The Bridges Of Madison County (1995)

The 1995 film “The Bridges of Madison County” takes place in Iowa, where the film was likewise shot. The farmhouse where Francesca Johnson, played by Meryl Streep, lives can be found in Cumming, Iowa. Here Fransesca meets Robert Kincaid, a photojournalist from National Geographic visiting the area of photograph the covered bridges of Madison County.

The house was built in 1870 by an Argentinian sea captain named Nicholas Thompson, who later sold the house and surrounding land to Joseph Mead. The home has remained with his family since that time. After searching over 150 properties for the perfect farmhouse, on the final day of scouting, the filmmakers discovered the home by helicopter. By the time Eastwood and his crew found the home, it had sat vacant for over thirty years in disrepair. The production completely restored the property and made use of both the interiors and exteriors for the film.

After the success of the film, the owners opened up the home to tours. Much like another famous filming location in Iowa, the house and baseball field from “Field Of Dreams,” the home attracted many tourists, who could visit inside and outside the grounds. This ended on October 6, 2003, when arsonists destroyed part of the home. The northwest corner was largely destroyed, which contained memorabilia for the film, including photos and scripts, many of which were lost forever.

After the fire, the tours ceased and the home was never restored. The area in back damaged most heavily by the fire remains completely open and exposed to the elements. The area is now fenced off from visitors and the home is in poor condition. You can in fact clearly see the home from the gravel road out front, which is public. However, it sits a short distance back from the road. The long driveway up to the home is private and closed to the public. With the home empty, fire damaged and completely exposed for decades, we’re not sure how long it will remain standing. For now, however, it remains somewhat in tact for anyone willing to make their way out to see it.

LOCATION: 3255 130th St, Cumming, IA 50061 (GPS coordinates: 41°28’03.1″N 93°49’43.9″W)

Several covered bridges are featured in the film. The Roseman Covered Bridge plays a key role in the film, when Fransesca first navigates Robert to it in the early part of the story. Roseman Covered Bridge was built in 1883. One of the final two covered bridges ever built in Madison County, it carried motorists for nearly one hundred years before being decommissioned. While most other covered bridges in the area have since been demolished, Roseman Covered Bridge remains standing and is open to the public.

LOCATION: 2451 Elderberry Ave, Winterset, IA 50273

When Robert first arrives with Fransesca, he heads down to this area to set up his camera.

Here is the view Robert was scouting to photograph. This view is also seen on the theatrical poster.

Fransesca walks around this area of the bridge while Robert works.

After getting a drink from the truck, Fransesca comes to the opposite side of the bridge to find Robert picking flowers for her in this area. Fransesca teases Robert that the flowers are poisonous.

The bridge is featured again in the closing scenes of the film.

The locations for “The Bridges of Madison County” are unique in that many of them are old and historic, yet remain standing today. Tucked away from the destination locations of America, they remain a hidden treasure for film lovers, as well as anyone who can appreciate nature or history.

Related articles: Breezy (1973), American Sniper (2014)

The Laundromat (2019)

The 2019 Steven Soderbergh film “The Laundromat,” which tells the story about the Panama Papers scandal, was filmed in numerous locations, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Florida Keys. After a boat capsizes, Ellen Martin, played by Meryl Streep, finds she is unable to get compensation from the accident, as the insurance company has been bought out by a mysterious company in Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean Sea.

When Ellen’s attempts to contact the Nevis-based company are unsuccessful, she travels there to confront manager Malchus Boncamper, played by Jeffrey Wright. These scenes were actually filmed in Key West, Florida. The area is first seen in a dream sequence as Ellen crosses this street.

LOCATION: 109 Fitzpatrick St, Key West, FL 33040

As Ellen approaches the area, named Hunkins Waterfront Plaza in the film and Kino Plaza in reality, it becomes a CGI composite of a couple different locations. We first see this strip of the actual plaza.

As the camera continues to pan over, a massive building is shown. This is actually the Sunkist Headquarters building in Sherman Oaks, California. The building has been featured in several films, such as 2004’s “Paparazzi” and 2017’s “The Hero.” It has also been seen in such TV series as “Too Old To Die Young,” “Alias,” “Knight Rider” and more.

