Blown Away

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Blown Away is a little known action film that hit box offices in 1994, but remains a cult classic for Boston movie lovers. Starring Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones, the film was a groundbreaking project for Boston films. It was the most expensive film to be made in Massachusetts at that point, and was the first action movie to be filmed in downtown Boston. The plot is relatively simple: an escaped terrorist from Ireland (Tommy Lee Jones) comes to Boston with plans to bomb many parts of the city, and it’s up to Jeff Bridges to stop him. You can see for yourself where the movie was filmed on the Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour.

Unfortunately for director Stephen Hopkins, many of the bomb stunts and sets cost the film thousands, and resulted in the heavy expenses for the movie. During one scene filmed in Copley Square in front of the Boston Public Library, an ambulance is rigged with explosives. Bridges is unable to make it in time and an explosion takes place. Hopkins actually blew up the vehicle (he was rather fond of practical effects) which resulted in a full Boston bomb squad arriving at the scene to investigate the damages done to Copley and the BPL.

Perhaps an even bigger mishap was the  explosion of a full ship in East Boston during the film’s climax. Once again, Hopkins actually filled the ship with dynamite and blew it up, which resulted in 8,000 shattered windows from the sonic boom of the stunt. This scene single-handedly sunk the budget of the movie to 3x the proposed amount.

Staying true to its Boston setting, another famous scene in Blown Away occurs when Jeff Bridges’s wife takes her car out for a drive from her apartment in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. As you may expect, another set of explosives is attached to her car, set to explode if the brakes are ever pressed. If you think this premise sounds like it was based on the film Speed, you would be incorrect. The two came out just 20 days from each other in 1994! The chase scene goes all throughout the Beacon Hill neighborhood, but if you look closely there are many inconsistencies with the streets and the order of the shots in the film.

Check out Blown Away before coming on the Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour or the private Boston Movie and Television Tour, and you’ll be able to recognize many of the iconic spots featured in this movie! 

* 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.

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