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.

Related articles: Natural Born Killers (1994)

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)

The 2003 sequel “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” much like the first two films, was shot mostly around Los Angeles, California.  Early in the film, the advanced T-X, played by Kristanna Loken, is sent from the future, where she arrives nude in the middle of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.  She walks past this shop.

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LOCATION: 238 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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The T-X passes a famous shopping center known as Two Rodeo, where she steals a car.

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LOCATION: Intersection of Dayton Way / N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The T-X gets pulled over while supposedly still in Beverly Hills.  In reality, this scene was filmed over in Culver City.

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LOCATION: Intersection of Washington Blvd / Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (in front of 9600 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232)

Arnold Scharzenegger returns as the iconic Terminator.  In a riff of the second film in the series, he once again arrives at a roadside bar and searches for clothes.  The exterior shots were filmed at this location in Agua Dulce, which is used exclusively for filming purposes.  The interiors were shot at the Cowboy Palace Saloon in Chatsworth (21635 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311).

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LOCATION: 13800 Sierra Hwy, Agua Dulce, CA 91390

The T-X works her way through a hit list of victims, arriving at the drive thru of this burger restaurant near the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.  The same location also appeared in the Matthew McConaughey film “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

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LOCATION: 1901 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

The mausoleum housing the grave of Sara Conner was filmed at the Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.  The property is quite large and the exact spot can be difficult to find.  The easiest solution is to search for the Whittier Heights Mausoleum.  GPS may attempt to have you enter through Sycamore Canyon Rd from Workman Mill Rd at Gate 14.  That entrance may or may not be open.  Instead, you’ll likely need to enter just down the road through Gate 17, which has a guard post.  A guard will approach and ask your purposes for visiting.  Once inside, you can navigate to the mausoleum.  The exact GPS coordinates are 34.007627, -118.053266.

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LOCATION:  Whittier Heights Mausoleum, Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary, Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601 (GPS coordinates: 34.007627, -118.053266)

Related articles: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

My So-Called Life

The short-lived, but well remembered 90s TV drama “My So-Called Life,” where Claire Danes and Jared Leto got their starts, was set in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, as is the case with so many films and TV series, the house seen in the show was actually based in Southern California.  It can be found in South Pasadena.  The house was also used in Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of “Halloween.”

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LOCATION: 1110 Glendon Way, South Pasadena, CA 91030