Los Angeles for Film Fans: Beverly Hills 4
One favourite place to film in Beverly Hills – and which you can visit for free – is the 16-acre Greystone Park & Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive. Though the Greystone Mansion itself is not open to the public, the grounds, which belong to the city of Beverly Hills, are.
Back in 1965, its grounds became ‘Whispering Glades’ memorial park in Tony Richardson’s freewheeling version of Evelyn Waugh’s satire on the LA funeral business, The Loved One. More recently, they supplied the formal gardens of ‘Wayne Manor’ in Joel Schumacher’s splurgy comic Batman and Robin.
Peer in through the windows and you’ll recognise the interior from countless films – memorably as the the home of Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, the Lebowski mansion in The Big Lebowski and the Green Goblin’s ‘Manhattan’ penthouse in the three Sam Raimi Spider-Man films.
Less recognisably, interiors for David Lynch’s disturbing Eraserhead were filmed in the mansion’s stables in the days when it housed the American Film Institute. You could be forgiven for not immediately recognising its bowling alley, which was used for the final confrontation between Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-winning There Will Be Blood.
East of Rodeo Drive, on Sunset, is the giant sign for the famed ‘Pink Palace’ – the Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, and, unless you’re staying there, or indulging yourself with a meal in one of its restaurants, that’s about all you will see.
There’s no filming allowed at the hotel anymore, after the heat from a production crew’s lights set off the hotel’s sprinkler system, but you can get a look at it before the ban in Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo.