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Overlooked during its initial release, Striking Distance is notable for three reasons: It's a "boat cop" movie with some solid chase scenes; it's another "macho-tastic" entry in the filmography of director Rowdy "Roadhouse" Herrington; and finally, it's set in Pittsburgh, a vital, but underrated film locale. The cat-and-mouse game between Det. Tom Hardy (Bruce Willis) and the Polish Hill serial murderer is set on the city's "Three Rivers," which was, in fact, the film's original, Pittsburgh-specific title. And though it isn't anywhere near New York City or Los Angeles in terms of film production, Pittsburgh has been the backdrop for a number of distinctive movies.
Films as widely diverse as Wonder Boys and the original Dawn of the Dead have used
the city's industrial nature as both a metaphor for the scourge of
consumerist culture and the perils of mid-life crisis. Pittsburgh's
working class milieu inspired not only Striking Distance's police officers but also Flashdance's steel mill welder/aspiring dancer, Jennifer Beals, and set the stage for Jack Nicholson as the Teamster leader in Hoffa.
Hollywood's appreciation for the city's grittiness continues. It's
currently playing host to Julianne Moore, in town to film the
horror-thriller, Shelter, and Viggo Mortensen, who stars in the
adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning post-apocalyptic novel, The