Some people never go out onto their roof but in the movies these places have a very special place in a lot of plots.

Many films have used rooftops as the setting for chase scenes, fights, dances and a lot more. Here are some of the very best rooftop film scenes ever made.

Vanilla Sky

The great thing about this rooftop scene is that it is when the confusing plot finally gets cleared up. Tom Cruise reaches the incredibly high roof of the Life Extension Company building and finally we start to piece together where real life ended and where his lucid dream started. As with many rooftop scenes over the years, it ends with someone plummeting to Earth. In this case it was Cruise’s character, as he takes a leap of faith in ending his lucid dream state and going back to living a real life again.

Mary Poppins

A film which is light on existential crisis but heavy on dancing chimney sweeps also has a famous rooftop scene. In this case, the chimney sweeps take centre stage as they dance happily on the city’s rooftops. In case you haven’t seen Mary Poppins in years, the song is called Step in Time and features Dick Van Dyke leading the other dancers. You might not see many chimney sweeps about these days but if you get a firm like to sort out your flat roof then you could head out there to recreate the dance routine if you like!

Moulin Rouge

Another musical which features rooftop scenes is Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Of course, the unusual nature of this film means that these aren’t just any sort of rooftops. The Paris skyline is transformed into a magical, otherworldly place for this film.

Strictly Ballroom

We might as well stick with musicals for just now, with this Australian romantic comedy. One of the most iconic scenes occurs when they dance on the rooftop of the dancing school, in front of a massive Coca Cola sign. In a film with a lot of dancing scenes in it this one stands out because of the unusual and dramatic setting.

The Godfather Part 2

Was this sequel better than the original film? A lot of people think that it was and one of the most famous scenes takes place up on the rooftops. This is when Robert De Niro’s character (Vito Corleone) gets rid of the different parts of a gun down various chimneys after a murder. Meanwhile, a noisy religious festival fills the streets down below.

Taken 2

When Liam Neeson gets kidnapped in Istanbul he needs to let his daughter know where he is being held. Speaking to her over a mobile phone he gets her to run over the neighbouring rooftops throwing grenades for him to listen to the closeness of the explosions. When she gets close he sends up smoke signals which allow her to drop a gun down the right chimney. Easy really.

The Shaw shank Redemption

One of the most widely loved films of all time, the Shawshank Redemption features a rooftop scene that it hugely entertaining and also vital to the plot. This is when Tim Robbins’ character gives a prison guard some friendly financial advice while the inmates are tarring the roof. The guard reacts angrily and dangles the prisoner off the edge before accepting his advice.

The inmates end up enjoying some beers up on the roof while Morgan Freeman narrates the scene beautifully. Thankfully, you don’t need to hire a bunch of inmates to fix your roof when you go online find a reputable flat roofing contractor in Coventry, Liverpool or anywhere else in the UK.


The Matrix

Of course, over the years many action films have used the rooftop setting for a tense, action-packed fight scene. One such scene that is sure to live long in the memory of anyone who saw it is the rooftop fight in The Matrix. This is when Neo and Trinity overpower the helicopter pilot, who then turns into one of the scary agents.

Almost Famous

If you have ever watched this music film then you are sure to remember this scene. It is when Stillwater lead singer Russell Hammond has a bad trip at a party and climbs onto the roof. Here he starts singing before jumping into the house’s pool.


Many superhero films have important rooftop scenes in them. In this case, Michael Keaton is playing Batman and he dangles a bad guy off the edge of a building. It is the opening scene of the movie and when the criminal asks him who he is Keaton replies “I’m Batman. Tell all your friends”.

King Kong

Arguably the most recognisable rooftop scene in movie history features King Kong. The giant ape climbs up to the top of the Empire State Building and swats away the planes attacking him while holding onto Fay Wray’s character. Eventually King Kong falls to his death in one of film history’s most tragic and iconic scenes.