Basic Instinct (1992)

The 1992 erotic thriller “Basic Instinct,” starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, was primarily filmed in the San Fransisco Bay Area. The opening murder scene takes place at this home in San Fransisco, which was unfortunately under renovation at the time of our visit.

LOCATION: 2104 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94115

Catherine Tramell, played by Sharon Stone, lives at this house, also located in San Fransisco.

LOCATION: 2930 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Detectives are told Catherine is at her beach house, which can be found in Carmel-By-The-Sea, a small beach town near Monterey. Detective Nick Curran, played by Michael Douglas, is seen arriving at this front gate. Unfortunately a wall obscures most of the view of the home.

LOCATION: 157 Spindrift Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

You can in fact see a small portion of the home over the wall, but it’s not much.

Nick’s apartment can be found back in San Fransisco. While now painted another color, the property for the most part still looks similar to how it appeared in the film.

LOCATION: 1160 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94133

In one scene, Catherine waits for Nick at his home and the two talk in this area, at the corner of Montgomery St and Green St.

Related articles: Showgirls (1995)

Easy A (2010)

The house from the 2010 film “Easy A,” starring Emma Stone, can be found in Ojai, California. The roads leading into the neighborhood have signs calling it a private community, but there are no guards, gates or trespassing signs to be found.

LOCATION: 300 Longhorn Ln, Ojai, CA 93023

Scarface (1983)

The 1983 Brian De Palma film “Scarface,” starring Al Pacino, is set in the underworld of Miami, telling the story of the rise and fall of Tony Montana. While Miami was used for several locations, Los Angeles also stood in for the city for quite a bit of the film, due to the fact that the Miami Tourist Board declined the producers several filming requests, fearing the subject matter would deter tourism. Some later scenes in the film were also shot in New York.

When they first arrive in Miami by way of Cuba, Tony Montana, played by Pacino, stays in a detention center with his friend Manny Ribera, played by Steven Bauer. The detention center scenes were filmed under the I-10 Freeway, near the I-110 interchange in Los Angeles. In the film, Tony and Manny are mostly seen beneath the Eastbound lanes, near W 17th St and Georgia St. However, that area is within a fenced off, gated parking lot. The Westbound lanes on the opposite side, while not seen from that angle in the film, run over Venice Blvd and offer a bit easier photography and general view of the area. This area is located very close to the opening robbery scene from “Heat.”

LOCATION: Beneath I-10, near W 17th St & Georgia St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (GPS coordinates: 34.037791, -118.273057)

As Tony and Manny arrive in Miami Beach for a drug deal, the pull up next to “The Carlyle.” The same hotel was famously featured in the film “The Birdcage.”

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LOCATION: 1250 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

On the same street is the location of the infamous hotel where Tony’s drug deal goes bad and one of his crew is killed with a chainsaw. The building has since been remodeled and is now a pharmacy. However, the facade out front, as well as the staircase, remain in tact. There is a sign at the building noting it as the location from the film.

LOCATION: 728 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tony meets with drug kingpin Alejandro Sosa at his home in Bolivia. The real location is actually in Montecito, California. The house sits far back from the road and is not visible from the street. This estate is located just minutes away from Tony’s mansion in the film.

LOCATION: 656 Park Ln, Montecito, CA 93108

As he rises in power, a montage is shown of Tony expanding his empire. He is shown emerging from this building, which has the name “Montana Management Co.” in the film. The building can be found in West Hollywood, California.

LOCATION: 8623 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

This building has the name “Montana Travel Co.” in the film. It is located directly across the street from the above location. Despite the addresses on Sunset Blvd, both buildings actually face Sunset Plaza Dr.

LOCATION: 8619 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

In the same montage, Tony is seen opening a beauty salon for his sister Gina, played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. This is again located next to the above two locations in West Hollywood, on the opposite side of the street on Sunset Blvd. All three locations are in very close proximity to one another.

LOCATION: 8648 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The exterior used as Tony Montana’s house can be found in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara. Tony marries Elvira, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, at the home, which added a second story facade for the production. Known as El Fureidis, the property sits far back from the road and is unfortunately not visible from the street. Many Miami-based tour guides tell tourists the home is located in Miami, which is incorrect. El Fureidis hosts over 100 species of palm trees and is famous for being the source of the rare species of palm trees found in Disneyland’s Adventureland and Jungle Cruise ride. Walt Disney, Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill are among the many famous guests said to have visited the estate.

LOCATION: 631 Parra Grande Ln, Montecito, CA 93108

Thanks to Phil Savenick for contributing a note on El Fureidis.

East Of Eden (1955)

The 1955 Elia Kazan film “East of Eden,” starring James Dean, shot in many parts of California, ranging from in the Northern town of Mendocino, to the Central towns of Monterey and Salinas, to Warner Brothers Studios in Southern California. The Trask house, where Cal, played by James Dean, lives with his father and brother, was a set located at Warner Bros. Studios.

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

When war is declared, a parade in thrown in town to show support. The parade scenes were also filmed at Warner Bros. Studios, in the town square on Midwest Street. These buildings can be seen in the background of the parade.

This church on the Warner backlot is also seen during the parade. The church has famously been featured in countless productions, such as “The Lost Boys” and “The Monster Squad.”

