Netflix’s The Pale Blue Eye: Where Was the Movie Filmed?

Image Credit: Scott Garfield/Netflix

Based on the 2003 eponymous novel by Louis Bayard, Netflix’s ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ is a mystery thriller movie written and directed by Scott Cooper. Set at West Point Academy in the 1830s, it revolves around the mysterious death of a young cadet, which is considered suicide at first. However, a horrific truth comes to light when the body is examined at the morgue — the victim’s heart is missing and skillfully removed from the body. The case causes hysteria among everyone associated with the military academy, so to keep things under control and solve the murder, the leaders seek the help of a local detective named Augustus Landor.

To get to the bottom of the case, Augustus takes the help of one of the cadets, Edgar Allan Poe. While the dark undertone sets the overall feel of the narrative, the use of eerie and vintage locations takes it to another level. Hence, it is natural for the viewers to want to learn all about the actual filming sites of ‘The Pale Blue Eye.’

The Pale Blue Eye Filming Locations

‘The Pale Blue Eye’ was filmed entirely in Pennsylvania, particularly in Greater Pittsburgh, Lawrence County, and Somerset County. The principal photography for the Christian Bale starrer reportedly commenced in late November 2021 and wrapped up in late February 2022. Although the story is set at West Point Academy and Hudson Valley, the makers chose to utilize Pennsylvania’s vast and versatile landscapes to shoot the movie. Now, let’s travel back in time and follow detective Augustus as he tries to solve the murder mystery and get a detailed account of all the specific places that feature in the Netflix movie!

Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A significant portion of ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ was lensed in Greater Pittsburgh, a region centered around Pittsburgh. For instance, Allegheny Cemetery at 4734 Butler Street in Pittsburgh and Old Economy Village at 270 16th Street in Beaver County’s Ambridge are a couple of important filming sites of the movie. Moreover, the production team set up camp at Moraine State Park at 225 Pleasant Valley Road in Portersville, specifically on Lake Arthur, which stood in for the Hudson River in the thriller.

The cast and crew of ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ commenced shooting in Compass Inn Museum at 1386 US-30 East in Westmoreland County’s Laughlintown. In the movie, this historic museum stands in for an 1830 tavern, which makes for an ideal fit because the Compass Inn used to be a top stagecoach stop and tavern in that period. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and, at present, serves as a history museum open to the public.

In an early December 2021 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the unit publicist Pete Silbermann explained how they chose Pittsburgh, especially the Compass Inn Museum, as their primary filming site for the movie. He said, “To find a location like the Compass Inn was fantastic. We’re doing a little bit of a build on it. Visually, it absolutely suits the story. Scott fell in love with it when he saw it, and it absolutely works beautifully for the film.”

Silbermann added, “So much in the greater Pittsburgh area and Pittsburgh do the same thing. The architecture is fantastic. When you find something that looks so old even though they’ve renovated a bit and it suits the story, you feel fantastic about it.” Moreover, Penguin Court and the adjacent Thomas Road Farm in Laughlintown were two other pivotal production locations.

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

Additional portions of ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ were recorded in Lawrence County, just 60 miles from Greater Pittsburgh. In December 2021, the cast and crew members were spotted taping several key sequences in Westminster College at 319 S Market Street in New Wilmington. It doubled for the West Point Academy because of its Collegiate Gothic-style buildings.

Various parts of the college campus heavily feature in the mystery movie, including Old Main, Browne and Ferguson Halls, and the McGill Library. In addition, McConnells Mill State Park at 1761 McConnells Mill Road in the Perry and Slippery Rocks Townships served as an important shooting site for the Scott Cooper directorial.

Somerset County, Pennsylvania

For shooting purposes, the team of ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ seemingly traveled to Somerset County, situated along the state’s straight southern edge. It consists of many state-protected areas, such as Kooser State Park, Laurel Hill State Park, Laurel Mountain State Park, and Laurel Ridge State Park.

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