At Last, Who to Trust?

Public sources revealing information about locations where movies were filmed are often misleading, and in some rare instances, unreliable. Off the top of my head, I remember a couple of sources claiming that the nighttime scene with the youths in Borat had been filmed in Atlanta. Extensive search from me proved this claim to be totally false, it was actually Dallas, TX.

I’m bringing up the subject because I’ve just done work on Little Children‘s filming locations, and available information told me Providence, RI and Boston, MA were in the movie, but after finding a hundred percent of the film’s shooting spots, I can now accurately say that it was rubbish. It was 90% New York and 10% New Jersey!

A Blurry Disappointment

One of the most popular film locations of all-time is indubitably the McCallister home from the Home Alone series. The expensive home from Winnetka, Illinois (it has been actually sold for almost 1.6 million dollars in 2012), has now been blurred on Google Street View, most likely a request from the present owners of the house.

I noticed this quite recently, as the house was perceptible when I first started publishing the locations for the Home Alone movies. Sad news.  

One, Two, Three’s Coca Cola Building in Berlin

After his smash hit The Apartment (which won five Oscars), Billy Wilder went to Germany to film his next picture, One, Two, Three featuring James Cagney as an executive for Coca Cola. Here’s the Coca Cola building back then:

onetwothreecola

… and now, at Hildburghauser Straße 224, Berlin, Germany


As you can see, the building is now sadly, although still there, in a terrible shape. Doesn’t look like it has been of any use recently.

Types of locations you’ll never find on The Movie District

You might have, at some point, wondered why a location is not showing on here. To be perfectly honest, if we’re playing the odds, it wasn’t a mistake. Plenty of them are ignored on purpose. Here’s a list:

  • Interiors — Okay, this is the most obvious if you’ve browsed at least a couple of pages on this site, but it does not feature scenes shot inside of buildings and restaurants (and whatever else). There are actually two reasons why. First reason is, to be frankly honest, I’m a perfectionist. Preparing new articles isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes, it’s more like blood, sweat and tears. It can take days. Or it can take forever (I have plenty of unfinished and unpublished material in my computer). Now I’ll get to the point — interiors are impossibly difficult to guess. In 99% of the cases you have to rely on information that’s been officially published by some source (newspaper articles, production notes, etc), you can’t figure that out by yourself. And even worse. You could be going on a pointless hunt because there are considerable odds that the scene was filmed on a studio soundstage. Boom! So you can guess that being obsessed with the idea of my material being as accurate and complete as possible, I’d be nuts to add more stress and frustration to my research. Second reason? Interiors don’t interest me quite as much, simply put.
  • Random roads, anywhere — Now picture this. The main character is on a roadtrip and can be seen rolling on some highway near Palmdale, CA. Nothing stands out about that road. As a matter of fact, the character could drive five more minutes and you still couldn’t tell by looking at his surroundings if he had moved at all. See what I’m getting at? That’s right. Not only could that part of the road be anywhere, but nothing at all makes it interesting. That’s a boring road like every other one out there. And I don’t want to bore my readers, so there you go.
  • Shots not involved in the story — Quite a few movies start with multiple shots of a city. If we’re going to dig into the movies I’ve covered so far, Dog Day Afternoon is one of them. If they are shots of landmarks, I might include them in my articles, but as a general rule, I don’t.
  • Indiscernible shots — This can mean many things. It can refer to a closeup of a door. A closeup of a character walking on the street, or a normal shot, but plunged in the dark of the night. If I can’t see anything, I don’t see the point in trying to find out where this is, as we hardly recognize anything at all to start with. Some of the older black-and-white movies have this problem.

Ultimately, I’m doing all this to optimize my work and provide quality content to my readers.

Postscript: I just realized that this is the longest post I’ve ever made, damn! On a side note, remember that your questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome!

 

 

The Rise of a Nobody

“I lived below the official American poverty line until I was 31” – Dustin Hoffman. Indeed he did. Hoffman’s experience as an actor was limited to a handful of parts on TV Series and low-budget films (also made directly for TV) until the then-29 year old was given the part of 20 year-old Ben Braddock in The Graduate, a film that propulsed him at the top of Hollywood’s A-List. His 17 000$ salary (about $117 000 in 2014 dollars) went up to $250 000 by the time his next major project (Midnight Cowboy) came around.

Of course, Hoffman went on to win two Oscars (for Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man — both Best Picture Oscar winners), star in many more classics, and is now considered of the greatest actors of our time.

(Locations for The Graduate here)