U Turn (1997)

The 1997 Oliver Stone film “U Turn” is set in the small town of Superior, Arizona and that’s exactly where production mostly took place as well.  In the film, Superior is depicted as a strange, sometimes hostile town.  In reality, the town is quite welcoming to tourists, offering a variety of shops and antique stores.  “U Turn” is not the only production to film scenes in Superior.  “The Prophecy” and “Eight Legged Freaks” have as well.

Early in the film, Bobby, played by Sean Penn, is driving a desert road when his car breaks down.  He takes his car to Harlin’s Garage, where he meets Darrell, played by Billy Bob Thorton.  These scenes were filmed on E Magma Heights Dr, however the house and garage seen in the film are long gone.  In fact, a copper company now owns the land and it is completely inaccessible to the public.

When Bobby first reached the Main St of Superior, he looks over and sees the sheriff’s station, quickly turning the other direction.  The building seen in the film is the Superior Kearny Justice Court.

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LOCATION: 60 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby encounters blind man, played by Jon Voight, at the train station.  Bobby tries to pet the man’s dog, only to be told it’s dead.

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LOCATION: 100 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby first sees Grace, played by Jennifer Lopez, walking by the building.

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Later in the film, Bobby purchases a bus ticket at the same building.

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Grace takes Bobby to her home, where she lives with Jake McKenna, played by Nick Nolte.  Jake’s house is known as the Castle On The Rock.  The house is located on N Picket Post Rd, Superior, AZ 85173.  There are tours of the building on occasion, but most of the time the property and even the road are completely closed to the public.

Jake drops Bobby off back in town at this grocery store, where Bobby immediately finds himself in a robbery.

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LOCATION: 50 N Pinal Ave, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby uses a payphone to try to get money at the corner of this building.

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LOCATION: 222 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby calls the gangsters he owes money at the corner of this building.

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LOCATION: 160 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby visits this diner, where he is approached by Jenny, played by Claire Danes.  Misreading the situation, Toby N. Tucker (“T.N.T.”), played by Joaquin Phoenix, has a confrontation with Bobby.

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LOCATION: 149 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

This building served as the realty office of Jake McKenna.

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LOCATION: 271 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby encounters the old, blind man once again in front of this building.  Later in the film, this is also where he fights T.N.T.

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LOCATION: 71 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

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Bobby passes Jenny’s house and the two walk past this church talking.

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LOCATION: 94 N San Pedro St, Superior, AZ 85173

If you do make it to Superior, Arizona, most of these locations are quite a short distance from one another.  Most of them, you can walk on foot from one location to the next.

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Primary Colors (1998)

In the 1998 film “Primary Colors,” John Travolta plays Governor Jack Stanton, a Southern politician with many similarities to Bill Clinton.  Stanton serves Thanksgiving dinner on the front lawn with his wife, played by Emma Thompson, at the Banning House in Wilmington, California.  Built in 1863, the property was also seen in the 1992 Danny Aiello film “Ruby,” as well as the TV shows “Quantum Leap” and “Bronk.”  The house currently operates as a museum and is open the the public.

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LOCATION: 401 E M St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Late in the film, Stanton visits the home of Governor Fred Picker.  Picker’s house was filmed at the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana.  The plantation is likewise open to public tours.  This house and its distinct row of trees can actually be seen from the road of LA-18.  However, you might find it difficult to stop and get a photo, as there is no parking along the street.  The plantation was also famously used in the film “Interview With The Vampire.”

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LOCATION: 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090

Bad Santa (2003)

As snow falls on “O’Hara’s Pub” in the opening scenes of Terry Zwigoff’s “Bad Santa,” the sunny streets of Venice, California are probably the last thought in the minds of the viewers.  However, that’s exactly where the scenes were shot, at a store front along the famous Abbot Kinney Boulevard.  A wooden facade was partially built over the store front, along with a neon sign, with only the outer brick lining still visible.  It’s located just a couple doors down from the record label where Paul Rudd works in “This Is 40.”

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LOCATION: 1100 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Willie, played by Billy Bob Thorton, hides out at Thurman Merman’s house.  The real house is located in a somewhat upscale neighborhood in West Hills, California.

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LOCATION: 7211 Whitehall Ln, West Hills, CA 91307