Django Unchained (2012)

Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 western “Django Unchained” is set in various locations across the USA.  The filming locations also span across several states, including California, Wyoming and Louisiana.  In the opening of the film, Django, played by Jamie Foxx, is shown as a slave.  The was filmed at Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.  Alabama Hills is a staple of old westerns, having been used in dozens of films, such as “How the West Was Won” and “The Gunfighter.”  It appears in more modern films as well, such as “Iron Man,” “Tremors,” “Gladiator” and more.

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LOCATION: Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA 93545

Dr. King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz,  arrives with Django in the town of Daughtrey, Texas.  This was actually filmed at Melody Ranch in Newhall, California.  The sets are sometimes moved around at Melody, depending on the needs of the latest production.  So it can be tricky matching up every shot, but there remains a lot of areas that do match up almost exactly.  The same ranch is also briefly seen in the early scenes of Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood,” on the set of the fictional “Bounty Law.”

The two are first seen arriving into the town between these two buildings.

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LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

They are seen passing this building.

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They proceed down this main street, as the locals stare them down.  This section has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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Schultz parks his wagon in front of the building on the left.  Most of this area still looks the same as it did in the film.

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The enter this saloon, where the bartender quickly runs out to fetch the sheriff.  The doors were switched to swinging doors in the film.  This same set was featured prominently in the TV show “Westworld,’ as the brothel where Thandie Newton’s character works.

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After the bartender runs out, Schultz prepares some beer for himself and Django.

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Dr. Schultz has a confrontation with the sheriff between these two buildings.  The boardwalk on the left is where Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt sit for their “Bounty Law” interview at the beginning of “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood.”

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The marshall, played by Tom Wopat, has a short standoff with Dr. Schultz and Django in front of these buildings, before Schultz reveals he is a bounty hunter with a valid warrant.  Schultz and Django are also seen walking past these buildings earlier when they first entered the town.

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Later in the film, Dr. Schultz and Django make their way to Tennessee.  Django picks out a new set of clothes for himself at the Chattanooga Haberdashery.  This was also filmed at Melody Ranch.

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Unlike most movie ranches in Southern California, Melody Ranch does in fact offer tours to the public.  However, the challenge is simply finding availability.  The ranch is sometimes booked for months or years at a time, hosting such shows as “Deadwood,” “Westworld” and “Peaky Blinders,” as well as numerous films and commercials.  With such high demand as a filming location, the opportunities for tours are quite limited and require much diligence or good timing.

In search of the Brittle Brothers, Schultz and Django make their way to a plantation owned by Big Daddy, played by Don Johnson, supposedly located in Tennessee.  This was filmed at the Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana.  The Evergreen Plantations is available for tours to the public.  This main house can actually be seen from the road, but it is a busy road, so it’s not the safest area to try to grab photos.  We recommend booking a tour, where you can also see other locations from the film not visible from the road.

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LOCATION: 4677 LA-18, Edgard, LA 70049

The pair are seen entering through this front gate.  The dirt trail leading to the house has since grown back over with grass.

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There is a flashback scene of the Brittle Brothers beating Django’s wife Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington.  This was filmed at the back of the Evergreen Plantation, where real housing communities were set up for slaves.

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Django confronts the Brittle Brothers in this area, also located behind the main house at the Evergreen Plantation.  John Brittle is about the beat a woman who is tied to the base of the tree located next to the white barn.  After Django exacts his revenge, Dr. Schultz soon joins him at the scene.

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As Django and Schultz gear up and mount their horses to go in search of Broomhilda, we are back at Melody Ranch.  They first ride out of this building.

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Candyland, the estate of Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was a set constructed for the film.  The exterior was built on the grounds of the Evergreen Plantation, which has since been removed.  The interiors were filmed at Second Line Stages in New Orleans (800 Richard St, New Orleans, LA 70130).

Back in Lone Pine, where the opening of the film takes place, you’ll find the excellent Lone Pine Film History Museum.  During the production, Tarantino would hold screenings for crew members at the museum’s screening room.  At the completion of the film, Tarantino donated the dentist wagon of Dr. Schultz, where it is currently on display.  If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend visiting the museum, which dives deep into the history of the many films shot in the Lone Pine area.

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LOCATION: 701 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545

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Also on display at the museum is a photo of Tarantino and the cast, as well as a signed copy of the script.

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Here is a director’s chair from the film.

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Over at Melody Ranch, they also have their own museum, known as the Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studio Museum.  The collection contains a mixture of memorabilia acquired by the owners over the years, as well as items donated by productions shot at the ranch.  There is a small area focused on “Django Unchained.”