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Taken (2008)

The 2008 action thriller “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, was largely filmed in France. Some early scenes in the film, however, are set in Los Angeles, California. Bryan Mills, played by Neesan, visits the home of his ex-wife several times in the film to see his daughter. The home can be found at Fremont Place in Hancock Park. Despite being a popular neighborhood for filming, Fremont Place is unfortunately one of the few gated communities in Los Angeles, making it inaccessible to the general public. Other films showcasing locations inside Fremont Place include “The War Of The Roses,” “Zodiac,” “Rocky III” and more. This home is a popular filming location, also appearing in such films as “Taken 2,” “Rocky IV,” “The Artist” and “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills,” as well as such TV shows as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Paper Dolls,” “CHiPs,” “CSI: Miami,” “Cold Case,” “Beverly Hills, 90210” and many more.

LOCATION: 56 Fremont Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Bryan Mills lives at this apartment, which is located in Sherman Oaks. The apartment appears once again in the sequel, “Taken 2.”

LOCATION: 4660 Kester Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

The House Bunny (2008)

In the 2008 comedy “The House Bunny,” a former Playboy model Shelley, played by Anna Faris begins staying at a house full of sorority girls. The film was shot around Los Angeles, California. The first sorority house Shelley visits, where she gets turned away, can be found in Hancock Park. The same home appeared in the films “Bugsy” and “Hollywoodland.”

LOCATION: 425 S Plymouth Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90020

The Zeta sorority house, where Shelley lands a job, can be found in the West Adams neighborhood.

LOCATION: 2151 W 20th St, Los Angeles, CA 90018

The Lost Boys (1987)

The 1987 film “The Lost Boys,” directed by Joel Schumacher, is set in the fictional beach town of Santa Carla, California. In reality, the film was famously shot in Santa Cruz, with some additional scenes filmed in Southern California. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk plays a prominent role in the film. In the opening scenes, David, played by Kiefer Sutherland, can be seen riding the carousel with his crew.

LOCATION: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

As the boardwalk closes down for the night, a security guard is attacked as he exits to a parking lot.

Later in the film, Michael, played by Jason Patric, meets Star, played by Jami Gertz, in this area of the boardwalk. The 2019 Jordan Peele film “Us” also shot scenes at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The film’s opening scene is set in 1986, at the same time “The Lost Boys” was filming. The characters in “Us” even reference this film when they walk past this area, mentioning a movie is being filmed nearby.

Michael meets David and his crew at this area of the boardwalk.

David invites Michael to come along on a bike ride and the boys all ride their bikes down these stairs.

Sam, played by Corey Haim, moves with his family from Phoenix to Santa Carla to live at his grandpa’s house. The building seen in the film is known as the Pogonip Clubhouse. Built in 1911, the building operated as everything from a golf club, to hosting women’s polo matches, to briefly serving as a rehab facility for servicemen during WWII. The building opened and closed again many times throughout the years, before being condemned in 1986, right around the time of filming. Only the exteriors of the building were used in the film, interiors were filmed at Warner Bros. Studios.

LOCATION: Near 333 Golf Club Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (GPS coordinates: 36.995416, -122.038388)

Today, the building is part of Pogonip, a scenic hiking and biking trail. The building is open to the public and there’s a few ways to reach it. From the nearest trailhead on Golf Club Dr, you can take a paved path straight up to it, or the Lower Meadow Trail. Unfortunately, the Lower Meadow Trail, while offering scenic views, is overrun by homeless people, to such a degree that we found ourselves inadvertently walking right into their campsites more than once. While no one was confrontational, as the paths do receive a lot of pedestrian traffic, we recommend sticking to the paved path if you wish to see the building from the film. Either route is about a half mile walk, with some uphill portions, but not terribly difficult. Remember to bring water if you do hike there.

The comic book shop where Sam meets Edgar and Alan Frog, played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, still exists, but no longer at it’s original location. While made to appear on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, the actual shop seen in the film was formerly located on Pacific Ave. The building suffered severe damages in a 1989 earthquake, resulting in the comic book shop changing locations.

LOCATION: 705 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (now demolished)

The store, Atlantis Fantasyworld, is now located on Cedar St in Santa Cruz. While not an actual filming location, they do still have a prop from the film inside; the original “Vampires Everywhere!” comic book. It sits on display behind the front counter.

LOCATION: 1020 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

The cave where David’s crew is based, known as Hudson’s Bluff Sea Cave, is located far from Santa Cruz in Rancho Palos Verdes. The cave sits next to Terranea Beach, which is easily accessible on foot along the Terranea Trail, a public trail which runs behind the Terranea Resort. Seeing the cave up close requires a bit of climbing up some rocks, however, so use caution if you wish to proceed beyond Terranea Beach. The same area has been seen in such films as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Lethal Weapon 2” and “Batman: The Movie,” as well as such TV shows as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Wonder Woman,” “The Munsters” and more.

LOCATION: Hudson’s Bluff Sea Cave, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 (GPS coordinates: 33.738747, -118.393196)

Another Southern California location is the bridge where David and Michael hang underneath as a train passes. It can be found at the Iron Horse Trailhead near Valencia. The actual bridge is a pedestrian crossing with no train tracks.

LOCATION: 25311 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Unlike what is depicted in the film, the bridge is nowhere near the height above ground suggested in the scene. Here is a view of the actual elevation, with Six Flags Magic Mountain seen in the distance.

The church where Sam and Edgar collect holy water can be found at Warner Bros. Studios.  The same church has been seen in many productions, such as “Gremlins” and “The Monster Squad.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

In the opening scene of the 2017 sequel “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,”  Star-Lord’s father Ego, played by Kurt Russell, drives through 1980 Missouri in this 1978 Mustang II King Cobra. The vehicle could be found on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, which ran an exhibit entitled “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles Of Science Fiction and Fantasy” from May 2019 through May 2020.

LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036