The 2003 film “American Splendor” tells the story of local Cleveland, Ohio legend Harvey Pekar and his autobiographical comic book series of the same name. The film was likewise shot primarily around the Cleveland area, with a few additional scenes filmed in New York City and Los Angeles. Harvey, played by Paul Giamatti, lives at this home, located in Lakewood.
LOCATION: 12962 Clifton Blvd, Lakewood, OH 44107
Harvey has lunch with famed cartoonist Robert Crumb at Shay’s Restaurant, a local favorite which is still going strong.
LOCATION: 4007 St Clair Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103
Just before Harvey enters a bakery, the Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral is seen in one of the establishing shots. The church was also famously featured in the film “The Deer Hunter.”
The bakery where Harvey runs into an old college classmate is the Elmwood Home Bakery, exactly as depicted in the film. It too is still going strong at the same location nearly twenty years after the film.
LOCATION: 15204 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107
Harvey takes Joyce, played by Hope Davis, to dinner at Gene’s Place. The restaurant is only seen from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: 3730 Rocky River Dr, Cleveland, OH 44111
While the majority of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film “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. However, the brief establishing shot of Daniel Plainview’s mansion was shot at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington. Completed in 1911, the property is located within a private, gated community. However, the estate currently serves as an event space and bed and breakfast. The Stephen King miniseries “Rose Red” also filmed at Thornwood, as well as the prequel film “The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer” and the 1927 silent film “The Eyes of the Totem.”
LOCATION: 8601 N Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood, WA 98498
All of the interiors of the Plainview mansion 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.
Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day Lewis, can be seen firing his gun in his house from this hallway.
LOCATION: 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The objects he is shooting at, which his son later steps over when arriving to visit, is seen from the reverse perspective.
Daniel Plainview can be seen writing checks at this kitchen counter.
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, as well as in the films “Air Force One” and “Flowers In The Attic.” 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.
Daniel sits at his desk in front of this window, which again is much darker in the film.
A drunken Daniel Plainview is seen stumbling down these stairs, as the film approaches it’s final scenes.
Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano, pays Daniel a visit and fixes himself a drink at this bar.
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.
The film’s violent ending takes place on these bowling lanes. “I’m finished.”