Baltimore in fiction

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Baltimore, a city in the US state of Maryland, has been described by some as "Charm City", by others as "Bodymore, Murderland".[1] F. Scott Fitzgerald, who lived there for five years in the 1930s, wrote of it, "I belong here, where everything is civilized and gay and rotted and polite."[2]

A recent listing of ten best movies set in Baltimore includes works by Baltimore natives such as Anne Tyler, John Waters, and Barry Levinson.[3]

Filmmakers explained their choice of Baltimore as a setting for the 2009 movie He's Just Not That Into You because "We were trying to think of an American urban city that didn't feel like you'd seen it a million times before," and "We wanted something like, not exactly every-small-town U.S.A., but every-urban-young-center U.S.A., so we could all see ourselves in these people."[4]


  • Thomas Harris' Dr. Hannibal Lecter operated a psychiatric practice in Baltimore before his confinement.
  • Baltimore is the setting for the police procedural books and series based on the work of author and former police reporter David Simon, Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire. In addition, Simon's reality-based book and TV miniseries on drug dealers, The Corner, is set in Baltimore. Simon is a former reporter for The Baltimore Sun.[5]
  • Baltimore native Tom Clancy, a graduate of Loyola Blakefield and Loyola College in Maryland, often includes Baltimore and other parts of Maryland in his action/spy thriller novels and their corresponding feature films.
  • Maryland native Nora Roberts also uses Maryland and particularly parts of the Chesapeake Bay as settings for her novels. This includes Baltimore in such novels as Inner Harbor.
  • Anne Tyler lived in Baltimore for many years, and many of her books are set there, including The Accidental Tourist, which was also made into a movie.
  • Laura Lippman is the author of detective fiction set in Baltimore, most notably the Tess Monaghan novels.
  • The fictional character, Jane Porter, Tarzan's love interest, is a native of Baltimore and the last part of the first Tarzan novel, Tarzan of the Apes, is set there.
  • In the 1922 short story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", the titular character is born in Baltimore.
  • Tim Cockey's mystery novel series, starring the character Hitchcock Sewell, is based in Baltimore.
  • Jamie Wasserman's novel Blood and Sunlight is set in nearby Ellicott City with several scenes in Baltimore as well.
  • All For The Game trilogy's main character Neil Josten was born and raised in Baltimore by his mother, Mary Hatford, and his father, the serial killer known as the Butcher of Baltimore.



  • The series Homicide: Life on the Street was set and filmed in Baltimore.
  • The HBO series The Wire is set in Baltimore, with each season focusing on different areas of the city and its society.
  • The Seinfeld character Elaine Benes is a native of Baltimore County.
  • Several episodes of The X-Files were set in Baltimore.
  • The show One on One is set in Baltimore until Breanna moves to Los Angeles for college in season 5 (2005–2006).
  • Roc is an American sitcom set in Baltimore.
  • In season 7 of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Mike Keppler, Grissom's temporary replacement, touches a dead body, to which Catherine Willows says, "Is that how they do it in Baltimore?"
  • In season two of House an episode took place in Baltimore
  • Hot L Baltimore, a play by Lanford Wilson (and later a short-lived Norman Lear comedy), takes place in a hotel in inner-city Baltimore.
  • The American adaptation of Skins is set in Baltimore, though it was filmed in Toronto, Canada.
  • An episode of NCIS titled "Baltimore" is set as a flashback of a character's days working for the Baltimore City Police Department.
  • The NBC series Hannibal is set in Baltimore, although it is filmed in Toronto, Ontario.
  • The Supernatural episode "The Usual Suspects" is set in Baltimore.



See also[edit]