Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel, “Inherent Vice,” shot all over Southern California. Much of it is set in the fictional town of Gordita Beach. These scenes were actually shot in Manhattan Beach, which is worth checking out if you’re interested in beautiful ocean views, without the crowds of such places as Santa Monica or Venice Beach.
This shot, seen at both the beginning, as well the end of the film, is overlooking Manhattan Beach and a scenic walkway called The Strand. However, the shot is actually taken from Ocean Drive, one block up, at the intersection of Seaview Street.
LOCATION: 4210 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (this exact shot is from behind the house, on Ocean Drive at Seaview Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, looking out towards the water)
Doc, played by Joaquin Phoenix, lives in this house, which is close to the above shot. The house was mostly used for interiors in the film, but the exterior can also briefly be seen.
LOCATION: 214 El Porto St, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
This cafe in San Pedro pops up a couple times in the film. First, Doc sits outside reading a newspaper about real estate developments. The interior is seen later in the film, albeit dressed heavily to appear as a Japanese restaurant, as Bigfoot, played by Josh Brolin, delivers the immortal lines, “Motto panukeiku, motto panukeiku.” The same cafe appeared in the films “Chinatown,” “Gods and Monsters” and “Lovesick,” as well as such TV shows as “T.J. Hooker” and the 2020 version of “Perry Mason.”
LOCATION: 700 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731
Doc follows leads on the mysterious Golden Fang boat, which is believed to bring in drugs, as well as having carried Shasta, played by Katherine Waterston, on board the last time it sailed. The schooner is seen in darkness, off in the distance in the film. The actual boat is the Tallship American Pride, which can be found at the Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California. The boat is located at Dock 3, though it does sometimes set sail into the waters. If you’re unfamiliar with this area of Long Beach, just search for Gladstone’s Restaurant (330 S Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) or Toyko Wako (310 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) at the Long Beach Pike. The pier and the boat are located directly behind them.
LOCATION: Rainbow Harbor, Dock 3, Long Beach, CA 90802
Later in the film, Doc pays a visit to Bigfoot at the old Los Angeles Police Department in downtown Los Angeles. As he’s approaching the building, an officer bumps into him, knocking him to the ground. The building has since been demolished.
LOCATION: 150 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (now demolished)
One of the most memorable scenes in the film is a flashback sequence, when Doc and Shasta get caught in the rain, while Neil Young’s “Journey Through the Past” plays. This song was a major inspiration for the film and Doc’s look was even modeled after a 1970s photograph of Neil Young. The scene was shot in Pomona, Californa, about an hour east of Los Angeles.
LOCATION: 406 W 2nd St, Pomona, CA 91766
Related articles: Hard Eight (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007), The Master (2012), Licorice Pizza (2021)