Based on ‘The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue’ by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman, ‘The Finest Hours’ is an action thriller movie set in 1952 when the SS Pendleton gets split in two due to a treacherous storm, resulting in the entrapment of over 30 soldiers inside the ship’s sinking stern. While the brave engineer Ray Sybert comes up with a strategy for the survivors, Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff orders a rescue mission when the word of the horrific incident reaches the Coast Guard in Chatham, Massachusetts.
The steersman named Bernie Webber, despite the extreme weather and conditions, takes three men on a lifeboat with him in an attempt to rescue the crew against increasingly impossible odds. Featuring compelling onscreen performances by Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz, and Eric Bana, the historical drama film unfolds mostly in the open waters as Bernie fights the unfavorable storm to try and save the sinking ship’s crew. So, it is understandable why many of you might wonder where ‘The Finest Hours’ was filmed. If you are in the same boat, you might be interested in what we have to share!
The Finest Hours Filming Locations
‘The Finest Hours’ was filmed in Massachusetts, particularly in Norfolk County, Plymouth County, and Chatham. As per reports, principal photography for the action movie commenced in September 2014 and wrapped up in December of the same year. Now, without further ado, let us take you through all the specific locations that appear in the drama film!
Norfolk County, Massachusetts
To kick off the production process, the filming unit set up camp in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, specifically in the city of Quincy. In late October 2014, they taped several pivotal sequences at the Fore River Shipyard situated on Weymouth Fore River in Quincy. For some scenes, they even boarded the USS Salem. A majority of the water and storm scenes were recorded at the shipyard in an 800,000-gallon water tank, which they constructed, measuring 110 by 80 feet with the help of wave and wind machines.
The production team of ‘ The Finest Hours’ even constructed replicas of the Pendleton and the CG36 rescue boat at the shipyard. Moreover, the steering room, mess hall, and bunk area were built as part of the expansive 65-foot tall set. Another location in Norfolk County that served as a prominent filming site is the town of Cohasset.
With the help of artificial snow and vintage cars, the director and his team were able to transform some parts of town to look like a snowy Cape Cod town in the 1950s. The cast and crew members were spotted at a couple of local sites by the locals and passersby during the shooting schedule, including the Pratt Historic Building at 106 South Main Street in The Cohasset Historical Society and Jerusalem Road, both in Cohasset.
Plymouth County, Massachusetts
Several important sequences of ‘The Finest Hours’ were also lensed across Plymouth County, Massachusetts. In early December 2014, the production team made the most of the locales of the Brant Rock neighborhood in the town of Marshfield as they shot some street scenes on location. Furthermore, some bridge scenes were taped in and around Powder Point Bridge, while a few beach portions were recorded in Duxbury Beach, both in the town of Duxbury.
As for various indoor portions of the Chris Pine starrer, they were reportedly shot in the town of Norwell. In particular, the interiors of The Tinker’s Son at 707 Main Street and Cushing Memorial Hall at 673 Main Street, both in Norwell, feature in the backdrop of several scenes of the movie.
During the later stages of the production process, the cast and crew of ‘The Finest Hours’ also traveled to Chatham, which is situated at the southeast tip of Cape Cod. Historically known to be a fishing community, Chatham consists of several historical sites and museums, including Atwood House, Josiah Mayo House, Caleb Nickerson House, Chatham Windmill, and Chatham Lighthouse, some of which might feature in the backdrop of a few portions of the movie.
Read More: Is The Finest Hours Based on a True Story?