John Waters was one of many notable Baltimore artists who felt a connection with "Diner."
John Waters was one of many notable Baltimore artists who felt a connection with "Diner." (Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images)

"Diner" has resonated with Baltimore-connected writers and moviemakers across the popular and literary spectrum. Here are some of their reactions to the movie's 30th anniversary.

The film "shined a light on a time in Baltimore that I was not that familiar with, much the same as my earlier movies may have done to Barry. We later discussed the fact that even though Barry and I grew up five Beltway exits away from each other, I never met a Jewish person until high school and he told me he didn't realize everybody wasn't a Jew until about the same time in his youth. Ah, the powers of Baltimore-based cinema."

—John Waters, filmmaker

"I thought 'Diner' was terrific because it was about characters I knew and felt for (though I'd never been to Baltimore). It gave me hope that I might be able to make the kinds of movies I wanted to make. I also thought that asking one's fiancee to pass a sports quiz was an entirely reasonable proposition."

—Ron Shelton, former O's minor leaguer, writer-director "Bull Durham," "White Men Can't Jump"

"I think it's fair to say that 'Diner' is the film that most embodies the spirit of Baltimore. It is nostalgic, certainly, and evocative of a city that is no longer with us in many respects. Yet it captures things in our psyche that somehow endure.

"I saw it a few years ago projected on the side of a building in Little Italy, part of a summer night's crowd, sitting right out there on the sidewalk amid all the Formstone. When Ralph Tabakin declines to buy a color television, saying the Ponderosa looked fake, I actually found myself tearing up with pride and recognition at how perfectly Baltimore is evoked in that moment."

—David Simon, creator of "The Wire" and "Treme"