Spider-Man (2002)

In Sam Raimi’s original 2002 “Spider-Man” film, Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, works at the Daily Bugle as a freelance photographer who has an uncanny ability to capture photos of Spider-Man.  Famous for it’s triangular shape, the Flatiron Building in Manhattan is one of the more iconic skyscrapers in New York City.

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LOCATION: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Norman Osborn’s Manhattan rooftop home isn’t in Manhattan, or New York at all.  It’s the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

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

Norman stands on the stairs and talks to his son, Harry Osborn, played by James Franco.

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The scene where Mary Jane Watson, played by Kirsten Dunst, kisses an upside down Spider-Man in the rain wasn’t filmed in New York City either.  It was filmed on the Warner Bros. Lot in Burbank, California.  Designed to look like New York alley, this facade can be seen as part of their studio tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

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)

Death Becomes Her (1992)

In Robert Zemeckis’ underrated 1992 black comedy “Death Becomes Her,” Madeline, played by Meryl Streep and Ernest, played by Bruce Willis, live at this estate in San Marino, California.  Later in the film, Helen, played by Goldie Hawn, pays the couple a visit with sinister plans.

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LOCATION: 1125 Oak Grove Ave, San Marino, CA 91108

Bruce Willis, who plays a mortician in the film, does reconstructive work on bodies in what is actually the kitchen of the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  The mansion is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and frequently hosts productions.  The building has been used in countless films.  This room alone has also been seen in “Spider-Man 3,” “The Bodyguard” and “The Witches Of Eastwick.”  While the exterior grounds of the mansion are open the the public, the interior usually is not.  However, once or twice a year, the city does allow the public access inside.  It is one of our most highly recommended places if you’re a movie fan and can manage to get on one of these self-guided tours.  Short of a film studio, you’ll be hard pressed to find another place with so many film locations.

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

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The Big Lebowski (1998)

“The Big Lebowski,” one of the great comedies of the Coen Brothers, shot all around the greater Los Angeles area.  Several of the movie locations are surprisingly difficult to gain access to however, so if you’re a fan of the film and want to check out the places where it was shot, just be aware it may be a more difficult process than you’d expect.

First, we start with the apartment of The Dude, played famously by Jeff Bridges.  The exterior apartment complex can be found in Venice, while the interiors were shot on a sound stage.  The complex has since been renovated, but still bears some resemblance to how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 606 Venezia Ave, Venice, CA 90291

The apartment complex across the street can also be seen in the film.  This complex is frequently mistaken as being The Dude’s.

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LOCATION: 609 Venezia Ave, Venice, CA 90291

Just outside of the apartments on Venezia Ave, looking down toward Zeno Pl, you’ll see where The Dude confronts Da Fino, the brother shamus.

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LOCATION: Venezia Ave, Venice, CA 90291 (in front of The Dude’s apartment)

The famous bowling alley in the film no longer exists.  It was the Hollywood Star Lanes, formerly located at 5227 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029.  The building was torn down in 2002 to make way for a children’s elementary school.

The Big Lebowski’s mansion consisted of two locations.  The exterior was shot at 10231 Charing Cross Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90024.  It is a private, gated property, closed to the public.  The interior of the mansion is the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  The City of Beverly Hills actually owns the property, which is routinely used for filming.  The outside grounds are open to the public, but getting inside is more difficult.  Due to hosting productions and private events on a regular basis, only a few times a year does the city open the inside up for public viewing.  It can be done if you are patient and keep an eye out for these select dates, however.

Inside the Greystone Mansion, this wall is where The Dude talks with Brandt, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and looks at all of The Big Lebowski’s awards and achievements, including his “Little Lebowski Urban Achievers.”  It’s known as the “Breakfast Room” inside the mansion.

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

Brandt is seen walking these hallways of Greystone Mansion several times in the film, as are The Dude and Walter, played by John Goodman.

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Another famous location inside of Greystone Mansion; The Dude talks to the distraught Big Lebowski in front of this fireplace, where The Dude is hired to find the kidnapped Bunny Lebowski.

