Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)



2002

The hit 2002 sci-fi epic "MINORITY REPORT," was set in Washington D.C., and filmed in part in Virginia and DC - but a fair share of the filming was done right here in  L.A.:


  • For instance, take the futuristic-looking high-rise where (in the precogs' visions) the movie's pivotal murder is supposed to take place, where 'John Anderton' (Tom Cruise) shoots and kills a man he has never met, sending the victim flying back, smashing through a glass window. Near the end of the movie, Tom returns to that same tower to confront his fate.

    That high-rise is actually Angelus Plaza at 255 S. Hill Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets), in downtown Los Angeles.
    In real life, it's a condo building for the elderly.



  • The garden scenes where 'John Anderton' (Tom Cruise) visits the private garden of 'Dr. Iris Hineman' (Lois Smith), the eccentric woman who invented the Pre-Crime system, were shot on location at Descanso Gardens, a lush, public oasis located at 1418 Descanso Drive, in the city of La Cañada-Flintridge - just northwest of Pasadena. (Of course, the garden's vines don't really come alive and attack you. ;)


  • Later in the movie, Tom Cruise takes the rescued pre-cog, 'Agatha' (Samantha Morton), to an indoor mall ("Mall City"), where a scuzzy friend of his helps him download and rerun her visions of the lakeside murder. Afterward, hoping to escape, Tom & Agatha make their way back through the crowded mall, using Agatha's precognitive advice to guide them past the police who are looking for them there...

    Those mall scenes were shot inside a real mall: the Hawthorne Plaza Mall, located on Hawthorne Blvd at 120th Street, in Hawthorne, California (just southwest of L.A.) Although it looks busy in the film, the Hawthorne Mall is actually a failed center which has been closed and vacant for several years. The producers temporarily brought it back to life with faux shop signs and facades, and a host of actors posing as shoppers. (But don't bother going there, the mall is closed down and boarded up again. Plans call for it to eventually reopen as a mixed-use office/retail building.) 



  • Much of the movie was set in of what is supposed to be the decaying city core of a future Washington, D.C. But actually, most of these exterior urban scenes were shot on the east side of downtown L.A, some near Skid Row, including the rocket-pack chase scene and the scene where the robotic spiders invade a run-down rooming house.

    While I don't suggest venturing into that part of town, shooting locations there included 433 Main Street (*), 434 S. Spring Street (*), 320 Santa Fe Avenue (*), 900 Avila Street (*), Harlem Place from 4th Street to 5th Street (*), 7th Street from Hill Street to Broadway (*), and St. Vincents Court from 7th Street north to its end (*). They also filmed at the former El Dorado hotel an historic, 12-story old high-rise located at 416 S. Spring Street, in the downtown's old Financial District. *



  • Of course, much of the film was shot in the studio on specially constructed sets, and enhanced with CGI. 20th Century Fox, which co-made the film with DreamWorks, doesn't have much room anymore on what remains of its back lot (having sold off almost all of it for the Century City development). And DreamWorks doesn't even have a studio of its own. So, for the rocket-pack chase scene up the brownstone, for instance, they built a huge, multistory grid on the back lot of the Warner Bros studio (in Burbank) where they could suspend Tom and the flying cops on wires, next to an outdoor set of the righ-rise brownstones.



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2009
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* Locations marked by an asterisk (*) may be located in areas with high crime rates.
Exercise reasonable caution.



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