visit the film locations
New York: Flights: JFK Airport
Ransom location: kidnapped from the Junior Science Fair: Bethesda Terrace, Terrace Drive, in Central Park, New York
Stinking rich airline exec Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) risks all when the FBI fails to rescue his kidnapped son, snatched from a Junior Science Fair at Bethesda Terrace, Terrace Drive at 72nd Street, in Central Park just opposite the famous Dakota Building – the location for Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.
In the original 1962 The Manchurian Candidate, the highly suggestible Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) responds – literally – to a chance aside by barman Rizzo (“Go up to Central Park and go jump in the lake...”) by tripping down the steps of Bethesda Terrace and plopping into the Lake.
Ransom location: The ‘Vanderbilt Bank’: 1261 Madison Avenue at 90th Street, Upper East Side, New York
Mullen’s luxury pad is on the Upper East Side, Fifth Avenue between 87th and 88th Streets, just south of the Guggenheim Museum, overlooking the Reservoir in Central Park.
The wild goose chase, with $2 million ransom money, takes Mullen from 125th Street in Harlem through the Holland Tunnel, which runs from Canal Street, SoHo, to 12th Street, Jersey City. He’s soon deep into New Jersey, at Paramus on Route 4, going west to Route 208, and north on Saddle River Road to the rock quarry where small-fry gofer Cubby (Donnie Wahlberg) gets shot.
Ransom location: The final shootout at ‘Bright Lights’ shop: Roberta, 1252 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, New York
When the kidnap’s mastermind is finally unmasked, he gets Mullen to wire money from the fictitious ‘Vanderbilt Bank’, actually a grand private house, 1261 Madison Avenue at 90th Street, near the Mullen home. The final shootout takes place outside the ‘Bright Lights’ shop, in reality Roberta, 1252 Madison Avenue.