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The very same room was used in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” as Daniel Plainview’s office, where his son visits him late in the film.  A little tip for Lebowski fans, this room can usually be seen without access inside the Greystone Mansion.  If you go to the front of the building and look through the windows, usually there are no curtains and this room, which is on the ground level, left of the main windows, can be seen.  The hallway Brandt walks down can also be seen through a doorway window, just around the corner to the left of this room, near the fish pond.  Only the Urban Achievers room truly requires access inside the mansion to be seen.

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The coffee shop where Walter tells dude he can “get you a toe by 3 o’clock… with nail polish” is Johnie’s Coffee Shop Restaurant in midtown Los Angeles.  The restaurant actually closed many years ago, but still operates as a filming location.  It has appeared in “Reservoir Dogs,” “American History X,” “Miracle Mile,” “Gone in Sixty Seconds” and many more.

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LOCATION: 6099 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

The Dude, Walter and Donny pay a visit to Larry Sellers’ house, “near the In-N-Out Burger.”  It’s in front of this home that Walter destroys the red corvette.  Today, the home is partially obscured by trees.

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LOCATION: 1824 Stearns Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90035

Late in the film, The Dude pays a visit to Jackie Treehorn’s house.  In the film, the property is shown as being right on the beach.  Those beach scenes were filmed at Point Dume in Malibu.  In reality, however, the house is located in the hills of Benedict Canyon, nowhere near the beach.  It’s the Sheats-Goldstein House, one of the most unique and famous houses in Los Angeles.  It’s actually located just above Cielo Dr, where the Manson Family’s infamous murder of Sharon Tate and four others took place.  The house regularly hosts photo shoots for models and at one time even allowed porn shoots.  In 2016, the property was donated to LACMA, which hosts occasional events there.  The house is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac, down a long, private drive and is not visible from the street.  Unless you are a professional photographer or model, the only way to get onto the property is most likely, similar to Greystone Mansion, to keep your eyes peeled for a rare, public invitation.

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LOCATION: 10104 Angelo View Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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There Will Be Blood (2007)

While the majority of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 masterpiece, “There Will Be Blood,” was shot on location at McGuire Ranch in Marfa, Texas, the film’s third act was shot mostly in Beverly Hills, California.  Aside from an exterior, establishing shot of Daniel Plainview’s mansion, which was shot at Thornewood Castle in Washington (8601 N Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood, WA 98498), all of the interiors were shot at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. While the outside of the Greystone grounds is open daily and free to the public, getting inside is a bit more challenging.  The property is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and regularly accommodates productions and private events.  Therefore, only a few times a year is access to the inside of the estate possible.  Planning ahead is required if you’d like to see inside.

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

Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day Lewis, can be seen firing his gun in his house from this hallway.

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The objects he is shooting at, which his son later steps over when arriving to visit, is seen from the reverse perspective.

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Daniel Plainview can be seen writing checks at this kitchen counter.

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Plainview’s son comes to visit Daniel in his office, which is lit much darker in the film.  This same room can also be seen in The Big Lebowski, when The Dude visits The Big Lebowski.  This room can actually be seen without gaining entry inside the building.  Just left of the main windows at the front of the mansion, you can usually look through the windows and see this room, unless curtains are blocking it.

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Daniel sits at his desk in front of this window, which again is much darker in the film.

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A drunken Daniel Plainview is seen stumbling down these stairs, as the film approaches it’s final scenes.

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Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano, pays Daniel a visit and fixes himself a drink at this bar.

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In this corner of the bowling alley is where Eli Sunday and Daniel Plainview sit and talk, with Plainview seated on the bowling ball rack.  Daniel demands Eli declare himself a false profit and delivers the famous “I drink your milkshake” speech. The bowling alley was completely restored by the production and the room remains identical to how it appeared in the film.

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The film’s violent ending takes place on these bowling lanes. “I’m finished.”

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Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)