Jersey City in the Movies: Locations and Mentions

 

We’re about to see a lot more of JC on our screens. Jersey City has never been a stranger to the film and television industry, and soon, JC is on track to welcome a lot more cameras (and lights and action) with the largest studio complex in NJ soon to be built by The Criterion Group, opening Spring 2020. This, plus the success of “The Joker” and HBO’s anticipated series, “The Plot Against America,” both filmed in part in Jersey City, and the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act incentivizing filming in NJ with tax credits to film and digital media companies that passed last year are making JC THE hot place for film right now.

This got us thinking about where we’ve heard mention of or spotted Jersey City in films and TV shows in the past, so we did some digging through the archives. Here are a few notable dialogue mentions and scene locations in JC we caught that you may not know were filmed right in our backyard (and in some cases, literally your backyard!).

 

Cinematic Jersey City

The Joker (2019)

While filming The Joker in Jersey City, extras in clown makeup were seen parading down Newark Avenue to the William J. Brennan Courthouse, which took the place of “Wayne Hall” during press conference and protest scenes. According to NJ.com, The Joker was the largest production ever to be filmed in Jersey City.

Courthouse in Jersey City Movie
Photo Courtesy of triphobo.com

 

Men in Black (1997)

In “Men in Black,” Will Smith’s character aids in the birth of an alien squid in a car parked in Liberty State Park.

Jersey City scene from Men and Black
Photo © Copyright Columbia Pictures

 

Sopranos (1999-2007)

No article about Jersey City films is complete without mentioning The Sopranos. Although not based in Jersey City, the show shot in at least 34 different locations within the city during its 8-year run, including Crown Fried Chicken, St. Patrick’s Church, cemeteries, homes, and even a drive down Communipaw Ave in the intro.

Opening Jersey City scene in Sopranos
Photo © Copyright Home Box Office (HBO)

 

Radio Days | 1987

In Woody Allen’s “Radio Days,” girls are swooning on the counter of Brummer’s Confectionary, once found on Grand St. in JC and now still in business in Westfield, NJ.

Confectionary Store in Jersey City at the Movies
Photo © Copyright Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

 

Coneheads (1993)

In “Coneheads,” when the alien family of Coneheads first lands on Earth, they come out of the water onto land at Exchange Place.

Coneheads landing in Jersey City
Photo © Copyright Paramount Pictures

 

A Beautiful Mind | 2001

In “A Beautiful Mind,” the set of John and Alicia Nash’s home in the movie can be found not in Princeton, but in Paulus Hook.

Photo Courtesy of coldwellbanker.com

 

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) / Quiz Show (1994)

Formerly the Jersey City Medical Center, The Beacon’s grand entrance hall features elaborate, ornate Art Decor styling and architecture has been used as a movie set for years, including for scenes in The Royal Tenenbaums and Quiz Show.

Jersey City Medical Center in Movie
Photo Courtesy of thebeaconjc.com

 

Annie (2014) 

While a majority of 2014’s “Annie” was filmed on the streets of New York, a few joyous scenes were filmed within Jersey City, on the Waterfront, and Liberty State Park.

Annie filmed on Jersey City waterfront
Photo © Copyright  Sony Pictures Entertainment

 

Sid and Nancy (1986)

In the last scene of “Sid and Nancy,” Gary Oldman’s character goes for a slice of pizza on the outskirts of Jersey City and dances along with some local kids on the Waterfront.

Jersey City at the Sid and Nancy Movie
Photo © Copyright Initial Pictures

Honorable Mentions

 

A Walk in the Sun (1945)

“I’d like a nice quiet trip anywhere. Haven’t had a nice quiet trip since this war started. Jersey City would do fine.”

Photo © Copyright Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

 

Desperate Journey (1942)

“You are an American?’

“Half American, half Jersey City.”

Photo © Copyright Warner Bros.

 

Mercy, ep. Pulling the Goalie (2009)

“Just get the other leg over. It’s just like getting off a horse.”

“Yo, farm girl, I’m from Jersey City. I’ve never been on a horse.”

Jersey City mentioned in Series
Photo © Copyright National Broadcasting Company

 

City for Conquest (1940)

“I’m back just where I started.”

“Wished I was back where I started with a guy named Jake Smith right over in Jersey City. He was just a grease monkey in a junkyard garage. He only made 20 bucks a week, but he was great on this thing called love. Believe me, if Jake would take me back now, I’d crawl on my knees right over to Jersey City, so help me.”

Jersey City mentioned in City for Conquest
Photo © Copyright Warner Bros.

 

The Lost City (2006)

“Well, your impersonation is quite good.”

“I’m still in Cuba. Where do you think I am, Jersey City?”

Photo © Copyright Lions Gate Films

 

Planet of the Apes, ep. The Good Seeds (1974) 

“Why didn’t I buy that nice little bar in Jersey City? … Just a quiet little bar in Jersey City. A little bell over the door.”

Jersey City mentioned in Planet of the Apes
Photo © Copyright Twentieth Century Fox Television

 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, ep. Bully (2011)

“Sounds like Luscious Grape was her life.”

“Hers and mine. We started it in a garage in Jersey City. Everybody said we’d be out of business in six months. Last year our sales were over $15 million.”

Photo © Copyright Wolf Films

 

Super Fun Night, ep. Hostile Makeover (2014)

“We want you to do something for us. They’re gonna give us makeovers. They just opened a salon in Jersey City called ‘You Are Hair.’ Classy, right?”

Jersey City mentioned in Super Fun Night
Photo © Copyright Warner Brothers Television

 

MacGyver, ep. The Eraser (1986)

“I lived by the beach when I was a kid in Jersey City. Well, it really wasn’t a beach, it was a drainage ditch, but my mother said it was a beach, and I believed.”

Photo © Copyright Paramount Television

 

Starsky and Hutch, ep. Bloodbath (1977)

“That’s why I got into this business. So I never starve.”

“You were born in Jersey City, and you never had a hungry day in your life.”

“True.”

Photo © Copyright American Broadcasting Company

Where else have you seen Jersey City in the movies or on television? Let us know your favorites!