Scout & About: Massachusetts 2012
11 seasons (1982-93)
Creators: James Burrows, Glen Charles, Les Charles
Cast: Ted Danson, Kelsey Grammer, Kirstie Alley, Shelley Long, Woody Harrelson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt
Logline: At Boston’s Cheers bar, locals drink, relax and share stories with each other and the people who work there. Their lives intermingle as they grow to become each other’s friends, lovers and confidantes. The title of the show’s theme song, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” also became the program’s tagline.
Made in Massachusetts: Most “Cheers” episodes were shot before a live studio audience in Hollywood but a number of exterior shots were filmed in Boston; as the show became more successful, more location shots were used. The Bull & Finch Pub north of the Boston Public Garden stood in for Cheers; it has since become a tourist attraction and been renamed Cheers Beacon Hill. “Cheers” ranked among the top 10 shows for eight of its 11 seasons.
Release: Oct. 6, 2006
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga
Logline: Two men, a criminal with the Irish mob and a cop with the Massachusetts state police, are each asked to infiltrate the opposite side. After a sting operation gone bad, they become aware of the other’s existence and the race is on to uncover each other’s identity. Violence and bloodshed ensue.
Made in Massachusetts: Most of film was shot in South Boston, with a chase scene occurring in the streets of Chinatown. Boston harbor serves as a frequent backdrop; a final bloody shootout takes place at Quincy’s histor ical Fore River Shipyard.
Good Will Hunting
Release: Jan. 9, 1998
Director: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams
Logline: Will Hunting has a genius-level intellect but chooses to work as a janitor. A professor walks in on him solving an advanced mathematical equation that he had left up on the board for his graduate students. He helps Will avoid jail time for attacking a police officer who had stepped into an altercation between Will and a youth who had bullied him. A therapist finally gets Will to open up.
Made in Massachusetts: Local bar L Street Tavern in South Boston served the hangout dive for Will and his “Southie” friends. Harvard Square was used for the date scene in which Will explains to his Harvard student girlfriend how chemistry comes so easily to him.
Release: Oct. 15, 2003
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney
Logline: Three boys find themselves in a childhood tragedy when one of them is abducted, abused, and later released by two men pretending to be cops. Twenty-five years later and still haunted by the incident, the now-estranged friends reunite when one of their own children is murdered.
Made in Massachusetts: The film was shot around Boston. The abduction scene takes place in East Boston, and the grisly discovery of the daughter’s body takes place in Franklin Park, the city’s largest. Historic city neighborhood Jamaica Plain is the last location in which the daughter is seen, leading to film’s pivotal mystery.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
Seven seasons (1996-2003)
Creator: Nell Scovell
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay (voice)
Logline: On her 16th birthday, Sabrina finds out that she’s half-witch, with a mortal mom and a warlock dad, and that she has magic powers. Living with her 500-year-old aunts and talking cat, Sabrina learns how to use her capabilities, often to help others, as she goes through the usual travails of high school, college, and the numerous romances, friendships and crises that they bring.
Made in Massachusetts: The opening sequence for seasons five through seven feature Sabrina running around various locations of Boston, where the show takes place. Shots include the Harvard Bridge, Quincy Market, Boston Common, Newbury Street, and Harvard and Tufts universities.
Release: Feb. 19, 2010
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams
Logline: In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and new partner Chuck arrive at the foreboding, mysterious Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a woman who has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. It is soon revealed that Teddy has another reason, hoping to find the man who killed his wife.
Made in Massachusetts: Peddocks Island, one of the largest islands in Boston Harbor, was used for the film’s Shutter Island. Scenes in the institute were shot at historic mental hospital Medfield State Hospital. East Point, in Nahant, was used for scenes involving the lighthouse, the fictional hospital’s location for lobotomizing incurable patients.
The Social Network
Release: Oct. 1, 2010
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Rooney Mara
Logline: Dumped Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates a social networking site, later known as Facebook, in his dorm room. As Facebook becomes a Web phenomenon almost overnight, the film follows Zuckerberg’s rise, as well as the ensuing lawsuits that come from a pair of twins — Zuckerberg’s fellow students at Harvard — who claim he stole their idea, and Facebook’s co-founder, who feels he’s been cheated.
Made in Massachusetts: Made in Massachusetts: Principal photography took place in Cambridge, with private Boston school Wheelock College standing in for Harvard. Other scenes were shot throughout the state, including Andover, Medford and Somerville.
Release: June 29, 2012
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane (voice), Joel McHale
Logline: Born of a childhood Christmas wish, Ted, a talking, potty-mouthed teddy bear, remains the beloved constant companion of his owner, John Bennett, even as John has grown into adulthood. As his girlfriend of four years pushes him to take the next step in their relationship, John must decide if he can leave Ted behind and finally grow up.
Made in Massachusetts: The film was shot around Boston and in Swampscott, the suburbs of which served as the backdrop for a movie’s massive party scene. Other Boston landmarks making an appearance, including the Public Garden and outdoor concert venue the Hatch Shell. The climax takes place at Fenway Park.
Release: Sept. 17, 2010
Director: Ben Affleck
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively
Logline: A gang of lifelong friends and criminals robs a bank and takes a manager hostage, later releasing her. One of them follows her to ensure her protection, and a romantic relationship arises. Soon he is questioning his life of crime as the gang plans another robbery and tries to fend off the zealous FBI agent looking to bring them down.
Made in Massachusetts: A former MASSBank branch was used for film’s
first major bank robbery. Local landmark Fenway Park hosts a major shootout, and a climactic car chase takes place on the Charlestown Bridge. Other filming locations included Bunker Hill and Harvard Square.
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