Short Cuts (1993)

The 1993 Robert Altman film “Short Cuts” is based on short stories by author Raymond Carver. Originally set in the Pacific Northwest, for Altman’s film adaptation, he switched the setting to Los Angeles. The film features intersecting stories performed by an ensemble cast.

The house of Ann and Howard Finnegan, played by Andie MacDowell and Bruce Davidson respectively, can be found in North Hollywood.

LOCATION: 4950 Bellaire Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91607

The house next door is where Zoe, played by Lori Singer, lives with her mother Tess, played by Annie Ross. After being injured by a car, the Finnegan’s son Casey returns home. Zoe is playing basketball with some friends in front of the garage and asks Casey why he’s not in school, but he does not answer.

LOCATION: 4946 Bellaire Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91607

The restaurant where Doreen, played by Lily Tomlin, works is the former Johnie’s Broiler in Downey.  She is visited there by her husband Earl, played by Tom Waits. The restaurant has a unique history, having appeared in many other films, such as “Heat,” “The Game,” “License To Drive,” “My Stepmother Is An Alien,” “One Hour Photo” and many more.  In 2007, the building was unfortunately demolished.  However, Bob’s Big Boy purchased the property years later and rebuilt it based on the original blueprints and even some of the same materials.  So what stands now closely resembles what was seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 7447 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241

Groundhog Day (1993)

While set in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” was actually shot in Woodstock, Illinois.  Visiting the town is a unique experience.  Most films shoot in many, scattered locations around a city, or sometimes multiple different cities, then edit it together to make their proximity seem much closer than they actually are in the real world.  With “Groundhog Day,” however, most of the locations from the film really are in as close of proximity as they appear on film.  The filmmakers chose a town square to film in, giving a greater a sense of enclosure within a singular place, just as Bill Murray’s character of Phil Conners is experiencing in the film.  It makes for an interesting feeling, as if you’ve really walked into the film’s universe when you visit.

The “Cherry Street Inn” bed and breakfast in the film actually is a real bed and breakfast where you can stay.  However, Phil’s room seen in the film was built in a warehouse by the production.

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LOCATION: 344 Fremont St, Woodstock, IL 60098

“Gobler’s Knob,” where the groundhog is shown, is the Woodstock Square Park, located right in the center of the town square.

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LOCATION: Woodstock Square Park, Main St, Woodstock, IL 60098

“The Tip Top Cafe,” where Phil gorges himself on excessive amounts of food, has changed ownership many times since the film was shot, with many restaurants coming and going.  It’s the sidewalk out front where Bill Murray keeps stepping in the watery, ice-filled hole in the street while talking to Ned Ryerson.

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LOCATION: 108 Cass St, Woodstock, IL 60098

There are many plaques like this, located at nearly every location from the film in Woodstock, IL.  It’s refreshing to see when a town embraces their film history, as Woodstock does.

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The “Alpine Theater” where Phil arrives dressed as Clint Eastwood is the Woodstock Theatre.  It is also seen briefly at the beginning of the film, when the crew first arrives in Punxsutawney.

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LOCATION: 209 Main St, Woodstock, IL 60098

The bar where Phil drinks is the Old Courthouse Arts Center.

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LOCATION: 101 N Johnson St, Woodstock, IL 90068

“The Pennsylvanian Hotel,” where Andie MacDowell’s character stays, and where Phil later hurls himself from the tower, is actually the Woodstock Opera House.

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LOCATION: 121 W Van Buren St, Woodstock, IL 60098

The alarm clock from the film can be found on display as part of the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

LOCATION: 10202 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

If you find yourself in the greater Chicago area and are a fan of the film, we highly recommend a visit to Woodstock, IL, for a unique experience of entering the film’s universe, while being hosted by locals who warmly embrace the film and its fans.