The Town (2010)

The 2010 Ben Affleck film “The Town” tells the story of a group of Boston bank robbers.  The filmmakers utilized some iconic Boston landmarks as recurring images throughout the film.  The opening shot is of the Bunker Hill Monument, located in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, which is where the film’s central characters are from.  The monument was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill.

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LOCATION: Bunker Hill Monument, Monument Sq, Charlestown, MA 02129

Another iconic Boston landmark seen in the film is the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, often referred to as the Zakim Bridge or Bunker Hill Bridge.  It too is located close to Charlestown.

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LOCATION: Interstate 93, Boston, MA 02114

The exterior of opening bank robbery in the skull masks takes place at the Cambridge Savings Bank in Cambridge, Massachusetts, located in Harvard Square, directly across the street from Harvard University.  The filmmakers had to use an alternate bank, the East Boston Savings Bank in Melrose, MA, for interior scenes.

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LOCATION: 1374 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Later in the film, as the robbers are dressed in nun costumes, they get boxed in at this intersection, where they engage in a shootout with police, before taking off down the surrounding, narrow corridors.  Here we take a look at the intersection from a few different angles.

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LOCATION: Intersection of N Margin St & Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113

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Fergie, played by Pete Postlethwaite, works at a a flower shop, which is now a hardware store.

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LOCATION: 111 Dorchester St, Boston, MA 02127

The film’s climactic robbery takes place at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

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LOCATION: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215

 

 

The Social Network (2010)

The opening of David Fincher’s 2010 Facebook drama, “The Social Network,” takes place at the Thirsty Scholar Pub in Somerville, Massachusetts, just north of Cambridge, where Harvard University is located.

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LOCATION: Thirsty Scholar Pub, 70 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

In the opening scene, Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is dumped by Erica Albright, played by Rooney Mara, helping set forth the events of the film.  The layout inside of the pub looks slightly different than how it appeared in the film, but the back windows remain the same.

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A poster for the film, signed by some of the cast and crew, can be seen above one of the restroom doors inside the pub.

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After the 1970 film “Love Story,” Harvard University banned nearly all commercial production on the grounds, due to disruption to students and damage to property.  Their anti-filming policy still remains today, thus the majority of the Harvard scenes for “The Social Network” were instead filmed at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  However, a few shots of the real Harvard and surrounding Harvard Square can be seen in the opening credits of the film.  The producers sidestepped Harvard’s policy by filming on top of the Cambridge Savings Bank at Harvard Square (the bank was also used for a robbery scene in the 2010 Ben Affleck film “The Town”).   Portions of the Dudley House at Harvard Square can be seen in these opening credit shots.

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LOCATION: 1351-1443 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Mark walks past the Out Of Town News, located at the real Harvard Square, before the scene seamlessly shifts to him walking through John Hopkins University in Baltimore for the remainder of the opening credits.

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LOCATION: 18 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Later in the film, Eduardo, played by Andrew Garfield, is seen being initiated into the prestigious Phoenix Society, citing the three lies about the John Harvard statue.  Once again, the real Harvard University was not cooperative in allowing any filming at the real statue.  This scene was instead filmed at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA (180 Main St, Andover, MA 01810), about 25 miles north of Boston.  Below is the real John Harvard statue at Harvard University, which was recreated for the film.

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LOCATION: 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA 02138

Several scenes in the film were actually shot around the Los Angeles area, far away from the grounds of Harvard.  Once such sequence involved the Winkelvoss twins discovering Facebook has begun allowing registration in the UK, which finally prompts the twins, played by Armie Hammer, to sue Mark Zuckerberg.  While this scene is supposedly set in England, it was actually shot at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  The scenes were shot inside the Breakfast Room, which was also seen from the opposite side in “The Big Lebowski,” when The Dude looks at photos of the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers.

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LOCATION: Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Mark shows up to a business meeting with prospective advertisers wearing a robe (seen below) on the steps of the Aon Center in Downtown Los Angeles.  The same steps show up in “Inception,” where Leonardo DiCaprio picks up a man in a taxi and kidnaps him.

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LOCATION: 707 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017

We leave you with one of the robes worn by Jesse Eisenberg, which can be found on display as part of the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

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

Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)

Ghostbusters: Answer The Call (2016)

In the opening scenes of director Paul Feig’s 2016, all-female remake of “Ghostbusters,” the ladies encounter a ghost at the Aldridge Mansion Museum, supposedly in New York.  The building is actually the Boston University Castle in Boston, Massachusetts.

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LOCATION: 225 Bay State Rd, Boston, MA 02215

The team sets up a new Ghostbusters headquarters above Zhu’s Authentic Hong Kong Food.  The real restaurant is actually Kaze Shabu Shabu.  The production added a garage on the left side of the building to house the Ecto-1 car.  At the real location, the garage space is just an additional area of the parking lot.

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LOCATION: 1 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111

Cheers

The exterior of the bar seen in the hit TV series “Cheers” can be found in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, just across from the Boston Public Garden.  Originally known as the Bull & Finch Pub, the bar/restaurant has since changed it’s name to Cheers Beacon Hill.  The interiors of the show were of course filmed on a sound stage, not the actual restaurant, but the exterior still closely resembles how it appeared in the show.

