Admiration for Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 film “The Master” has steadily grown since the film’s release. The mystique of the movie initially left audiences a bit puzzled, but with time, many have begun to admire it’s nuances and now consider it one of the filmmaker’s finest works. The film was shot primarily around Northern California, with a couple scenes also being filmed in Hawaii and Nevada.
Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, meets “The Master” Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, as he sneaks aboard Dodd’s boat as a stowaway. That boat is the USS Potomac, which is docked in Oakland, California. You can actually take tours aboard the boat.
LOCATION: 540 Water St, Oakland, CA 94607
A view of the back of the boat. The production added a canopy to the upper deck, where guests were seen dancing when Freddie first approaches.
Another, wider view of the USS Potomac, where it regularly docks.
Freddie is seen visiting his sweetheart, Doris, at this house in Crockett, California. The house has since received a paint job.
LOCATION: 619 Winslow St, Crockett, CA 94525
A full view of the home, though it is never seen from this angle in the film. It sits perched on a steep hilltop of a very narrow, one way road overlooking a lake.
The Master’s house can be a bit tricky to find, which we’ll attempt to better pinpoint. The house is known as the Captain’s Mansion, a former event space on Mare Island in Vallejo, California. The first challenge is that many houses spanning several blocks on this street look almost identical and are used for similar purposes. There are subtle differences from house to house, however, be it minor architectural variations, trees and shrubs, views in the background, etc., which do allow for identifying the exact home from the film, which is located at 822 Walnut Ave. The second challenge is that GPS may not take you to that correct location. To get exactly to “The Master” house, make sure you arrive at the intersection of Walnut Ave and 8th St on Mare Island and you’ll successfully find house 822 from the film. The house number can be seen on the front steps.
LOCATION: 822 Walnut Ave, Vallejo, CA 94592 (near Walnut Ave and 8th St)