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LOCATION: 14130 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Back at Kino Plaza in Key West, the scene plays again, this time no longer a dream as Ellen approaches the plaza. However, it is again modified, this time with a facade set built over part of the plaza. Here is what the area actually looks like without the facade.

Ellen bumps into Malchus, not knowing who he is, and asks questions about his firm’s location. Malchus lies to her and walks away. This area is mostly the same, but the wall is depicted with dozens of PO boxes lining a brick facade. Here is how it actually appears.

The view of the plaza as Ellen and Malchus speak is relatively unchanged.

Jürgen Mossack, played by Gary Oldman, becomes concerned when he hears one of his clients has been arrested. The film then cuts to a scene in Mexico with Will Forte and Chris Parnell, credited as Doomed Gringo #1 and #2, drinking at a bar. These scenes were filmed at the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot in Santa Clarita, California, also commonly known as the Veluzat Movie Ranch. The ranch, which is available for tours, has been featured in countless films, such as “3 From Hell,” “Dante’s Peak,” “Friday The 13th Part III,” “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter,” “Last Man Standing,” “Chaplin,” and many more.  It was also featured in the TV show “Westworld” as the Mexican town of “Las Mudas.”

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LOCATION: Melody Ranch Studio Backlot (a.k.a. Veluzat Movie Ranch), Forest Rte 5N28, Santa Clarita, CA 91390 (GPS coordinates: 34°29’03.5″N 118°30’25.1″W)

The interior of the bar the men drink at is the same building seen in the above shot, on the right side.

Forte’s character makes the mistake of going to what he thinks is the bathroom, but turns out to be a private office space of some criminals in the middle of business.

Jürgen and Ramón Fonseca, played by Antonio Banderas, speak to the camera about privacy and secrecy while shopping at Fields Market in Canoga Park, California.  The store is a staple of film and television, appearing in such films as “Bird Box,” “Lady Bird,” “Matchstick Men” and “Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn,” as well as such television shows as “Desperate Housewives,” “American Horror Story” and dozens more.  It has also been seen in countless commercials and music videos.

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LOCATION: 23221 Saticoy St, Canoga Park, CA 91304

Gu Kailai, played by Rosalind Chao, tells a story of a Chinese police chief targeting a Falun Gong temple, where people engage in a spiritual practice deemed illegal. The temple is supposedly located in China, but was actually filmed at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.

LOCATION: 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108

The Huntington Library is a very popular filming location, with hundreds of productions shot around the vast, kaleidoscopic grounds. We can’t name them all, but “Mank,” “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “A Cinderella Story” are just a few among them.

Related articles: The Limey (1999), Erin Brockovich (2000), Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Death Becomes Her (1992)

In Robert Zemeckis’ 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.  The same home can be seen in the film “The Last Boy Scout.”

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

The funeral home seen in the film is actually the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Ernest does reconstructive work on bodies in what is actually the kitchen.  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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At the end of the film, the story jumps ahead several decades as Madeline and Helen attend a funeral. After they leave, the two fall down these stairs. The exterior scenes were filmed at Mary Chapel on the Chalon Campus of Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, while the interior scenes were filmed at St James Episcopal Church (3903 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010).

LOCATION: 12001 Chalon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Related articles: Used Cars (1980), Back To The Future (1985), Back To The Future Part II (1989), Back To The Future Part III (1990), Forrest Gump (1994), Cast Away (2000)

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Michael Cimino’s classic film “The Deer Hunter” is primarily remembered for it’s harrowing scenes set in the Vietnam War (which were actually shot in Thailand).  However, the first half of the film is set in a blue-collar town in Pennsylvania.  The town was comprised of quite a few different locations.  For example, the deer hunting scenes were shot at Mount Baker, Washington.

The wedding of Steven and Angela was shot at the Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which is actually located in Cleveland, Ohio.  The building considered to be one of the finest examples of Russian architecture in the United States. The same location briefly appears in the film “American Splendor.”

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LOCATION: 733 Starkweather Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113