The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorsese’s classic Boston crime saga “The Departed,” a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs,” used a mixture of Boston and New York to comprise the locations of the film.  After Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the film, director Martin Scorsese deliberately avoided viewing it until after he completed “The Departed.”  Here we’ll take a look at some of the Boston locations from the film.

The Massachusetts State House plays a recurring role in the film, as Matt Damon’s character Colin Sullivan stares in awe at it and rents an upscale penthouse apartment with a view of it’s iconic golden dome at the center of the Boston skyline.

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LOCATION: 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

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Matt Damon’s penthouse “apartment” isn’t really an apartment at all.  It’s the library on the top floor of the Suffolk University Law School.  For this obvious reason, the building is never seen from an exterior view in the film, but this is what it looks like from the street.  Unfortunately, you must have a university ID to enter the building, so recreating the apartment view from the library is not possible for the public.

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LOCATION: 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, lives at this apartment overlooking the east waterfront of the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston.  The building is known as Flagship Wharf.  Much like Matt Damon’s apartment, the exteriors of this building are scarcely seen in the film.  However, some shots of the windows and a view out over the water can be seen as Costello talks on the phone to Sullivan.

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LOCATION: 197 8th St, Boston, MA 02129

Outside of Costello’s bar, two of Costello’s crew, Fitzy and Delahunt, stand and observe pedestrians walking by, claiming anyone who avoids looking at the pair are cops.  As Billy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, exits the building without looking at them, Fitzy jokingly says to him “You’re a cop.”  Two buildings were actually used for this location; this exterior can be found in Boston, while the interior was an entirely different building in New York (Raul’s, 180 Prince St, New York, NY 10012).

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LOCATION: 17 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

Late in the film, Billy meets Queenan, played by Martin Sheen on a rooftop of what is supposedly 344 Washington Street.  There is a hand-drawn sign in front with the numbers 344.  Costello’s crew is informed of the meeting and Delahunt mistakenly tells Billy to meet them at “314 Washington.”  Despite his error, Billy meets Costello’s crew at the correct address, cluing in Delahunt to Billy’s real identity.

The entrance to real building seen in the film is not on Washington Street, but rather along an alley running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place, just north of Congress Street in Boston’s Fort Point.

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LOCATION: 11 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210 (this entrance is along a side alley of the building, running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place)

Billy narrowly escapes from the rooftop to avoid exposure as an undercover cop.  He races down a fire escape into this alley, just beside the entrance seen above.  The real building does not have a fire escape, but some skillful editing makes it appear as if this is where the fire escape reaches the streets.

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LOCATION: Alley between 11 Farnsworth St and 12 Thompson Pl, Boston, MA 02210

Just as Billy reaches the front of the building, he is shocked as Queenan is thrown from the rooftop.  His body falls in front of these windows.  Director Martin Scorsese had X marks taped over all the windows, as an homage to the 1932 film “Scarface.”

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Billy looks in horror back in front of the building entrance, as Costello’s crew pours out and meet up with him, unaware he was the undercover cop they were just seeking.  The police observe the scene and, against Sullivan’s orders, engage in a shootout with Costello’s crew.  Billy and Sullivan’s fateful meeting also takes place in this building and on the rooftop.

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Related articles: Casino (1995), Goodfellas (1990)

The Fighter (2010)

David O. Russell’s gritty boxing drama “The Fighter” shot mostly in the town of Lowell, Massachusetts, where the real life characters the film is based upon actually lived.  The film opens with Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg, working on the streets, accompanied by this brother, Dicky Eklund, played by Christian Bale.

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LOCATION: In front of 318 Westford St, Lowell, MA 01851

The two are being filmed by an HBO film crew, which Dicky erroneously believes are documenting his boxing comeback.  Micky and Dicky do a playful spar in front of the cameras at this intersection.

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LOCATION: Intersection of Westford St / Hastings St, Lowell, MA 01851

The camera then speeds away down Hastings Street.

