Though it's no Hollywood, Houston has long been a favorite among movie directors as a location for their movies. With due respect to Twins, Robocop 2, and Rutger Hauer's cinematic masterpiece Blind Fury, here are the ten best movies filmed in Houston.
1. Urban Cowboy
This is usually one of the first things brought up by Pasadenaens when they're asked what's great about Pasadena - and rightfully so. Urban Cowboy, a love story about the volatile relationship between cowboy Bud and cowgirl Sissy, is inarguably an iconic Texas film.
2. Tin Cup
Though only a portion of this was shot near Houston, Tin Cup makes the list based solely on the gut wrenching meltdown Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy, played by Kevin Costner, suffers at the end of the movie on the golf course. Anyone who has ever played before knows exactly what was going through his mind.
3. Apollo 13
A veritable Murder's Row of actors, of course Apollo 13 makes the cut. It's one of the great astronaut movies of all time. Certainly better than the Astronaut Farmer, at least.
At the complete opposite end of the reality spectrum is Bruce Willis's 1998 summer smash Armageddon. This still comes on TV regularly, and you'd be forgiven for getting misty-eyed when Willis swaps places with Afleck at the end of the movie.
5. Friday Night Lights
Any film that makes mention of the Astrodome has to rank on the list somewhere, let alone the fact that this was a startlingly good movie. That scene with Boobie Miles where he starts screaming/crying in the car when he realizes the bleakness of his own future is just great.
6. Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Apparently, the Melvin P. Thorpe character was based on one of Houston's most beloved reporters, Marvin Zindler. Add to that the fact that this movie has inspired countless spin-offs/parodies/imitations (The Best Litte Hair House in Texas is my personal favorite), and you've got yourself a bonafide cult hit.
Two men (well, one teenager and one man) fueding for the love of a woman - what could be better? I wasn't a big fan of this when it came out, but it has aged particularly well. Plus, it helped transform Bill Murray's career from movie star to indie-movie star, which is kind of the opposite of how most people do it.
8. Reality Bites
You'd be hard pressed to find a character more inherently disagreeable accidentally turned likeable than Ethan Hawke's in this movie. Nice bit of acting there.
9. Tree of Life
This movie, which has not yet been released, gets on here by default, because you know any movie that features both Sean Penn and Brad Pitt is going to be a winner.