The 1990 film “The Grifters,” directed by Stephen Frears, was shot primarily in Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona. Lilly, played by Anjelica Houston, visits her son Roy, played by John Cusack, at his apartment in Los Angeles. Roy’s apartment is actually a composite of two locations. For the wide shots and the scene where Roy is taken away in an ambulance, the Bryson Apartments were used. The same apartment can be seen in the film “Magnolia.” For closer shots, the Asbury Apartments, located at 2505 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057, were used.
LOCATION: 2701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
The apartment where Roy’s girlfriend Myra, played by Annette Bening, lives has since been demolished. It was formerly located at 692 S Mariposa Ave Los Angeles, CA 90005.
Lilly places bets on horses at a race track, supposedly located La Jolla. The real location can actually be found in Phoenix. As she’s leaving, her angry boss Bobo comes to visit her. The location appears again later in the film when Myra spies on Lilly.
LOCATION: 1501 W Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85023
A drunken man disturbs Lilly as she tries to eat at this cafe in Santa Clarita. The cafe is only seen from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: 25861 Railroad Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
After Lilly discovers she is in danger, she gets a motel room, supposedly located in Phoenix. Myra follows her there, planning to kill her. Ironically, despite other scenes actually filming in Phoenix, the motel chosen by the production instead shot in Santa Clarita, California. The same motel was featured in the Britney Spears film “Crossroads,” as well as the TV shows “Too Old To Die Young” and “Westworld.”
LOCATION: 12117 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390
Roy is summoned to Phoenix to identify a body and is taken to the Phoenix City Hall. These scenes were filmed at the Maricopa County Courthouse in Phoenix. The entrance Roy is seen entering can be found on the west side of the building, facing what is now the courtyard area.
LOCATION: 125 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85003