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LOCATION: Hastings St, Lowell, MA 01851 (looking towards Westford St)

Dicky is seen many times throughout the film staying at this drug house, where he smokes crack.  He repeatedly tries to escape when his family comes looking for him, jumping into a pile of trash in the back.

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LOCATION: 38 Smith St, Lowell, MA 01851

Later in the film, Dicky realizes he’s late for a training session and steps outside of the front door.  He then begins running down the street to the gym.

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Micky meets Charlene, played by Amy Adams, at this bar.  The bar is only shown from interior views in the film.

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LOCATION: Buck’s Bar & Grill, 165 Chelmsford St, Lowell, MA 01851

Micky lives at this home, where Charlene confronts him for standing her up on a date.

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LOCATION: 11 Marshall St, Lowell, MA 01851

Charlene lives at this house, where later in the film, Dicky comes to the porch.  Charlene looks out the window on the right of the second floor and argues with Dicky from the porch, before eventually coming out to the front porch herself.

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LOCATION: 105 11th St, Lowell, MA 01850

Boogie Nights (1997)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic portrayal of the 1970s and 1980s porn industry, “Boogie Nights,” was shot all around Southern California, but like many of his early works, was primarily based around the San Fernando Valley.

The opening shot of the Reseda Theater can be found on Sherman Way in Reseda, California.  The theater has long since closed, but plans are underway to reopen the property as a mutiplex.

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LOCATION: 18443 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

Just down the street is the “Hot Traxx” nightclub, which is now a church.  Also right around the corner is the workplace of Quiz Kid Donnie Smith in “Magnolia.”

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LOCATION: 18419 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

Dirk Diggler’s parents’ house is located far south of the Valley, down in Torrance, California.

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LOCATION: 3503 187th St, Torrance, CA 90504

Jack Horner takes Dirk out for a meal with Amber Waves and Rollergirl at Du-Pars Restaurant and Bakery in Studio City.  The restaurant has undergone renovations since the film was shot and looks a bit different these days.

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LOCATION: 12036 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Jack Horner’s house is tucked away in the city of Covina.  The property is not easily visible from the street.

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LOCATION: 19515 E Cameron Ave, Covina, CA 91724

The side of the house, where Little Bill, played by William H. Macy, witnesses his wife having sex outside, while a group of party guests watch.

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The back of Jack Horner’s house, with the patio and swimming pool, where the party takes place.

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Later in the film, Dirk Diggler moves into his own house, located in Woodland Hills.

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LOCATION: 4214 Lobos Rd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Amber Waves makes a documentary about Dirk Diggler, which itself is based on the documentary “Exhausted: John C. Holmes, the Real Story.”  The bridge Dirk stands in front of is the Colfax Ave footbridge in Studio City.  It can be found near the intersection of Colfax Ave and Ventura Blvd.  Once you spot the overpass on Colfax, the bridge is just beneath it and can easily be accessed by foot.

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LOCATION: Near the intersection of Colfax Ave / Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (nearest address is 4028 Colfax Ave, Studio City, CA 91604)

Towards the end of the film, things take a darker turn as Dirk solicits himself to perform sexual acts for money.  The alley where he meets the man in the truck is still there, but the buildings to the left has since been demolished.  The church in the background can still be seen.  This location is very close to the donut shop in the film.

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LOCATION: 18128 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

Buck Swope picks up some donuts at the aforementioned Miss Donuts.  This is in Reseda, near the church seen above and the “Hot Traxx” location.

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LOCATION: 18231 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335

The drug dealer robbery is planned from the El Royale Hotel in Studio City.

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LOCATION: 11117 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Things reach a crescendo with a drug deal gone bad, at this house in Encino.  Sadly, the house has since been demolished and a new home build in it’s place.  Luckily, we we able photograph it prior to it’s demolition.

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LOCATION: 16801 Encino Hills Dr, Encino, CA 91436

Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)