It's not unusual when movies use politics and government as key components of its scripts. Some of the most successful movies on that subject have been shot in Washington D.C. Film producers know that when the film is shot in the nation's capital, it gives the film an added dose of credibility. Harrison Ford, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington and Clint Eastwood are stars who have shot movies in Washington D.C.

The unmistakable image of the Washington monument has been used as a backdrop for many movies shot in Washington D.C.

"Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" (1939)

This movie starred Jimmy Stewart as Jefferson Smith, a small-town "regular guy" who is appointed to the U.S. Senate by the governor of his home state. Smith wants to do things the right way and clean up all the corruption out of politics, but he doesn't make any friends with the career politicians who see him as the enemy. Smith is naive and he gets set up by the professional politicians, but director Frank Capra makes sure the good guy wins in the end.

"The Exorcist" (1973)


This is the story of  young girl who begins to act strangely while visiting Washington D.C. with her mother. However, when 12-year-old Regan MacNeil's behavior lapses into a demonic state, the child's mother enlists the help of two priests to help her daughter return to normalcy. The special effects in this movie were groundbreaking and they included the child's head spinning around 360 degrees and projectile vomiting.The horrific make up in "The Exorcist" helped make it a classic.

"All The President's Men" (1976)

The story of  two Washington Post journalists who did their job so completely that they were able to unearth a scandal that forced President Richard Nixon to resign from his  position in 1974. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman starred as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters. This film captures Washington intrigue as a sitting president looks to defend his turf while journalists look to discover the truth behind the Watergate break-in and the cover-up that followed.

"Broadcast News" (1987)

The story of a Washington D.C. TV news bureau that includes a handsome but less-than-informed anchor, a sharp-but-nervous correspondent and a driven producer with journalistic ethics. The film looks at how the television news business works and how those in the business relate to each others as professionals and individuals. William Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter portray the trio of network stars with depth and humanity. 

"St. Elmo's Fire" (1985)

This coming-of-age flick follows the development of seven friends living in Washington D.C. who have graduated college and are attempting to make their way in the world. They have varying degrees of success and failure, and their relationships reflect those ups and downs. The film starred Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy and Mare Winningham, a group of actors known as the brat pack. The complicated relationship between Alec (Nelson), Kevin (McCarthy) and Leslie (Sheedy) is one of  the key conflicts as the film unfolds.