Directed by esteemed director Sam Mendes, ‘Road to Perdition’ is an incredible neo-noir crime film adapted from the eponymous graphic novel penned by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner. The story revolves around mob enforcer Michael Sullivan, Sr., who commits a murder, while his young son catches him in the act. Although he swears the boy into secrecy, Michael soon realizes that the mob has put a hit out on him. Forced to choose between his duty and family, the father and son duo set out on a journey with revenge and redemption as the only destination.
Starring incredible talents like Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law, ‘Road to Perdition is set in a dark and gritty 1930s Illinois in the midst of the great depression. Moreover, the production team was also successful in recreating the atmosphere from that period. If, while watching, you have ever wondered where this outstanding movie was shot, we have you covered!
Road to Perdition Filming Location
Principal photography took place between the months of March and June in 2001, with scenes being filmed in several indoor and outdoor locations around the state of Michigan. Additionally, the filming crew also utilized various locations around Illinois, with a particular emphasis on the city of Chicago. Here’s a detailed look at the different filming locations.
As the majority of ‘Road to Perdition’ is set in the city of Chicago, the production team decided to film on location for a more authentic feel. Moreover, they even chose a few important Chicago landmarks to help viewers relate to the setting. For starters, the Bronzeville Armory in Chicago was converted into a soundstage where the team shot several internal scenes. The Wrigley Building at 400-410 North Michigan Avenue stood in as the exterior for the film’s Hotel Lexington, while its interiors were shot at Chicago Hilton and Towers at 720 South Michigan Avenue.
On the other hand, the scene where a young Michael Sullivan Jr. watches his father commit murder was filmed at the Florence Hotel in Chicago’s Pullman Historic District. Moving on, a building at 3900 North Lincoln Avenue doubled as the Eatmore Grill. At the same time, two of Chicago’s famous bridges, the La Salle Street Bridge and the Franklin-Orleans Street Bridge, were also featured in the movie. Moreover, the production crew filmed inside the Northwestern University, located in the suburb of Evanston, while scenes were also shot in other Chicago suburbs, including West Dundee, Aurora, and Thornton.
Other Places in Illinois
Apart from Chicago, the production crew also utilized several indoor and outdoor spots around Illinois, including the Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Beecher, which has since been destroyed in a fire. Moreover, other filming locations in the state include the Sweet Woods Forest Preserve in Glenwood, the downtown business district of Momence, the towns of Geneva, Barrington Hills, Peotone, and the Homer Township in Will County. Additionally, the movie’s Englewood Diner was flown in from Dorchester and put down on an open area right outside Chicago for filming.
East Chicago, Indiana
Staying true to the story’s roots, the production team shot a few scenes in the town of East Chicago in Indiana. East Chicago is a much sought-after location as it gives off a small-town vibe while providing a plethora of backdrops for directors to choose from. Thus, it is no surprise that the city has hosted filming crews from productions like ‘Chain Reaction’ and ‘Original Gangstas.’
Other Locations in Michigan
Although most parts of the film were shot in the state of Illinois, the production team utilized a few choice locations around the state of Michigan in order to get the backdrop they desired. The production team extensively used the city of Saugatuck as a filming site. Several scenes were shot inside a local church in the city. The crew also built a beach house at Port Sheldon Township, where they shot the movie’s last scene. Moreover, filming occurred in a few major cities, including Grand Rapids and Zeeland, while the beach scenes were shot at Olive Shores County Park in West Olive, Michigan.
Often regarded as the media capital of the world, Burbank is home to a few headquarters and production facilities of some of the leading entertainment companies of the world. The filming crew for ‘Road to Perdition’ used the services of the Warner Brothers Studios at 4000 Warner Boulevard in Burbank for several indoor and outdoor scenes.
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