You're sitting in a movie theater and suddenly it's deja vu. That mansion or that long stretch of beach looks incredibly familiar. Is it because you have been there before? Maybe, but it's more likely that you're just recognizing landmarks on Long Island. There are a number of locations on the island that are often transformed into fictitious estates or towns by Hollywood filmmakers. Here are the top 10 movies filmed on photogenic Long Island, NY. Buy or rent some of these films, sit back and the next time an out-of-towner tells you that the Glen Cove of Hitchcock's North by Northwest features high cliffs, you can set them straight.
The Orson Welles masterpiece tells the tale of the rise and fall of a fictitious newspaper tycoon, thinly based on the life of William Randolph Hearst. The fictitious Kane lived in an opulent estate called Xanadu. If those opening shots of the estate look familiar, that's because they were filmed at Long Island's Oheka, the former estate of financier Otto Herman Kahn. Scenes from the 2008 film, What Happens in Vegas, were also shot on the same location.
North by Northwest
Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint starred in this Alfred Hitchcock thriller. When Grant's character is brought to an estate—supposedly in Glen Cove—it's actually the Phipps mansion and estate, now Old Westbury Gardens. Scenes from The Age of Innocence, Love Story, The Manchurian Candidate, Cruel Intentions, and Hitch were also filmed here.
Remember that scene that's supposed to be Glen Cove, with high cliffs and the surf crashing below? It was shot in California.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Jim Carrey's character undergoes a medical procedure to erase memories of his lost love, but you won't forget the scenes from this motion picture that were shot in Montauk.
Men in Black II
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back together in this sequel to Men in Black. Does that post office remind you of someplace? Doesn't it look a little like the Fire Island Lighthouse? It should. That's where one scene was filmed.
Harry Guggenheim was a fan of horse racing, but luckily, he never found a horse head in his bed. But during the filming of The Godfather, the living room of Guggenheim's former mansion, Falaise, was the scene of that infamous equine head-in-the-bed shot.
Falaise is now open for tours and is located on the grounds of the Sands Point Preserve. This location was also the backdrop for scenes in Scent of a Woman, New Jack City, and Malcolm X.
Meet the Parents
When Ben Stiller's character meets his future father-in-law, played by Robert De Niro, there's lots of comedy and lots of Long Island. Recognize Louie's Oyster Bar & Grille in Port Washington? How about the place where they shop for a tuxedo? That's Victor Talbots on Glen Cove Road in Greenvale.
Crocodile Dundee 2
Long Island isn't exactly the Australian Outback. But Paul Hogan, as Crocodile Dundee, explores the outer reaches of the Eagle's Nest, a Spanish Revival style mansion, in this motion picture. The former Gold Coast mansion and surrounding estate were originally owned by William K. Vanderbilt II and are now the site of the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium in Centerport.
Take a close look at the shots of Wayne Manor's facade, where Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman resides. Maybe you'll notice that it's actually the magnificent Webb Institute in Glen Cove. Formerly the property of Herbert L. Pratt, the original estate was called The Braes. It is now a college of naval architecture and marine engineering.
In this movie by Martin Scorsese, the character of Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, relaxes with Karen (Lorraine Bracco) at an idyllic beach club. In reality, it's the Catalina Beach Club in Long Island's Atlantic Beach.
Seeing spots before your eyes? Maybe you're looking at one of Jackson Pollock's abstract expressionist paintings. The motion picture Pollock, about the tumultuous life of the artist, starring Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden, was filmed right here on Long Island in the town of East Hampton at the Pollock-Krasner House, now a National Historic Landmark.