burglar was Jayne Mansfield's breakthrough movie. The opening scene is in Narberth Theater. I think some exteriors were at Bryn Mawr College and of course Jayne was a local girl
Amy Michener-Wall June 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Maggie Siff, of Mad Men & Sons of Anarchy is also a Bryn Mawr alumna.
Selma Davis June 15, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Parts of Unbreakable were filmed on Cynwyd Road in Bala Cynwyd. It was the "rain scene" and after hours of setting up the equipment to produce the rain, Shamayalan did not think there was enough water and he wound up holding a hose. Also, I don't buy kisses . . . showed the Bala movie theater, with Jason Alexander sitting on the curb on Bala Avenue.

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