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The Best Movies Shot in Single or Limited Locations

Shooting an entire movie in a single location (or limited locations) is challenging; however, it could be fascinating for filmmakers. If we consider the financial expenditures for making a film, it might be clear that shooting at a single location saves many money and hassle.

Multiple set locations are not only difficult to manage but can also be very expensive. However, no matter what, it requires a lot of creativity and courage to take the risk of choosing a single location for a complete film.

For your inspiration, we have shared the top most-watched movies that were ideally shot at a single location.

How to Write a Contained Screenplay

Assuming you know how to write a screenplay. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to pull off a compelling story in a single location.

  • Don’t create too many characters
  • Keep the locations to a minimal
  • Make sure the dialogue is especially engaging
  • Create dynamic characters who are memorable

The Cat and the Canary (1927)

The made initially film, The Cat and the Canary, was released in 1927. Directed by Elliot Nugent, it is a perfect horror movie involving never-ending murder mysteries. A family group who gets trapped in a haunted house tries every possible way to get out. The Cat and the Canary were shot at Universal Studios Hollywood, California, USA.

Grand Hotel (1932)

A perfect story about how an eccentric dancer steals the hearts of two young men. The film was initially shot at a single location of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios – 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA.

Lifeboat (1944)

 An in-depth story of a boat in the Atlantic during World-War II is an excellent illustration presented by Twentieth Century Fox. It was shot at a single location of Sersen Lake, 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Rope (1948)

It was a story about young men at a dinner party who decided to murder another young fellow: the rope was entirely shot at Warner Brothers Burbank Studios.

Rear Window (1954)

 Rear Window is a fun story about a photographer who ends up getting injured. This film was shot at Stage 18, Paramount Studios, USA.

12 Angry Men (1957)

A man murdered his father, and the jury is yet to present the final decision. 12 Angry Men was wholly shot at New York County Courthouse, USA.

Brink of Life (1958)

Brink of life is all about three women in a maternity ward. The decisions about the adoptions of their babies were a central plot in this film. It was shot entirely at a studio in England, UK.

Wait Until Dark (1967)

A film with a fantastic plot, Wait Until Dark was released in 1967. It shows a blind woman who recently gets married to a young man. The woman soon disappeared. The entire film was shot at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, New York.

Sleuth (1972)

Mr. Wyke decides to play a deadly game with his wife’s husband. However, the situations get a bit worse. The film, sleuth back in 1972, was shot inside of a huge country manor house.

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972)

The film takes place mostly in her apartment bedroom.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

This movie was filmed mostly inside of a bank and outside of the same location as well.

My Dinner With Andre (1981)

This movie was filmed inside of — you guessed it, a house.

Autumn Almanac (1984)

This movie was filmed inside of an apartment.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

They filmed this movie inside of a high school library mostly, but at times they used different parts of the same school when the characters would sneak out.

Clue (1985)

This movie was primarily filmed inside a large house or mansion.

Die Hard (1988)

The majority of this movie was filmed inside of a corporate building.


Most of this movie was filmed inside of a small warehouse. There were minor scenes that took place outside, inside of a diner and a small office.

Clerks (1994)

This movie was mostly filmed inside a retail store.

Death and the Maiden (1994)

This story was filmed inside of a house.

Four Rooms (1995)

This movie was filmed inside of a hotel.

Cube (1997)

The story was filmed in a single location that was set up like a maze or labyrinth. It was most likely some type of set.

Deterrence (1999)

This movie was filmed inside of a diner.

Tape (2001)

This story took place inside a Michigan motel room.

Panic Room (2002)

This movie was filmed inside a single home.

Phone Booth (2002)

The title says it all in regard to the location.

Right at Your Door (2006)

This movie was filmed inside and outside of a single home.

1408 (2007)

This movie took place inside a hotel.

[Rec] (2007)

This story takes place inside a dark apartment building.

Pontypool (2008)

This story takes place mostly inside of a radio station.

Shirin (2008)

This story takes place inside a movie theater.

Exam (2009)

They filmed this movie inside of a classroom.

Lebanon (2009)

This story takes place from the perspective of a soldier inside of a tank.

Moon (2009)

This movie was filmed inside of a rocket or spaceship as well as the moon. Mostly this was a single set location.

Buried (2010)

The story takes place inside a coffin.

Devil (2010)

This movie was mostly filmed inside of an elevator, however, there were several cut-away shots to various parts of the building the elevator was a part of.

The Raid (2011)

They used an abandoned warehouse mostly for this story as the location.

Dredd (2012)

This story took place inside an apartment building.

All Is Lost (2013)

Robert Redford is the main character here and the movie took place on a deteriorating vessel while out at sea.

Locke (2013)

This story is filmed from inside of a car while the main character talks on the phone and drives.

Non-Stop (2014)

This action film took place mostly in an airplane.

High-Rise (2015)

This story is told while being filmed in a high-rise tower.

The Invitation (2015)

This movie was filmed inside of a house.

Free Fire (2016)

This movie was set entirely in a warehouse.

Gerald’s Game (2017)

This movie was shot mostly inside of a house — the bedroom to be exact. However, there are other scenes that take place in different locations for a small portion of the story.

Jay Carver

Jay Carver is a screenwriter, director and producer. Through his production company J-Style Films, he has done work for companies such as Turner Broadcasting. In the past, he has worked with Hollywood actor Omari Hardwick and won several film festivals including "Best Director".

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