Beacon Hill is one of the oldest and most expensive neighborhoods in Boston. Located right next to the Massachusetts State House and Boston Common, it is home to some of Boston’s most upper class citizens. John Kerry, former Secretary of State lives here, as well as Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary who owns a house on the hill.
Beacon Hill is used prominently in film because of its historic backdrop and beautiful architecture. Charles Bulfinch, who made the State House, is credited as designing many of the homes on Beacon Hill.
Bostons action movie Blown Away features an intense car chase scene that goes down Joy Street. Jeff Bridges’ wife is leaving her home on Mt. Vernon Place when she discovers that her car is rigged with a bomb triggered to go off when she stops the car. In a dramatic sequence very similar to the plot of Speed, she crashes her car into a Boston Common gate at the end of Joy Street.
Further down Mt. Vernon Street, there is a house used in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) starring Steve McQueen. Some of the scenes in this classic are shot from the roof of a Bulfinch house, where the golden State House dome can be seen. Another film resident of the neighborhood is Matt Damon’s character in The Departed, who moves into the neighborhood as soon as he’s promoted to the state police department. Once again, the house has a notable view of the Massachusetts State House dome – this time symbolizing Damon’s character’s greed for power.
Closer to Charles Street, the shopping section of the area, is the building used for the law offices of John Travolta’s character in A Civil Action. Only the sign was changed from this Leather Clothiers mom and pop shop to portray the law offices. Also on Charles is the cleaners used as the location for Frank Costello’s bar in The Departed. When Scorsese was scouting locations for the film, he ignored the actual restaurants and bars surrounding this run-down building because he thought they looked too nice to be the hangout of a group of Southie mob men.
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.