Unveiling the Risk: Where Was Risky Business Filmed?

Where Was Risky Business Filmed

The Cultural Impact of Risky Business

Risky Business, the movie that shot Tom Cruise to fame and gave us the iconic slide-across-the-floor-in-socks scene, is a cultural hallmark of the 1980s. Released in 1983, the film’s storyline, characters, and settings captivated audiences. But where was Risky Business filmed? Let’s take a journey through the filming locations of this classic movie.

Core Settings: Chicago, The Windy City

Risky Business primarily captures the essence of Chicago. The city’s vibrant neighborhoods and iconic landmarks form a spectacular backdrop that greatly enriches the cinematic experience.

Suburban Ambulance: Highland Park

The home where much of the movie’s drama unfolds is situated in an upscale suburb of Highland Park, north of Chicago. The affluent area embodies the kind of privileged life that the main character, Joel, is a part of.

High School: Glencoe’s New Trier High School

Parts of the video were filmed at New Trier High School in Glencoe, another suburb of Chicago. The school scenes provide a rich context for the movie’s coming-of-age theme.

Lake Michigan: A Watery Retreat

Some pivotal scenes were filmed along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, adding a serene yet poignant atmosphere to the movie.

Metra Train: A Chicago Staples

If you’ve ever taken the Metra in Chicago, you’ll recognize it as the setting for some significant moments in Risky Business. Metra serves as more than just a mode of transportation; it becomes a setting for character development.

Downtown Chicago: The Pulse of the City

Downtown Chicago is the setting for several key scenes, including those that feature the iconic Michigan Avenue and The Drake Hotel. The city’s bustling downtown area adds an extra layer of excitement and tension to the narrative.

The University of Illinois at Chicago: A Glimpse of College Life

The film crew also shot some scenes on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, showcasing another facet of educational life and setting the stage for Joel’s future.

Iconic Restaurants and Bars

Chicago’s famous dining and drinking spots have received their share of the spotlight. Filmmakers shot scenes in local restaurants and bars to offer a taste of the city’s social life.

Why Chicago? Director’s Perspective

Director Paul Brickman chose Chicago because it perfectly combined the cosmopolitan energy and suburban quiet needed for the story. Chicago is a city of contrasts, making it an ideal locale for a film that thrives on duality.

Conclusion: More Than Just a Backdrop

The filming locations for Risky Business add layers of depth and realism to the film. Chicago, with its multifaceted character, perfectly complements the complexities of this iconic movie. The next time you watch Risky Business, you’ll have a richer appreciation for the settings that frame this unforgettable story.


How Did the Settings Contribute to the Movie Risky Business?

The settings in Risky Business were not merely visual backdrops but vital components that added depth to the storyline and characters. From the affluence of Highland Park, capturing the privileged life of Joel, to the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago representing the city’s commercial and adult world, each location played a part in escalating the narrative tension and emotional arcs of the characters.

Are Any of the Risky Business Filming Locations Available for Public Visits?

Yes, many of the filming locations in Risky Business are accessible to the public. For instance, you can ride the Metra train or visit Lake Michigan’s shoreline, both of which feature prominently in the movie. Highland Park is a residential area, but you can drive through it to get a sense of the suburb. Downtown locations like Michigan Avenue are open for anyone to explore. However, it’s essential to note that some interior locations, like homes and schools, may not be publicly accessible.

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