‘No Sudden Move’ is Steven Soderbergh’s star-studded period crime drama film set in the 1950s and follows a heist gone wrong that sends the thieves down a rabbit hole of chaotic events. The small-time criminals are soon caught up in a much larger conspiracy as the film richly unfolds over a rich tapestry of vintage locations that make the film a visual treat. The noir-inspired film gives its gritty, politically charged urban setting life of its own, making the characters and the city they inhabit equally important to the film’s message. Are you wondering where ‘No Sudden Move’ was filmed? You’re about to find out.
No Sudden Move Filming Locations
Initially titled ‘Kill Switch,’ ‘No Sudden Move’ is set in urban Michigan, where it was also filmed on location. Principal photography was slated to begin in April 2020 but was halted due to the Covid 19 epidemic. Filming resumed on September 28, 2020, with the production being one of the earliest to resume filming amidst the ongoing global health crisis.
The production proceeded with rigorous safety precautions, which were made all the more daunting as there was no framework established for filming under such conditions. However, a day before production ended, Soderbergh announced that no one who was associated with the physical filming had been infected during the shoot. Things wrapped up on November 12, 2020. Let’s take a closer look at the specific locations used in the film.
‘No Sudden Move’ is set in 1950s Detroit, and the production team chose to shoot the film on location in the city, using many of Detroit’s quintessential spots. Due to the period nature of the film, the production team spent significant time filming in the historic district of Rosedale Park. The area, which is known for its vintage brick houses that were built between the 1920s and 40s, was used to film the home of one of the film’s main characters. Filming also took place on Ashton Avenue and Lyndon Street in the city.
The Park Shelton building, located in Midtown Detroit at 15 East Kirby Street, stood in for Gotham and was used for filming the outdoor scenes. The building’s exterior was used to depict the once-famous Hotel Gotham that was known to host the city’s rich and famous in the past. The Maccabees Building, located at 5057 Woodward Avenue, as well as the Amore da Roma cafe on 3401 Riopelle Street also served as filming sites for the film.
With its depiction of 1950s Motor City, the film went to great lengths for authenticity. The former General Motors world headquarters, which has since been rechristened Cadillac Place, was dressed up to look like its former corporate self. The building can be found at 3044 West Grand Boulevard. A barbershop of the style found in Detroit in the 1950s was also recreated on East Jefferson Avenue, along with a few other cosmetic changes on the street.
The city of Detroit is an essential backdrop for the film as it follows the criminals that control the very city. Despite it being cheaper to film in Cincinnati, Ohio, where many productions go to achieve a Detroit aesthetic at a significantly lower budget, Soderbergh insisted on using the city as his filming location and even cut costs elsewhere to free up money to shoot in Detroit.
Talking about the significance of the city in the film, Cheadle told Detroit Free Press, “Detroit is absolutely a character in this movie and I think it permeates everything that happens. There are certain movies you can shoot them anywhere…This one had to be in Detroit. It’s about Detroit. It’s about the industry that fueled Detroit. It’s about what happened when that industry decided that it was more important than the people.”
Other Locations in Michigan
The production team also visited the world-famous Detroit Masonic Temple at 500 Temple Street, the Michigan Building at 220 Bagley Street, the Detroit Club at 712 Cass Avenue, and the Wayne State University at 42 West Warren Avenue for filming several scenes in the film. Filming also took place in the nearby cities of Hamtramck and Grosse Pointe in Wayne County, along with Pontiac in Oakland County and Bruce Township in Macomb County. Several scenes were also shot in the outskirts of Armada village and the Van Buren Charter Township.
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