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LOCATION: 84 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

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The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorsese’s classic Boston crime saga “The Departed,” a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs,” used a mixture of Boston and New York to comprise the locations of the film.  After Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the film, director Martin Scorsese deliberately avoided viewing it until after he completed “The Departed.”  Here we’ll take a look at some of the Boston locations from the film.

The Massachusetts State House plays a recurring role in the film, as Matt Damon’s character Colin Sullivan stares in awe at it and rents an upscale penthouse apartment with a view of it’s iconic golden dome at the center of the Boston skyline.

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LOCATION: 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

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Matt Damon’s penthouse “apartment” isn’t really an apartment at all.  It’s the library on the top floor of the Suffolk University Law School.  For this obvious reason, the building is never seen from an exterior view in the film, but this is what it looks like from the street.  Unfortunately, you must have a university ID to enter the building, so recreating the apartment view from the library is not possible for the public.

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LOCATION: 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, lives at this apartment overlooking the east waterfront of the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston.  The building is known as Flagship Wharf.  Much like Matt Damon’s apartment, the exteriors of this building are scarcely seen in the film.  However, some shots of the windows and a view out over the water can be seen as Costello talks on the phone to Sullivan.

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LOCATION: 197 8th St, Boston, MA 02129

Outside of Costello’s bar, two of Costello’s crew, Fitzy and Delahunt, stand and observe pedestrians walking by, claiming anyone who avoids looking at the pair are cops.  As Billy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, exits the building without looking at them, Fitzy jokingly says to him “You’re a cop.”  Two buildings were actually used for this location; this exterior can be found in Boston, while the interior was an entirely different building in New York (Raul’s, 180 Prince St, New York, NY 10012).

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LOCATION: 17 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

Late in the film, Billy meets Queenan, played by Martin Sheen on a rooftop of what is supposedly 344 Washington Street.  There is a hand-drawn sign in front with the numbers 344.  Costello’s crew is informed of the meeting and Delahunt mistakenly tells Billy to meet them at “314 Washington.”  Despite his error, Billy meets Costello’s crew at the correct address, cluing in Delahunt to Billy’s real identity.

The entrance to real building seen in the film is not on Washington Street, but rather along an alley running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place, just north of Congress Street in Boston’s Fort Point.

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LOCATION: 11 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210 (this entrance is along a side alley of the building, running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place)

Billy narrowly escapes from the rooftop to avoid exposure as an undercover cop.  He races down a fire escape into this alley, just beside the entrance seen above.  The real building does not have a fire escape, but some skillful editing makes it appear as if this is where the fire escape reaches the streets.

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LOCATION: Alley between 11 Farnsworth St and 12 Thompson Pl, Boston, MA 02210

Just as Billy reaches the front of the building, he is shocked as Queenan is thrown from the rooftop.  His body falls in front of these windows.  Director Martin Scorsese had X marks taped over all the windows, as an homage to the 1932 film “Scarface.”

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Billy looks in horror back in front of the building entrance, as Costello’s crew pours out and meet up with him, unaware he was the undercover cop they were just seeking.  The police observe the scene and, against Sullivan’s orders, engage in a shootout with Costello’s crew.  Billy and Sullivan’s fateful meeting also takes place in this building and on the rooftop.

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Ally McBeal

On the legal comedy-drama series “Ally McBeal,” which ran from 1997 until 2002, the lead character, played by Calista Flockheart, worked on the 7th floor at the fictional Boston law firm Cage And Fish.  The real building can be found in Boston, but it is actually home to the Congressional Library and Archives.

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LOCATION: 14 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Despite being famously set in Boston, Massachusetts, much of the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting” actually filmed in Toronto, Canada.  The film brought home Oscar gold for screenwriters Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, as well as Robin Williams.  Despite heavily filming in Toronto, some scenes were indeed filmed in Boston, including several of the film’s most well-known locations.

Will, played by Matt Damon, and Chuckie, played by Ben Affleck, hang out at the L Street Tavern in South Boston.

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LOCATION: 658 E 8th St, Boston, MA 02127

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They even keep a sign on the side of the building, calling it the “Home of Good Will Hunting.”

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Over at Harvard Square in Cambridge, north of Boston, you’ll find a couple memorable locations from the film, located right across the street from Harvard University.  The Bow and Arrow Pub is where Will meets Skylar.  It’s also where he has the confrontation with an arrogant, pony-tailed grad student.  The bar is now known as the Grafton Street Pub & Grill.

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LOCATION: 1230 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Literally directly to the left of the Grafton Street Pub, you’ll find what used to be a Dunkin’ Donuts.  The building currently serves as a ramen restaurant.  After obtaining Skyler’s phone number and spotting the pony-tailed grad student once again, this is the window front Will walks up to and delivers his famous “How do you like them apples?” line.

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LOCATION: 1 Bow St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The famous bench where Will sits with Sean, played by Robin Williams, can be found at the Boston Public Garden.  Surprisingly, the bench is not marked in any way as being the spot from the film.  If you’re unfamiliar with the garden park, it may take you a bit to find it, but it’s a popular spot and sometimes you can spot it simply by watching for others taking photos there.  To get to the bench, follow the lakeside path north from the west end of the bridge.  If you’re at the bridge, you would go down the small set of stairs to reach it.  Behind the bench, you’ll see an intersection of paths and a tree with a branch forming a “v” shape.  In front of the bench, you’ll see the below view, with the curving edge along the water and the tree in the distance.  Referring to this map of the park, the bench is number 5.

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LOCATION: Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA 02116