The Hours (2002) follows three women’s lives during different time periods, as they each are affected by the novel, Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf. With the exception of the opening and final scenes, which depict Virginia Woolf’s (Nicole Kidman) 1941 suicide by drowning in the River Ouse, the action takes place within the span of a single day in three different years, and alternates among them throughout the film.
Virginia Woolf is starting to write her book Mrs. Dalloway in 1923 England. She has come to realize her lesbianism and is fighting depression, as are all the women in the film. Eventually, Virginia must face the decision to stay with her beloved husband (Stephen Dillane) or move to London where the doctors forbid her to go.
Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a pregnant mother fearing that she may not be a good mother to her expected child and the son she already has. She is reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1951 Los Angeles and is in the midst of planning a big birthday party for her husband (John C. Reilly). Laura must make the decision to live miserably with her husband, or run away from it all.
Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) is a career publisher living in present 2001 New York. Her nickname is “Mrs. Dalloway,” given to her by her poet-friend, Richard (Ed Harris), who is dying of AIDS. Clarissa is also throwing a party for Richard, who is receiving an award for his poetry. Similarly to Virginia Woolf, Clarissa is also a lesbian, but is wondering if she may be in love with Richard, whom she once dated. A twist in the plot brings it all together, posing the question of whether we should live our lives for our own happiness, or for the happiness of others.
The Hours stars Nicole Kidman as Virginia Wolfe. Nicole Kidman is an Oscar winner, and household name in the world of acting. She is known for movies such as Australia, The Others,The Stepford Wives, Moulin Rouge, Panic Room, and The Interpreter. Nicole Kidman is joined by Oscar nominee Julianne Moore from Eagle Eye, Children of Men, and Hannibal. Finally, Oscar winner Meryl Streep plays Clarissa Vaughan. Meryl Streep is famous for her roles in numerous movies, including Manhattan, The Briges of Madison County, The Manchurian Candidate, Mama Mia! and The Devil Wears Prada which is featured on the NYC TV & Movie Tour.
The Hours was shot on location in London; Hollywood, CA; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and New York City.
One New York location you may recognize from The Hours in the Meatpacking District is the pre-Civil War Triangle Building, used as a location for mysterious clubs catering to very particular adult tastes in the 1960’s-1980’s. There was a sign on the street over the entrance that read “Abandon Hope All Who Enter Here,” somewhat appropriate because it was from this building that the poet, Richard (Ed Harris) commits suicide by throwing himself out his seedy apartment window.
The Triangle Building in its grungier days was a favorite of filmmakers. The interior of one of the adult clubs, the Hellfire, with its dungeons, cages and torture apparatus was used to shoot a scene in the 1992 thriller Single White Female, starring Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh. William Friedkin’s controversial 1980 movie, Cruising, featuring Al Pacino and Paul Sorvino, used The Triangle Building for many scenes. The stalker played by Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction also had an apartment in the building. The Meatpacking District was also featured in some scenes of Law & Order, Basic Instinct, Manhattan, and I Am Legend.
* 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.