Mank (2020)

The 2020 David Fincher film “Mank,” about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his story of writing the screenplay for “Citizen Kane,” is set in the 1930s and 1940s, against the Hollywood studio backdrop of that era. The film likewise shot around Southern California. The movie employs heavy use of CGI to maintain the period look, often taking portions of real locations and adding computer generated elements and different backgrounds altogether. Fincher himself described the process as being as labor-intensive as a Marvel movie. It makes it challenging at times to nail down specific locations, as the real life places in present day don’t always align with what is seen in the film.

One location that matches up very well is the ranch where Mank, played by Gary Oldman, spends much of the film writing “Citizen Kane.” The Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville, known at the time the film takes place as the Verde Ranch, is where these scenes were shot. The ranch is, in fact, also the actual location where the real Herman J. Mankiewicz wrote much of “Citizen Kane.” Today, the property is a private estate and cattle ranch. Due to the fact that there are full-time residents living at the ranch, they unfortunately do not offer tours to the public. However, they do offer guest rentals at the property. The guest rentals are currently only available at group rates, with a two night minimum, so it can be quite a costly stay, unless you have a larger party to help split the costs. Here is the area of the ranch featured most heavily in the film, where Mank stays.

LOCATION: 10 Kemper Campbell Ranch Rd, Victorville, CA 92395

Here is a closer look at the building. The door, stairs and courtyard are all featured throughout the course of the film, as it cuts between Mank writing in 1940 and various flashback scenes throughout the 1930s.

Here is a look at one of the roads leading to the ranch, which is also seen several times in the film.

Here are some additional views of the ranch and surrounding mountains.

In a flashback scene, Charlie invites Mank on a weekend trip to what turns out to be the Hearst Castle. They depart from the Glendale Station, just as the characters state in the film. Mank arrives at the station drunk. While the real building was featured in the scene, visual effects were used to add additional buildings and palm trees into the background.

LOCATION: 400 W Cerritos Ave, Glendale, CA 91204

Mank awakens at the Hearst Castle to screams coming from outside. It is made to appear the scenes shot at the real Hearst Castle, located in San Simeon (750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452). However, the scenes were actually shot at The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. The southwest corner of the Huntington Art Gallery building served as the grounds of the Hearst Castle, with quite a bit of visual effects added to the shot, such as the Hearst towers and palm trees. The Huntington grounds are quite large, so we’ve provided GPS coordinates below of the exact spot.

LOCATION: 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108 (GPS coordinates: 34.126274, -118.113582)

Mank follows the sound of the screams and discovers a film set, where Marion Davies, played by Amanda Seyfried, is performing a scene in which she is burned at the stake. This scene was also filmed at The Huntington Library, near the Australian Garden and Desert Garden, according to comments online. The film employs so many visual effects, adding mountains and open land, to the point that we were unable to match with certainty the exact spot the set was built.

In yet another scene at the Huntington Library, Marion walks with Mank to a fountain, where she asks him about which roles he feels she could play. The fountain can be found on the North Vista, with the GPS coordinates 34.128229, -118.113415. More visual effects were used in the scene, showing the Hearst Castle in the distance.

While at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, Mank sees Upton Sinclair giving a political speech. The hotel is one of the most frequently used locations in all of Los Angeles, having appeared in “Ghostbusters,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Independence Day,” “Fight Club” and countless more productions. The interior of the hotel also appears at the end of the film, when the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay is awarded.

LOCATION: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Mank runs into his friend C.C. in front of Bullocks Wilshire, a famous art deco building on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. Mank learns that MGM is hiring actors to play outspoken citizens against Upton Sinclair. Once a luxury department store, Bullocks Wilshire now operates as a law school. The building has also been featured in the films “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “The Aviator” and “Dunston Checks In,” the TV series “Moonlighting” and Areosmith’s music video for “Love in an Elevator,” in addition to many other productions.

