17 Movies That Never Go To A Second Location
Some films delight in their globe-hopping adventures, but you don't need a bunch of fancy locales to tell a great story. In the spirit of this, let's take a look at some of the best single-location movies in the history of cinema. For decades, filmmakers have used a single location to tell some fascinating stories that have delighted generations of moviegoers. Alfred Hitchcock did so numerous times, in films like Rear Window and Lifeboat.
Current Hollywood superstars Tom Hardy and Ryan Reynolds put on one-man, one-location performances in Locke and Buried, respectively. Others, like Oxygen, Cube, and The Platform, use a solitary location to tell outrageous sci-fi stories. You don't need a second-unit director when everything happens in one place!
Vote up your favorite movies that stay in one place the entire time.
- Photo: United Artists
With a filmography that includes Network, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, and Dog Day Afternoon, it should come as no great shock Sidney Lumet is often considered one of the best film directors in the history of American filmmaking. And his illustrious, five-decade-long career began in 1957 with 12 Angry Men. The vast majority of the movie takes place in a New York County Courthouse jury room where 12 jury members must decide the fate of an 18-year-old who stabbed his father to death.
Those who find heated dialogue and arguments compelling look no further - 12 Angry Men is exactly the film for you.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
One of the best thrillers Hollywood has ever produced, 1954's Rear Window sees Jimmy Stewart portray an injured photographer turned busybody. Confined to his upper-level apartment thanks to a broken leg and a wheelchair, he begins spying on everyone around him. While invading his neighbors' privacy on a daily basis, Stewart's Jeff Jefferies begins to suspect that one of them killed his wife and managed to get away with it, at least for the time being.
Unwilling to let this atrocity stand, Jefferies convinces his girlfriend, Lisa, and his nurse, Stella, to help him prove the man's guilt. Rear Window is Hitchcock moviemaking at its best: suspenseful, funny, and intricately crafted.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rope is a 1948 thriller based on the 1929 play of the same name. This, in itself, is not all that notable. However, Rope was directed by the "master of suspense" himself, Alfred Hitchcock. And though Hitchcock wouldn't hit the peak of his Hollywood fame until a few years later, Rope sees the director at his most inventive. This adaptation isn't your typical stage-to-screen translation. No, Hitchcock shot and edited the film to appear as if it was happening in real-time via one single long take.
It takes place in a single New York apartment as two young socialites kill a former classmate of theirs, hide the body in the apartment, host a dinner party, and try to prove they've committed the perfect crime. One might argue that not disposing of the decomposing corpse makes it a decidedly imperfect crime, but whatever! It's still a nifty take on a single-location film.
- Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
David Fincher brings his trademark cold, methodical style to a single apartment in 2002's Panic Room. It isn't surprising that the man behind Zodiac and Se7en could wring such a huge amount of tension from one location. Dramatic tension is kind of what Fincher does. Panic Room sees a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the situation of three burglars breaking into their house, causing them to hole up in a "panic room." It's the name of the movie.
Though Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart serve as the main characters of the film, the production team couldn't have asked for a more memorable crew of robbers in Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, and Jared Leto. The basic storyline of Panic Room might not be anything special, but with Fincher behind the camera and a cast as stacked as that, the film becomes a memorable experience.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
In what may be the most claustrophobic film ever put to celluloid, 2010's Buried sees a pre-superfame Ryan Reynolds stuck in a coffin with a Blackberry keeping him company for just over an hour and a half. This was the post-Van Wilder/Just Friends era of Reynolds's Hollywood career, when his superhero films were still a few years off and he was showing up in interesting, smaller projects like The Nines and Adventureland.
And Buried is nothing if not interesting. Watching Reynolds's Paul Conroy struggle to come to terms with his situation of being ransomed for $5 million is fascinating to behold. This is all Reynolds, all the time. Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés comes up with some fun camera angles and lighting tricks to keep the cinematography feeling fresh, but the entire film rests on the back of Reynolds's confident performance.
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
1944's Lifeboat may not loom as large as Hitchcock's other single-location films like Rear Window and Rope, but that doesn't mean it's any less entertaining to watch. Released as World War II was ravaging the world, Lifeboat sees a group of American, British, and German survivors attempt to survive after an Allied freighter and German U-boat sink each other.
With direction from the legendary Hitchcock and a story from no less than John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men) himself, it's no wonder Lifeboat was nominated for three Academy Awards back in the day. Lifeboat may be one of the least bombastic WWII films ever made, but that is part of what makes it so intriguing to behold.