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Wednesday April 17th 2024

Absence Of Malice | 1981

Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman) really, really doesn’t like campaigning journo Megan Carter (Sally Field) in Sydney Pollack’s stinging attack on trial-by-newspaper which filmed in the deceptively sunny environs of Dade County and Miami, Florida.

The offices of Carter ’s paper, the fictional Miami Standard, are the real premises of Dade County’s major daily, the Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, overlooking Biscayne Bay, north of the MacArthur Causeway, Route 41, to Miami Beach.

A little to the southwest in downtown Miami, at 73 West Flagler Street on the corner with NW 1st Avenue, stands the Dade County Courthouse, where over-zealous FBI agent Elliott Rosen (Bob Balaban) works. When it was built in 1928, this handsome, terra-cotta-faced structure with its pyramid peak was claimed to be – at 360 feet – the tallest building in the US south of Washington DC (Metrorail: Government Center Station).

South of Miami at Coconut Grove you can find the sculpture and topiary gardens where Melinda Dillon naively opens up her heart to Megan. The grounds belong to Villa Vizcaya, 3251 South Miami Avenue, the palatial mansion of magazine founder James Deering. There’s an admission charge to the 35-acre gardens and the villa. For more details of the villa, see Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.

The other park, scene of Gallagher ’s clandestine meeting with a dodgy politician, is Matheson Hammock Park, 9610 Old Cutler Road on the seafront at SW 96th Street, Coral Gables, South Miami.