I spent three years in the Boston area (Cambridge to be precise) and got a decent feel of the city while I was there. These weren’t my favorite years, and frankly I had more fun in three months in New York City than I had in three years in Boston.
Boston is a provincial place, but you can’t deny it has character. Also, it’s such a beautiful city, and even the shitty parts have a vibe that comes across on the screen.
I recently watched “The Town” for the first time, and I wondered why we needed so many movies about Boston. Then, when listening to The Rewatchables podcast for this film, Bill Simmons asks the question about the best Boston movies. This isn’t a surprise, since Simmons loves lists almost as much as he loves Boston.
But, as usual, he comes up with pretty good lists . . . and he nailed it with his Boston list. And since I agree with it, here’s my take on those best Boston films in no particular order:
This movie made a real impression on me when I was younger. I wanted to be a lawyer, and “The Verdict” captured the drama of arguing the ultimate case . . . perhaps too well, as the law in real life is much more boring and far less dramatic. Paul Newman is brilliant in this film as the broken down lawyer who finds redemption. Meanwhile, the backdrop of Boston, with all its history and tradition, provides the perfect, romanticized setting for an epic David vs Goliath legal battle.