MARTA in the movies

12 Feb

MARTA has played a bit part in a few films over the years, whether Atlanta is a cheap location for a film set in some other city or explicitly acknowledged. There’s the very memorable hijacking of a MARTA bus at the beginning of Burt Reynolds’ Sharky’s Machine (1978), memorable mainly in the sense that everything that happens after this point is excruciatingly unmemorable. sharkys machine

Kim Bassinger takes it in The Real McCoy (1993) after she’s just been released from jail where she was doing time for a botched bank robbery, now on MARTA and on her way to new life, a fresh start. We’ve all been there before.
the real mccoy

MARTA is hilariously rebranded as “NARTA” in Livin’ Large! (1991). Livin’ Large was shot all over the city, so if you’re really into that, be our guest.
livin large

The most felicitous use of MARTA, however, is in the truly terrible 1985 movie you’ve never heard of, The Heavenly Kid. hk
In “the early ’60s” a bunch of 1950s greaser “teens” play a deadly game of chicken and Bobby ends up running his car off a cliff. Suddenly we’re hurdling through a tunnel…hk1

…and Bobby is on a train with a bunch of freaks. Where am I? Who are these people? Does this train end at Doraville or North Springs? etc. hk2hk3hk4hk5hk6
This line actually ends at PEACHTREE CENTER STATION.
Of course if you are going to do a movie where a bunch of dead people are ascending to heaven, you have them end up in this otherworldly station.
(Do not bother with the rest of the movie. Trust us.)

Previously: The gay ’90s

8 Responses to “MARTA in the movies”

  1. Darin Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    The best thing about Kim riding MARTA in The Real McCoy is that, in the movie, it’s supposed to be a commuter train taking her from Athens to Atlanta. I wish!

    • pecanne log Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

      Yeah, and the guy hitting on her asks if she’s coming from Savaaaaaaaannah.

  2. Nathan Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    Best post ever!

  3. James Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    The Civic Center station scene in Freejack is missing from this article.

  4. MC W Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    I couldn’t help but notice the upholstery on the train seats in The Heavenly Kid. I imagine they chose to film MARTA because the system seemed so modern then.

  5. Ben Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Also, more recently, Stomp the Yard had some serious MARTA action.

  6. theurbanryan Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    MARTA was also the setting for a deleted scene in “Escape from New York,” serving as a national subway system (“underground transportation to all major cities”). Looks like they filmed at Ashby and Dome/etc Stations. And it really shows off the old seats too.

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