It was a balmy late fall afternoon when HEC was invited to go on the Boston Movie Mile Tour by On Location Tours. Never having been on one of their tours, I wasn’t sure to expect. Since I’m a self proclaimed Boston movie buff, I figured I wouldn’t learn anything new, but to my surprise our guide Dave was full of interesting behind the scenes insight. Remember a short lived sitcom in the late 90’s called Boston Common starring Lenny Clarke? The Hangover’s Zach Galfinakis had a reoccurring role on the show; his first on screen appearance ever! Remember the scene in The Departed when Matt Damon, after just having played a game of touch football on the common, is sitting on a bench with the Massachusetts State House looming behind him? Well, that was a bit of movie magic since there isn’t a bench facing the correct direction; there is only one facing the statehouse. Who knew this tour would include playing movie detective?
As we wandered the stunning historic cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, Dave pointed out Ally McBeal’s office – only exteriors were filmed in Boston for that one. We learned that the only movie ever filmed on the Harvard Campus was 1970′s A Love Story. The Harvard honchos decided that filming on campus would be too distracting to students; therefore they haven’t allowed it to happen since then. More recent movies featuring the fabled university like The Social Network, Good Will Hunting, and With Honors all filmed the Harvard scenes at look-a-like colleges.
1994’s Blown Away starring Jeff Bridges caused quite a stir in the city, and not just because of Bridges’ laughable Irish/Boston accent; the famous explosion scene caused 1.2 million dollars in damage to residential property in Boston’s north end waterfront area, which MGM had to pony up the cash for.
As our tour continued and we headed back to our starting point on the Boston Common, we passed the Mt. Vernon Street Firehouse, home of Robert Urich’s character in the 80’s TV series Spenser for Hire as well as MTV’s sixth season of The Real World in 1997. We also made a pit stop at the top of infamous Acorn Street to play “Guess the Massachusetts Movie.” While Dave held up stills from each movie, we had to guess which film it was from. I’m not one to boast my Master’s level movie knowledge, but I did beat out everyone else on the tour!
On Location Tours offers a walking tour from April through October as well as a bus tour that runs year round. On Location has generously offered up a pair of tickets for the Boston TV & Movie Sites Bus Tour (an $80 value!) to one lucky Hollywoodeastconnection.com subscriber. All you have to do to enter is subscribe to our site to receive daily updates AND Like our Facebook page. If you are already a Facebook fan, but haven’t subscribed to the site, please do so to secure your entry. To subscribe, enter your email address in the box on the upper-right hand corner of our home page, and click the sign-up button. Be sure to check your email for a verification message. One lucky winner will be chosen on December 3, 2011 and will be notified via email.
1. The Mt. Vernon St. Firehouse – home of Spenser for Hire, and The Real World
2. The fabled Massachusetts Statehouse
3. Cheers- Where Everyone Knows Your Name
4. Charles Street Cleaners was disguised as a pub for The Departed
5. Our Tour Guide, Dave
6. Ally McBeal’s Office Exterior
7. Beautiful Acorn Street
All photos © Hollywoodeastconnnection.com
Update: 12/3/11 – Congrats to our winner, Tim from Woburn, MA!