The Graduate (1967)

Mike Nichols’ classic 1967 film, The Graduate, about an aimless 21 year old named Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, continues to resonate with audiences 50 years later; a true testament to the nerve the film struck with audiences.

The church seen in the film remains a unique and special location to visit.  You do not have to be a member of the church, or even enter it, in order to admire the location of the film’s famous climax.  A simple walk around the back reveals the entirety of the interior.

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LOCATION: United Methodist Church of La Verne, 3205 D Street, La Verne, CA 91750

From here, you can clearly see where Dustin Hoffman’s character famously pounded on the glass.

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The front of the church, for those wondering what the outside of the building looks like.

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We’d be remiss not to also mention the house of Mrs. Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft.

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LOCATION:  607 North Palm Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Perhaps due to the church’s distance from Los Angeles, the location isn’t as frequented by film buffs as you might expect.  If you’re a fan, however, it’s well worth the drive out to La Verne.

The Descendants (2011)

Most of Alexander Payne’s 2011 film, The Descendants, was shot around the island of Oahu, Hawaii, although some filming did take place on Kauai and the Big Island.

Matt King, played by George Clooney, lives at this house, tucked away in the Nu’uanu neighborhood of Honolulu.  The house is not fully visible from the street.  You’ll need to walk down a little, unmarked road (connected with Gartley Place) that leads to a few houses, in order to get a clear view.  The Descendants house is the first on the left and the one closest to Old Pali Road.

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LOCATION: 3849 Old Pali Road, Honolulu, HI, 96817

Located just down the street from the above house is the corner where George Clooney frantically runs in his sandals over to his friends’ house, The Mitchells, after hearing of some distressing news.

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LOCATION: The fork in the road of Old Pali Road / Nu’uanu Pali Dr., Honolulu, HI, 96817

The Mitchell’s house.  The view, again, is slightly obstructed from the road, due to the many trees and plants on the property.

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LOCATION: 155 Dowsett Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817

The goat seen in the film, Poppy, is a real goat that actually lives at the location.  It is still alive and well today.

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Brian Speer’s house.

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LOCATION: 4328 Papu Circle, Honolulu, HI, 96816

The island of Oahu is beautiful, with many amazing sights to see.  Most of these film locations are tucked away from the more touristy areas of Honolulu.  One upside, due to the island being so small, is that all of these locations are pretty close to one another and can be visited in a short span of time, as not to distract you too much from the other amazing sights the island has to offer.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

One of our favorite movie locations is the prison from The Shawshank Redemption.  While the film is set in Maine, tucked away in the fields of Mansfield, Ohio, the Ohio State Reformatory hosted the production of the film in 1993, after it had permanently closed from active prison use three years prior.

Originally built between 1886 to 1910, the facility was built in three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne.  In the wake of a class action suit by the prisoners, which cited overcrowding and inhumane conditions, the prison was shut down in 1990, with a replacement prison built directly behind it, which is still active today.

After the enduring success of The Shawshank Redeption, The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society began work to restore the facility to its original state, as well as recreate many of the film’s sets.  They offer daily tours from April to September and weekend-only tours during the remaining seasons.  The restorations are funded through donations and tour fees.  The building housed a great deal of horrors, which can be felt as you explore the facility.  Over 200 people are said to have died inside the prison walls.  During Halloween season, the Preservation Society offers haunted tours in lieu of the film tours and a number of ghost-themed television shows have filmed at the location.  Yet outside, the place feels quiet and serene.  Other films to have shot at the prison include Air Force One and Tango And Cash.

If you find yourself in the area, I highly encourage you to take the tour, as it remains one of our all-time favorite film locations.  We do not wish to overlook the unfortunate history of this facility, however, with all of the atrocities that took place here.  More information on visiting can be found here.

LOCATION: 100 Reformatory Rd., Mansfield, OH 44905

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The front of the prison.  During tour hours, music from the film score plays over loud speakers.

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“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”  The back of the prison is particularly difficult to photograph, as the tours do not cover this area, due to the facility directly facing an active prison.  You are not allowed to turn your camera towards the active prison at any time, under the warning of immediate expulsion from the property, if you are caught doing so.  There are guards from the active prison on constant lookout, to make sure no one is photographing the wrong prison.  However, we can provide a brief glimpse of the “yard” where Red and Andy would meet.

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The parole room, where Red keeps returning for his hearings.  The table and chair props are not the originals, however, if I recall correctly.

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This is where the inmates first line up to face the warden.

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This is the warden’s office, where Andy locks the door and plays the music.  The actor playing the captain really did break the window to the door in the scene, which is still missing today.

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The warden’s office, where his fate is met.

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This is where the production cut a hole in the wall, for the warden’s safe.

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The showers seen in the movie were the prison’s real showers.

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The hole Andy makes in the pipeline.  This is the actual prop from the film.

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This is a wide shot of the pipeline prop that Andy crawls through.  Might ruin a little movie magic for you.

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While similar looking, this is the prop used for the hole in the wall, behind the Rita Hayworth poster.

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Brooks’ apartment.  It was actually another room inside the prison.

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This is unfortunately a replica.  The real ceiling beam was, at one time, located in this room, but it was stolen.  The Preservation Society recreated it.

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Autographs from the film’s actors.

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Autographed poster.

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The cover from the crate prop, holding the library books that Andy had so frequently requested.

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There’s really so much more to see inside the prison tour, such as the world’s tallest prison cell block.  These were not the cell blocks seen in the film, however.  The production opted to rent out a nearby warehouse and build their own set for the cell block, likely due to the unsanitary conditions of the real cell block.  You are warned not to touch anything in this area, for risk of needing a tetanus shot.  Since the rest of the features of the tour do not directly relate to the film, we will leave you with just one image of the many other, highly interesting things the tour has to offer.

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