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Filming in Rhode Island
Rhode Island is no stranger to the big screen. With a reputation for beautiful, diverse scenery, Little Rhody has become a bona fide movie star with more than 100 films to its credit. Keep an eye open for locations you may recognize from the following shows and films:
The Great Gatsby (1974). In this film that brings F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel to life, Mia Farrow stars as the object of millionaire Jay Gatsby's (Robert Redford) affections. Many remember Gatsby's stunning mansion, his yellow Rolls-Royce, and the party scene in which revelers danced in the fountain. These scenes were shot at Newport's Rosecliff mansion on Bellevue Avenue, and the costumes Redford and Farrow wore are on display there.
Reversal of Fortune (1990). Jeremy Irons won the Academy Award for best actor in 1990 for his performance as Claus von Bülow, accused of putting his wife, Sunny (Glenn Close), into a coma with an insulin overdose. At the time of the incident, the von Bülows lived on Bellevue Avenue, and the film's opening aerial shots show the immense mansions on that street, perched above the water's edge.
True Lies (1994). In this romantic action comedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger played a spy, unbeknownst to his wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The film's opening Swiss Alps scene was actually shot at Ochre Court at Salve Regina University. (As a neighborly gesture, Salve students sent a pizza to Schwarzenegger's trailer.) Schwarzenegger also tangoed with Tia Carrere in the ballroom at Rosecliff mansion on Bellevue Avenue.
American Buffalo (1996). Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, and Sean Nelson lived in the city of Pawtucket over the course of a few months to shoot director Michael Corrente's American Buffalo. Dustin Hoffman's handprints remain in concrete in front of the Riverside Diner.
Amistad (1997). Steven Spielberg directed this story about the 1839 slave revolt aboard a Spanish slave ship. An African-born slave leads a mutiny and a U.S. court decides the slaves' fate. Much of the film was shot in Rhode Island, including the scene where African slaves row ashore to a rocky beach (Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown). Other film locations include Providence's Governor's State Room in the Rhode Island State House and Bristol's Mount Hope Farm. To create the look of Colonial times in Newport, Washington Square's streets were covered in dirt, and modern elements, such as shops' signs, were taken down. In the Old Colony House John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins) argued for the Africans' freedom.
Me, Myself & Irene (2000). Scenes include: Jim Carrey driving over the Newport Bridge; a wedding dream scene at St. John's Episcopal Church on Washington Street in Newport's Point section; and shots on Narragansett Avenue in Jamestown as well as on Great Island in Narragansett.
Thirteen Days (2000). The film borrowed a ship from the Naval War College in Newport for a water scene, and naval officers were used as extras onboard.
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