LOCATION: 3050 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

The Trocadero Nightclub was not a real club. The exterior location used was Cicada Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles, with a few visual effects composited into the shot, such as the Trocadero sign. The location has been featured in countless films, such as “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood,” “Pretty Woman,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Indecent Proposal,” “Suicide Squad” and “Bruce Almighty,” as well as such TV shows as “Mad Men, “The Morning Show” and “American Horror Story.”

LOCATION: 617 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

After Mank tries to intervene in a potential suicide of his friend Shelly Metcalf, as he’s leaving, he drives over La Loma Bridge in Pasadena, with the Griffith Observatory visible in the distance. This is another visual effect. In reality, the Observatory is not visible from the bridge. The same bridge was featured in the film “The Little Things.”

LOCATION: La Loma Bridge, 799 La Loma Rd, Pasadena, CA 91105

Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), Zodiac (2007), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010), Mindhunter

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

The 1996 Robert Rodriguez film “From Dusk Till Dawn,” written by Quentin Tarantino, is set in Texas and Mexico. Production actually took place at neither, however. Instead, the film was shot primarily in California.

In the opening scene, the Gecko Brothers, Seth and Richie, played by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino respectively, visit Benny’s World of Liquor. The same location also appeared in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” and still stands today. The building can be found in Lancaster, California.

LOCATION: 46551 140th St E, Lancaster, CA 93535

Here is the area next to the building, where Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, played by Michael Parks, first arrives, much in the same way he does (as the same character) in “Kill Bill.” The church he visits in that film is also located in Lancaster, just minutes away from this location.

Seth and Richie speed off down 140th St E as the opening credits begin.

The Dew Drop Motel where the Gecko Brothers meets Jacob, played by Harvey Keitel, can be found in Mojave. The same motel, actually called the Budget Inn Motel, was featured in the film “Nocturnal Animals.” Other than some slight renovations to the front of the motel, it still looks similar to how it appeared in the film.

LOCATION: 16698 Sierra Hwy Mojave, CA 93501

The restaurant where Jacob eats with his daughter Kate and son Scott, played by Juliette Lewis and Ernie Liu respectively, has since been demolished. It was formerly located in Victorville, on I-15 Frontage Rd, just off Interstate 15. Here is where the building once stood.

LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 34.557037, -117.287256 (nearest address is around 16801 I-15 Frontage Rd, Victorville, CA 92394)

The Titty Twister bar and strip club is not located in Mexico, as depicted in the film. It was a set built on a dry lake bed in Yermo, just off Interstate 15, near Calico Blvd and Ghost Town Rd. There are, of course, no longer any remnants of the set. However, the mountains in the background allow the ability to coordinate where the sets approximately stood. Facing west on the lake bed, looking towards Ghost Town Rd is where the Titty Twister was located.

LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 34.915563, -116.876034 (near Calico Blvd / Ghost Town Rd, Yermo, CA 92398)

Looking the opposite direction is where the dirt path up to the bar was located. There is of course no Aztec temple to be found there, which was a visual effect.

The whip used by Sex Machine, played by Tom Savini, could be found on display at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington as part of their horror exhibition, “Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film.”

LOCATION: 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

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Kill Bill (2003)

Quentin Tarantino’s revenge drama “Kill Bill,” was shot around California, China, Japan and Mexico.  Here we will cover locations from both volumes of the film.

The “Two Pines Wedding Chapel,” supposedly located in El Paso, Texas, is actually in the Mojave Desert in Lancaster, California.  First called the “Hi Vista Community Hall,” the building served as a community center and did not originally feature the Spanish style front facade, which is so recognizable today.  The Mission-style facade was actually added by another film production, 1981’s “True Confessions,” starring Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall.  The building also later featured in Talking Heads’ music video for “Road  To Nowhere.”  The building wasn’t widely known, however, until “Kill Bill.”  Tarantino’s production team added the wooden porch on the front and heavily remodeled the interiors.  Sometimes known as the Sanctuary Adventist Church, most people today just refer to the building as the “Kill Bill Church.”  It’s location is a bit remote, being out in the middle of the desert, but well worth a visit if you’re a fan of the film.