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Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)

Labyrinth (1986)

As part of the Jim Henson “Imagination Unlimited” Exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, some costumes and memorabilia from Henson’s 1986 fantasy film “Labyrinth” were on display. The exhibition ran from June 1 through September 2, 2018.

Sarah, played by Jennifer Connelly, wore this dress in the film.

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Jareth, played by David Bowie, wore this costume.

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Here is one of the set models from the film.

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And some concept art.

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A poster for the film.

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Lastly, some alternate titles for the film, hand-written by Jim Henson.  The titles include “The Labyrinth,” “Magic Maze,” “Into The Labyrinth,” “Sarah’s Maze,” “Lost in the Maze,” “Trapped in the Mind-Maze,” “Inside Outside,” “Outside Inside,” “Turning Inside Outside,” “Outside In” and “Inside Out.”

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Related articles: The Dark Crystal (1982)

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)

The 2008 David Fincher film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” shot mostly in the New Orleans area, with some additional sequences filmed in Quebec, Canada and the Los Angeles County area.

Benjamin Button, played by Brad Pitt, is born at this house, known as the Lanaux Mansion Bed and Breakfast in New Orleans. In the film, the house belongs to Benjamin’s father, played by Jason Flemyng, who, upon seeing Benjamin at birth, grabs him and takes him away from the home. Later in the film, an adult Benjamin returns to the home to visit his ailing father.

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LOCATION: 547 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

The house where Benjamin lives for much of the film and where he meets Daisy, played by Cate Blanchett, is known as the Nolan House. The shrubs lining the property have grown much higher since filming completed, making portions of the house and yard unfortunately more difficult to see.

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LOCATION: 2707 Coliseum St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mr. Oti, played by Rampai Mogadishu, takes Benjamin to this peristyle, where they sit and talk as they look out onto the water. The peristyle can be found at the New Orleans City Park.

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LOCATION: 42 Dreyfous Dr, New Orleans, LA 70119

Another view of the peristyle.

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Daisy dances for Benjamin at the Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park.  Some extra decor was added to the bandstand for the film.

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LOCATION: Newman Bandstand, Golf Club Dr, New Orleans, LA 70118

We leave you with a prop from the film; one of the aged, prosthetic masks worn by Brad Pitt. It can be seen on the Paramount Studio Tour.

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LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), The Social Network (2010)

The Dark Crystal (1982)

As part of the Jim Henson “Imagination Unlimited” Exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, some puppets and props from Henson’s 1982 film “The Dark Crystal” were on display.  The exhibition ran from June 1 through September 2, 2018.

Here are the Kira and Jen puppets.  Jim Henson served as puppeteer for Jen in the film.

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This is the puppet for SkekSil the Chamberlain, for which Frank Oz served as puppeteer.

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Some miscellaneous props used by the Skeksis, Mystics and Pod People.

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Some tie-in books to the film.

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While the exhibition has since closed, all of these pieces were on loan from New York’s Museum of Moving Image (gifted by the family of Jim Henson) and will likely go back on display there at a future date.

Related articles: Labyrinth (1986)

Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)

The iconic Herbie, the Love Bug was revived in 2005 as a vehicle for the Lindsday Lohan remake in 2005’s “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”  One of several 1963 Volkswagen Beetles built for the film, this particular model was seen being driven by Lindsay Lohan during the racing sequences.  The car can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Ghostbusters (1984)

One of the most famous movie locations in the world, the fire station that served as the headquarters for the Ghostbusters in the original 1984 film can be found in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City.  The building was chosen because the screenwriters imagined the Ghostbusters as a public service, much like firemen.  Cast member Dan Aykroyd knew the neighborhood well and suggested the building.  Still an active firehouse, the location draws countless visitors each year.

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LOCATION: 14 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013

Not quite as well known is the Los Angeles fire station location used in the film.  While the Hook & Ladder Company 8 building in Tribeca was used for exterior shots, interiors were filmed at Fire Station No. 23 in downtown L.A.  The fire station was closed in 1960 and has currently fallen into quite a state of disrepair.  The photo below is from several years ago, when it still looked presentable, but currently the building is boarded up, covered in graffiti and prohibited from entry.  Perhaps someday the interior will be restored to resemble the film, but it sits in a pretty bad area not far from skid row, so a restoration seems unlikely at this time.

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LOCATION: 225 E 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Over at the Sony lot in Culver City, California, there was even at attempt to build a replica of the Hook & Ladder 8 building.

