Directed by Ted Demme, ‘Blow’ is a biographical crime film that centers around the rise and fall of George Jung, a cocaine smuggler in the 70s and 80s. Inspired by the tales of George Jung, Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder Rivas, and the Medellín Cartel, it follows George Jung (Johnny Depp) as he becomes a marijuana smuggler once he moves from Massachusetts to Los Angeles and meets Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens) through a stewardess named Barbara Buckley (Franka Potente). George and his childhood friend Tuna (Ethan Suplee) run the booming business together, but it comes to a halt after George gets arrested.
George ends up sentenced to a Federal jail after trying to flee his initial punishment of two years. He meets Diego Delgado (Jordi Molla) in prison, who convinces George to shift to cocaine as his drug of trade. After George comes out of jail, he goes to Colombia and starts his business with the Medellin cartel. The movie is set in several locations including Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Florida, New York, Illinois, Mexico, and Colombia, and authentically represents the time period of the story. We are sure you are excited to know the exact locations where this biopic was filmed. Well, here is all you need to know!
Blow Filming Locations
‘Blow’ was filmed in Los Angeles County and the city of Ontario in California, as well as Chicago, Illinois. A few places within Mexico also doubled up as filming sites for the movie. The filming began on February 2, 2000, and concluded in May of the same year. The scenes portrayed in the movie span several decades and were cleverly shot thanks to the brilliant cinematography by Ellen Kuras and production design by Michael Hanan. Let us tell you about these places in a bit more detail!
Los Angeles County, California
George Jung’s life as a drug dealer kickstarts in the sprawling city of Los Angeles. Several locations across the City of Angels, as well as several cities within Los Angeles County, were used as a backdrop for the majority of the scenes within the movie. Many of the areas around the county served as a shooting site to depict locations outside the state of California.
Spring Street Towers, located at 650 South Spring Street in Downtown, served as the Bank of Panama in the 2001 movie. The Ambassador Hotel at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard was also used for capturing several scenes. Moreover, the production team also took several shots of the interiors of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, which can be found at 506 South Grand Avenue.
Some scenes set in Miami were lensed at the Holiday Lodge Motel at 1631 West 3rd Street. The residential neighborhood of Bel-Air at the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains on the Westside of the city can also be seen in the movie. The house at 10425 West Sunset Boulevard doubled up as the shooting site for scenes set in the Colombian Mansion.
Many places within the city of Long Beach in LA County appear in ‘Blow.’ Located at 5361 East Ocean Boulevard, the apartment that served as George and Tuna’s place of residence has now been demolished. The scene where George has to pick up Diego’s 50-kilo cocaine package was shot at Beach Plaza Hotel at 2010 East Ocean Boulevard, though it is set in Miami.
A huge mansion located at 918 North Alpine Drive in Beverly Hills was used to portray the extravagant life that George spends with his wife Mirtha Jung (Penélope Cruz) in the movie.
Pasadena is another city in LA County that the production team chose to bring the crime film to life. The scene where George picks up his daughter Kristina from school was taped at James Madison Elementary at 515 East Ashtabula Street. He then drops off his daughter at a home that is a property located at 858 North Oakland Avenue, Pasadena.
Scenes from George Jung’s younger days were captured in a house situated at 6216 Friends Avenue in the city of Whittier. Other places within the region where the biopic was filmed include a liquor store at 506 Center Street in El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, and Palmdale.
A few scenes were shot in Ontario City in San Bernardino County in southern California. Located east of Los Angeles, it is home to Ontario International Airport at 1828 Moore Way, which served as the backdrop for scenes in the film set in Los Angeles International Airport. The airport has been featured in several popular movies like ‘Ford v Ferrari‘ and ‘Zodiac.’
Several scenes of the Johnny Depp starrer are set and filmed in the city of Chicago in Illinois. Known for its embellished skyline and spectacular architecture, Chicago is one of the most populous cities in the country. Hence, it stood to reason that Jung’s drug business in the film would extend to this city on the shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago has also served as the backdrop for several other crime films like ‘Batman‘ and ‘Goodfellas.’
The Acapulco Mansion, which George and Barbara buy in the movie, is none other than Villa Casa Mansión La Cima in the city of Acapulco de Juárez, within the Mexican state of Guerrero. The mansion can be booked for wedding services by willing customers. The ocean-view homes in the beach resort town are showcased beautifully in the movie. Morelos, a state within Mexico was also used for the movie production.
Read More: Is Blow Based on a True Story?