Movies filmed on a location you know well

The Murray Hill site, which was headquarters and where much of the research was located, used to have a little museum in the lobby with stuff about the first transistor.
When I moved to Silicon Valley it always struck me as odd that tour buses drove around, past Intel and HP etc. And that was before Facebook took over my old office.

Now, back on topic, the MIT scenes in “A Beautiful Mind” were not filmed at MIT. I think some of the Princeton scenes were filmed in Princeton. I’m not sure if they used the real Nash house, or if there was even an exterior of it.
I’ve got to see it again some time, though the liberties they took kind of annoys me.

At LPCI? Gosh, we should have a reunion of LPCI alumni (and eventual alumni) here. Seems there’s enough of us.

Back to the thread topic: if TV shows count, then I was very intrigued by the 4th season of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” especially towards the end. Oh, earlier episodes were set in Toronto, and Toronto got to play Toronto–University Avenue, and Allan Gardens, and Crombie Park and so on. All very familiar to me, as a native Torontonian.

But in the fourth season, in Gilead, there was a prison, or some sort of holding facility. Brutalist architecture, all concrete. Somebody was tortured in such a room with concrete walls, and somebody else was held in a cage in the middle of a big empty space. The brutalist architecture, with concrete walls leaning in, identified it immediately to me.

It’s the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus. I took some classes there, when I was a student at the U of T. The torture scenes took place in either the Faculty Lounge or a seminar room. The “cage in the middle of a big empty space” was what U of T Scarborough calls “the Meeting Place,” which is where dances and parties were held, and where various speeches were given. I heard Pierre Trudeau speak there in early 1980.

Because 90% of the time “New York” is really filmed in Vancouver?

New York is such a big and dense city, I still think it’s fun seeing little locations I know very well.

Obviously not the stupid “Yea!! We’re in New York City!” montages where someone rides a car around Times Square, then over the Brooklyn Bridge, then the Upper West Side, through Central Park, down to Soho, etc.

Back in the early 2000s, I used to live on the same block in Manhattan where they filmed some of Taxi Driver (E13th between Second and Third Ave.

The movie Copland was mostly filmed in and around Edgewater and Weehawken, NJ.

Ms Marvel is filmed in an alternate MCU universe where Jersey City, NJ looks like Atlanta. But I did see some establishing shots on River Drive in Hoboken in the first episode. Which made no sense geographically as the character was returning home to Jersey City from a driving test, presumably also in Jersey City.

I worked in Wells, Somerset, UK when the movie “Hot Fuzz” was being filmed in 2006. It took several weeks and the film makers were regularly seen in and around the town Market Square setting up and filming. I believe that the local flea pit cinema had the world premiere of the movie as it was so local to the filming! A few local shops had things changed about, new signage and breakaway glass etc installed. The small news agent at the top of the high street had a name change for example. Many of the scenes in the film were filmed on location, not on sound stages, and the Swan Hotel and front and rear of the Somerfield supermarket were used as was the back road into Wells overlooking the cathedral. The cathedral itself wasn’t used but the local parish church stood in and the fete scene was filmed there. I saw Nick Frost waiting to be filmed in a police car on the square and some rehearsals of a scene with a lady on a push bike shooting up at a window above the news agent and some setting up for the fete. Also saw the living statue guy in costume. Sadly I was working so couldn’t watch it for extended periods but some people I know got many photographs of the various actors etc.

There’s one episode of Law & Order where Briscoe and Curtis are talking to someone in a pizza restaurant where he works, and through the window behind them you can see Tom’s Restaurant.

One of the movies filmed in New York still fascinates me. Godspell (1973) was a pretty free and improvisational stage show with minimal sets. It was intriguing that they chose to film the entire movie in Manhattan (except for scenes on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Circle Line and such – but they were all at least next to the island). Yet, except at the very beginning and the very end, the only people in the shots are the main performers. This demanded some clever scheduling and shot setups, but the movie is all shot on recognizable Manhattan locales – Wall Street (they probably filmed on a Sunday), Grant’s Tomb, the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park (a popular movie shot location), the Central Park Bandshell, the top of the still-unopened World Trade Center tower, and even a shot in Times Square, where two of the actors dance in front of animated figures on the Bulova Watch display (shot upwards, because there was no way they were going to be able to restrict crowds in Times Square).

I think people like us (I’m an Angeleno) should start a thread on all the movies set in our cities, that actually weren’t. That takes me out of a movie faster than seeing a place I know.

This. Or seeing a place I know misrepresented. For example:

  • In the movie The Other Guys, they reference the World Financial Center, but the scene actually took place outside some random building (on Wall Street I think).

  • In one of the John Wick films, the final fight takes place in The Oculus and moves onto a PATH train. The PA system is calling out stops like Canal Street, etc, that the PATH train doesn’t hit. John Wick should have bought himself a one way trip to Jersey/

Another interesting thing about the filming of Promised Land. There was a scene in a bar. The film crew set up outside a local bar and filmed the exterior shot of the characters walking up to the place.

They later filmed the interior shots in a totally different bar, spending another day setting up and filming.

I’ve never been to City Island, but ever since seeing the movie it’s been on my list to visit it.

Yeah, the ABC version of Nero Wolfe had Archie driving all over the place, including past a sunny marina. And he always found a parking spot. That really took me out of it. Definitely not shot in NY.


I am very jealous, that is one of my all time favourite films. “Everyone and their mums is packin’ round 'ere!”

Me too. I love that movie.

Well I lived in the DC area for 40 plus years so all kinds of movie. But I worked security on 2. “Best Friends” in 82 starring Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn. Both were so pleasant to work with. Also “Deep Impact” in 98 with Elijah Wood and Morgan Freeman. Both of these were in Virginia.