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LOCATION: 10202 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

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Also on the lot is the Ecto 1 car, which can be seen on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

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Stanley Kubrick LACMA Exhibit

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, better known as LACMA, ran a Stanley Kubrick retrospective exhibit from November 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.  While the exhibit is long since closed, here we’ll take a look through some of the items that were on display.

LOCATION: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Numerous posters from Kubrick’s filmography.

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One of his old director’s chairs.

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Some “2001: A Space Odyssey” items, starting with a film slate.

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Some concepts for the ape costumes for the “Dawn of Man” sequence.

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Some props from the film, including silverware and a watch.

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A model of the running wheel from the film.

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The monolith.

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A model of the room from the end of the film.

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The star child.

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One of the ultra wide angle lenses used on the film.

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Some items from “The Shining.”

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The typewriter from the film.  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

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The twins’ dresses.

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Danny’s sweater.

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A knife from the film.

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A model of the hedge maze.

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The final shot.

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Some items from “A Clockwork Orange.”

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A Japanese press brochure.

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Some press clippings of the ensuing controversy the film stirred up.

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Some “Full Metal Jacket” items.

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The “Born to Kill” helmet.

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A slate for Kubrick’s final film, “Eyes Wide Shut.”

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Some masks from the orgy scene.

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Some “Barry Lyndon” items.

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Some costumes from the film.

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Some “Dr. Strangelove” items, starting with some posters for the film.

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A model of the war room.

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A costume from “Sparticus.”

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Some concept art from Stanley Kubrick’s version of “A.I.”  The film would famously go on to be made by Steven Spielberg after Kubrick’s passing.

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Some items from Kubrick’s “Napoleon” film, which was never made.  Here is a script page.

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A bookshelf full of research materials.

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Some notes for the film.

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An assortment of lenses used by Kubrick were also on display.

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Last, but not least, Kubrick’s chess board.  The director was famously fond of the game.

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While the exhibit is no longer on display, LACMA is an excellent museum and regularly has interesting things to see.  We highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in the Los Angeles area.

Gravity (2013)

On the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, you can find these props and costumes from the film “Gravity.”  First is one of the original capsules used in the film.

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Here is one of the light boxes from the film, which was used to perfectly simulate light, shadow and reflection in a way unobtainable via traditional green screen.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Titanic (1997)

The classic 1997 James Cameron film “Titanic” was of course filmed primarily on a recreated set of the famous ship, which was built at Fox Baja Studios in Mexico.  In 2017, however, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California held a unique exhibition on the ship, where it combined real artifacts from the sunken ship alongside props and sets from the film.  It was the largest collection of artifacts from passengers of the ship since the fateful night it collided with an iceberg a century before.

The exhibit has unfortunately since closed, but here we’ll take a look at some of the props, costumes and sets from the film that were on display.

This is the set of the famous scene where Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, draws a nude Rose, played by Kate Winslet.

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Here are some props from the scene, including Rose’s mirror, butterfly hairpin and comb, as well as her “Heart of the Ocean” necklace.

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Here is Jack’s sketchbook and pencil case.  On top of the sketchbook is also the note Rose leaves for Cal, played by Billy Zane.  She places the note inside his safe, along with the necklace.  Her note reads, “Darling – Now you can keep us both locked up inside your safe.  Rose.”

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This is the set of Jack and his friend Fabrizio’s cabin, designed for third class passengers.

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Here is the Marconi Room, another set from the film, where the ship sent out it’s distress calls and communicated with other ships.  Without it, no one would’ve known why or where the ship had sunk.

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Jack Dawson’s suit as he boards the ship.

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Rose wears this dress while the ship is sinking.

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Molly Brown, played by Kathy Bates, wears this dress.

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Bruce Ismay, played by Jonathan Hyde, wears these pajamas and overcoat.

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Here is a dress worn by one of the first class passengers in the film.

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Moving on to more props from the film, here is the clock and cherub from the grand staircase of the ship, where Jack greets Rose.

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Some scale miniatures were also built for the film, including a 45 foot long model of the ship.  Here are some pieces from the miniature.

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The ax Rose uses to free Jack, who is handcuffed in his cabin.

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While the exhibit closed down in 2018, due to the enduring popularity of both the film and the history of the ship itself, these artifacts are bound to find their way into another, future exhibition.

We leave you with one last prop from the film, which was not part of the Reagan Library exhibit.  Rather, it can be found at Planet Hollywood in Florida.  It’s the piece of wood that Rose floats on at the end of the film.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830