The Cinematique hits America – Looking back on the Boston Movie / TV tour

Welcome to the second edition of my American Film & Television location perspective. Having seen the settings for a vast majority of features in New York and Philadelphia, this version focuses on the exceptional flicks and shows that were made in the great city of Boston (or Bahston as my sister likes to call it!).

So here’s my overview on the place where everybody knows your name….


The one weekend we had in America was a loooooong one to say the least. Given that we had travelled from Long Island to Philly and back in one day, we only managed to a couple of hours sleep before waking up at 3:30, packing and heading towards Newark Airport.

The reason for our early descent to Boston? My desire to watch baseball at Fenway Park of course. As fascinating as it was to watch the sport (with barely any sleep), I later realised that it was the first film location I had done during our stay in Massachusetts.


Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

The stadium, which was built in 1912, has been used for a couple of high-profile films including the emotional fantasy drama Field of Dreams. The scene where Kevin Costner’s Ray Kinsella hears Shoeless Joe’s voice say “Go the Distance” includes an appearance from one of the Fenway scoreboards which comes into significant use. The other notable blockbuster set in the stadium comes from the riotous comedy Ted in which our favourite cinematic bear is chased by his kidnapper Donny in the film’s final act.

The next day produced another memorable section on the holiday, that being Boston’s version of the TV & Movie Locations.

Like New York, we would be travelling through Boston on a bus albeit a smaller one though that actually made the outing more comforting especially as there was only a mini group of tourists on board.

The two-hour session was given by a charismatic young woman named Mariagrazia LaFauci (MG for short) who I had recognised briefly from a YouTube video I had watched which promoted the tour. More on her later on….

Once we were all aboard the bus, our journey began with us going around specific parts of Beacon Street which would play a pivotal role at the very end of the tour. One of Boston’s greatest achievements was the creation of Martin Scorsese’s sensational cop thriller The Departed, which remains an all-time classic for me.

The film was referred to several times on the tour with the first mention being the Massachusetts State House which we drove past early on. The golden dome is easily recognisable in the film when Matt Damon’s character Colin Sullivan buys a house with the dome seen in the distance. That same building had also been used in Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed slavery drama Amistad.

Driving around Boston Common, we saw a couple of recognisable parts that were used for filming including a key scene from the Oscar-winning drama Good Will Hunting where the late Robin Williams’ professor delivers a stunning monologue to Matt Damon’s troubled genius. The bench where the two sat on is still there today and was used as a memorial following Williams’ tragic death last year.

We also went past the Copley Plaza Hotel which was one of several Boston locations used in the crime caper American Hustle before heading towards a familiar site in the form of Fenway Park. One Boston-based film that I’m afraid to admit I haven’t seen is Ben Affleck’s The Town which had scenes shot outside Gate E. Coincidentally, that was the section I had entered to watch the game the day before!

One of our first stops on the tour was at the L Street Tavern which was used in Good Will Hunting in scenes involving Mr Damon and his good pal Mr Affleck which allowed us to have a little break. Upon returning to the bus, MG told us a bittersweet story about Robin Williams which made us all appreciate how loyal and kind some human beings could be even when approached by the media!

After then driving past Murphy’s Law (as seen in another Affleck feature, Gone Baby Gone), we found ourselves going past another key location used in The Departed. On this occasion, it was Farnworth Street which was used at a crucial moment in the film where Leonardo Di-Caprio and Martin Sheen’s characters try to hide out from Frank Costello’s gang. Again, MG had another great story to tell about that which brought a few laughs!

Once we drove past the Trinity Church from Boondock Saints, we made our second stop which led us to the top of the public stairs between Mead Street and Russell Street. This particular section was used in a bizarre scene from the action-thriller Blown Away but at this point, MG decided to let some of us try on the nun robbery mask from The Town. I certainly looked like one scary mofo!

The climatic part of the tour saw us drive back into the city centre with MG getting us in a Departed mood by playing the Dropkick Murphy’s I’m Shipping Up to Boston loudly before we came back to Beacon Street for one more significant location.

I’m not going to lie, my face lit up ecstatically when I saw the Cheers bar given my undying love for the best American sitcom of all time. Prior to getting off though, the theme tune was played which made the occasion even better as several of us sang along. It was truly immense!


Me, Ted and MG, our lovely and informative tour guide.

Given how excellent the tour had been, I couldn’t resist getting a picture with MG who had been an absolute joy to listen to throughout. As cool as Scott had been on the New York version, MG seemed a lot more passionate about her role and of the films/shows that this great city had produced. I’ve gone on many different tours around the world, but I will definitely say she was one of the very best. As the late Roger Ebert would say, it’s a thumbs up from me!

Finishing up outside the Cheers bar was undoubtedly the perfect way to end the Film / TV perspective of my American trip, and it still gives me goosebumps thinking about it.


It’s a little known fact that I’m standing outside the greatest bar in the world in this photo.

Whilst the inside of the bar doesn’t exist, it is filled by a unique restaurant which does Cheers-themed food and has a quality gift shop to buy great merchandise. Like the HBO store in New York, I took my time before purchasing the right things to take back home.

And so there we have it then.

This epic holiday would have been memorable even without the film and television-related stuff but as someone who is passionate about the big (and small) screen, it meant so much to me that I got to see these incredible locations throughout the trip. Whether it be standing outside the Ghostbusters Fire Station, posing with the Rocky statue or eating in Cheers, this experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.

America, the Cinematique thanks you.

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