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LOCATION: Approximately 19809 E Ave. G, Lancaster, CA, 93535 (near the corner of 198th St E)

Earl McGraw, played by Michael Parks, arrives at the church much in the same way he does (as the same character) in the opening of “From Dusk Till Dawn,” also written by Tarantino. The two locations are, in fact, just minutes apart from each other.

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The Bride’s “Death List Five” brings her to the house of Vernita Green, which is set in “The city of Pasadena, California.”  The real house is near South Pasadena, but actually located in East Los Angeles.  The house can also be seen in the 2003 “Project Greenlight” film, “The Battle Of Shaker Heights” and “Mysterious Skin.”

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LOCATION: 5500 Atlas St, Los Angeles, CA 90032

After waking up from a coma and escaping the hospital, The Bride makes her out into the hospital parking garage on a wheelchair, where she finds her “Pussy Wagon” truck. The real garage building is not a hospital, rather an apartment complex known as the American Cement Building, located near MacArthur Park. The bride wheels past this P2 marker, placing her on the second floor of the garage.

LOCATION: 2404 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Here is the spot she finds the Pussy Wagon parked. It can be found by walking straight ahead from the above spot, up on the left. There is another P2 sign, which can be seen in the background behind The Bride as she spots the truck, which lines up the exact area where the vehicle was parked. The garage is open to public parking (via paid parking) on weekdays, but it is gated off for private residents only on weekends. There is also a lot of security present around the building and garage.

The Bride drives her Kawasaki bike along the streets of Tokyo, riding behind Sofie Fatale’s car down Yasukuni Dori.  It’s difficult to replicate the exact angles, as they were filmed by cameras mounted on moving vehicles in the middle of the street in a high traffic area.  The shots are also mostly quick cuts against moving backgrounds.  Here are a couple views of the general area used in the sequence.  First up is a shot looking down Yasukuni Dori at night.

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LOCATION: Yasukuni Dori, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to, 160-0022, Japan

Here is another view of the same street in the day, which is near Kabukicho, a red-light district of Tokyo where parts of Gaspar Noé’s “Enter The Void” were also filmed.

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After a few shots in Tokyo, The Bride pulls up beside Sofie at this tunnel entrance, which is actually in Los Angeles at the Second Street Tunnel.  The tunnel is also well known for it’s use in “Blade Runner,” “The Terminator” and many more films.

 
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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (facing S Figueroa St.)

Budd, played by Michael Madsen, lives in a remote trailer on a dirt road near Barstow.  At the base of these hills toward the right is where Budd’s trailer sat.  Mule Canyon Road is a popular site for off road vehicles.  While you may be able to reach it in a regular vehicle (this site is about 1 mile down from the nearest paved road), we recommend a 4×4 vehicle or at least something that doesn’t sit low to the ground, as there are many rocks and dips along the way.  Also keep in mind this area gets very hot in the summer months.

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LOCATION: Mule Canyon Rd, Newberry Springs, CA 92365 (GPS coordinates are 34.936439, -116.837655)

The area to the right is where Bill parks his car, with these rock formations in the background.  This is located in the same general vicinity as Budd’s trailer.

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Looking back towards Calico Rd is the view where Elle Driver races down the road with a dust trail kicking up behind her.  This is also in the same general area as Budd’s trailer.

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The interior of the bar where Budd works is Sam’s Hofbrau, a real topless bar, also featured in “Jackie Brown.”

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LOCATION: 1751 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90021

After The Bride escapes being buried alive, she wonders into this roadside diner in Victorville.

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LOCATION: 17143 N D St, Victorville, CA 92394

Here is the exterior of the diner, although it is never seen from this angle in the film.

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Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Django Unchained (2012), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)