Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)
Hills Cop" helped launch the genre
of action-comedy, and is chock full of local L.A. locations, from the real
Rodeo Drive to Koreatown and Pasadena - and from art galleries
to strip clubs.
It's hard to imagine anyone
in the lead role of 'Axel Foley' except Eddie
Murphy, but they originally had Sly Stallone in
mind, as a straight action flick with little comedy involved.
Sly turned it down - something
he no doubt regrets today, since Beverly Hills Cop still ranks as
one of the top 40 highest-grossing movies of all time (when you adjust
the dollars for inflation).
Tracking down filming locations
for a 30-year-old movie isn't the easiest thing in the world, since over
the years, some of the original locations have vanished, and most of them
have changed significantly.
But fortunately, I had a lot
of help on this one from Chas Demster,
a fan who tracked down many of these locations, and from the Production
Designer's commentary on the DVD.
So, if you're in the mood to
do a BeverlyHills Cop tour of L.A., here's your road
This movie is
about a Detroit cop who comes to Beverly Hills to investigate his friend's
So the beginning
of the film is supposed to take place in Motown. And some of it does -
most notably the lengthy police pursuit / chase scene that sees 'Axel
Foley' (Eddie Murphy)
hanging onto the back of a truck while it careens wildly through the streets
But the producers
don't even wait until Eddie's out of Detroit before switching to L.A. locations.
Detroit apartment, where he meets with
his old buddy, 'Mikey' (who has just been released from prison), and where
that friend is mercilessly gunned down by the movie's villain? Well, that
wasn't really in Detroit.
building is actually located near downtown
L.A., in a seedy part of town about three
blocks west the Harbor (110) Freeway and about seven blocks east of MacArthur
Park, at the southwest corner of Witmer Street
& Ingraham Ave. - just a block
south of Wilshire Blvd.
When we first
see Eddie's car arrive (see the top photo), he is heading south/SW on Witmer
Street (away from Wilshire). . He drives between two tall, run-down apartment
buildings that look somewhat alike. The camera is looking north. Just after
he passes Ingraham Ave, he hangs a U-turn (so he's going back north/NE)
and he pulls over and parks at the curb on the east/SE side of Witmer Street.
(As he gets out of the car, it starts to roll backward, and he has to jump
back in and stop it.)
he parks in front of is the one on the southeast corner of Witmer
& Ingraham Ave. But as he gets out of the car, he appears to be heading
to the building across the street, to the building at the southwest
corner of Witmer & Ingraham, where his apartment is supposed to
That same building
is seen again later (see the photo above), after the cops swarm in to investigate
Mikey's murder, in a scene where Eddie's Detroit boss warns him to stay
away from the case, and Eddie asks for vacation time.
(In the photo
above, the camera is looking west/southwest, down on Witmer Street.) *
We also Eddie
& Mikey playing pool in a dark bar
that's supposed to be in Detroit - but isn't.
Mikey tells Eddie
about his job as a security guard in Beverly Hills at an art gallery, and
they discuss old times. (Then Mikey loses, betting against on a tricky
This scene was
actually shot on the West Coast, a few blocks from the beach.
The bar is called
and it's located at 1432 4th Street,
in Santa Monica.
The same etched-glass
portraits (seen in in the photo above) still hang behind the bar.
(The place even has its own website, at www.harvelles.com.)
Next, we see
Eddie in Beverly Hills,
driving his crappy blue Chevy Nova down its palm tree-lined streets
and taking in the sights.
For much of this drive, he's heading west on Sunset
One of the buildings
he looks at (seen above) is the Beverly
Hills Hotel. Also known as "the Pink
Palace", the hotel is a landmark, built back in 1912, the city of
Beverly Hills literally grew up around the hotel - a magnet for celebrities
and heads of state. You'll find the hotel at 9641
Sunset Blvd, in Beverly
Hills, where the north end of Rodeo Drive
meets Sunset. (Click here
to read more about the hotel.)
One of the Beverly
Hills mansions that
Eddie looks at (seen above) can be found on the north
side of Sunset Blvd, between
E. Elm Drive (on the west) and
N. Palm Drive (on the east) - and between
both ends of the U-shaped Mountain Drive.
It's about two miles east of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
[ Warning: this
is a private home. Do not trespass on their property, knock
on their door,
or do anything else that might disturb the residents. ]
Next, we see
Eddie driving down Rodeo Drive,
in Beverly Hills.
The camera focuses on the street sign at the corner of Rodeo
Drive & Brighton Way.
The camera then shows us the bronze signs of several well-known shops that
are located on Rodeo Drive, including Louis Vuitton
These bronze plaques were located on the west side of Rodeo Drive, on the
walls of the Rodeo Collection
center, at 421 Rodeo Drive.
When Eddie sees
a Beverly Hills woman walking her dog (her hairstyle matches the dog),
she's walking past the Nina Ricciboutique, which was at 273 N. Rodeo
Drive.(on the west side of Rodeo).
When Eddie flirts
with a blonde in a convertible (see the photo above), he is heading north
on Rodeo Drive, looking towards the west side of the street, between
the Cartier boutique (at 370 N.
Rodeo Drive) and the David Orgell
store (one of the oldest shops on Rodeo, at 320 N. Rodeo)
The movie was filmed before Two Rodeo was built, the posh
Old World "street" that anchors the southeast end of Rodeo Drive.
Many of Rodeo's best shops moved into Two Rodeo shortly after it
was built in 1990, so many addresses changed. And other shops seen in the
movie, such as Nina Ricci and Andrea Carrano, simply aren't
there at all any more.