Charlie's Angels | 2000
The Los Angeles locations for McG’s light-as-froth confection look as tempting or as sickly as dayglo candies on a supermarket shelf, but the show is kept joyously afloat by the picture-book visuals and the sheer enthusiasm of the three leads.
The ‘police academy’, at which Dylan (Drew Barrymore) punches out her instructor during the opening montage is the Gymnasium of Venice High School, 13000 Venice Boulevard, seen in American History X and as ‘Rydell High’ in Grease.
The fantasy dance number of Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, was filmed in the lobby of the wildly elaborate Los Angeles Theatre, 615 South Broadway in the vibrant downtown Los Angeles. The theatre’s gorgeous lobby can also be seen in sequel Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Batman Forever, Chaplin, New York, New York, as the venue for the Halloween dance in A Cinderella Story, as a raunchy casino in Armageddon, and as ‘the Vatican’, no less, in End of Days. You can see its lavish auditorium in Steven Spielberg's 1941.
It’s also from the basement of the theatre that Pete (Luke Wilson) phones Natalie while she’s fighting off Knox’s heavies at the end of the movie.
Natalie’s house, where she informs the bemused mailman that he can feel free to stick things in her slot, is 410 Carroll Canal Court in the quiet and beautiful remnant of Venice’s canals, though the frontage has been remodelled slightly.
The ‘Townsend Agency’ building itself was a set, built on the ‘Mill Valley Town Square’ lot at Universal Studios. Also on the Universal lot are the caravan of Alex (Lucy Liu) and Jason (Matt LeBlanc), and the little town square where Alex is ‘gunned down’ during the movie shoot.
The entrance to the Japanese-themed party of villainous Roger Corwin (Tim Curry) might look familiar. It’s the Gas Company Building, 555 West Fifth Street at South Olive Street, downtown Los Angeles. It’s the office block in which Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) foils the attempt of embittered Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) to bomb the elevator at the beginning of Speed, as well as the ‘United States Courthouse’ outside which Jamie Foxx picks up Tom Cruise in Michael Mann's Collateral.
The time trials (budgetary constraints nixed the full race as planned) were filmed under dodgy weather conditions (look at the way the sky changes) at the California Speedway, 9300 Cherry Avenue, Fontana. The subsequent chase leads to the familiar Vincent Thomas Bridge, San Pedro.
‘Madame Wong’s House of Blossoms’, where Corwin gets a serious massage from Alex, is the Japanese garden of the Huntington Library and Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino (where the fencing scene of the opening montage was also shot). A regular film location, the Huntington and its extensive grounds can be seen in countless films, including American Wedding, Joss Whedon's Serenity, A Cinderella Story, Indecent Proposal, Anger Management, The Wedding Planner, Memoirs of a Geisha and Monster in Law.
The strange stilt house of Knox was built in the studio, but it's clearly inspired by architect John Lautner’s Chemosphere House, 3105 Torreyson Place, off Mulholland Drive, in the Hollywood Hills. You can see the real thing in Brian de Palma’s Body Double. When Dylan falls from the stilt home, the backyard she falls into is pretty familiar to Drew Barrymore, it’s that of the E.T. house, 7121 Lonzo Drive, Tujunga, a suburb north of Burbank.
The HQ of ’Red Star Technologies’ is the great white block of Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Boulevard, overshadowing Westwood Village, but the facility’s rooftop cafe was created on the roof of the LA Center Studios, 1202 West Fifth Street, downtown Los Angeles.
The malfunctioning burger stand is the blue and white candy-striped Foster Freeze, 1624 Cravens Avenue, Torrance, south of LA towards Long Beach.
And even further south, the tower hideout of villain Knox (Sam Rockwell) is on the site of the old Marineland of the Pacific, Palos Verdes Estates, where scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean were shot.
The final scenes, of Knox’s helicopter being blown up, Charlie’s house and the ‘Hawaii’ beach, were all filmed at Sycamore Cove Beach (Point Mugu State Park), 9000 West Pacific Coast Highway, 15 miles south of Oxnard on Highway One, Malibu.