Georgetown With One Red Shoe

Those familiar with Tom Hanks’s early wacky movie phase probably remember the spy farce The Man With One Red Shoe. GM happened to catch it over the weekend. While he was vaguely aware that it had some scenes in Georgetown, he didn’t realize that in fact significant chunks of the movie were filmed here.

While it’s somewhat fun to see your neighborhood splashed on the silver screen, it’s significantly more fun to see what it looked like in 1984 similarly captured. Check out these stills GM captured:

Here’s the house Tom Hanks’s character lives in. It’s 3331 O St. Here’s that house now:

One thing you might notice right away is just how much more tree shade there was in 1984. Some of that could be film filters or other effects, but the block seems to have been under a much thicker canopy back then.

Another thing, GM’s not certain but he believes this house is a single family home. In the movie it is portrayed as having multiple apartments in it. That also could be film trickery, but it does appear that some of the interior shots were genuinely from inside this house:

That picket fence is still across the street. You can also see by this photo that the street was in much better shape than it was before the recent renovation. There were hardly any patches at all (although you can see the tracks were already dangerously above the cobblestones).

Tom Hanks spends a lot of the movie biking around Georgetown:

Heading down O St. (was it really two-way back then, or was that just for the movie?)

Here he is next to the CVS (which was then a People’s Drug Store).

Back on O St.

Heading to a softball game with Jim Belushi.

Here’s a great shot at M and Pennsylvania. The only restaurant GM can recognize is La Chaumiere on the right.

 

Does anyone recognize this restaurant interior? In the movie it’s a coffee shop “right around the corner” from Hanks’s house. But it could be anywhere.

While most of the Georgetown shots were taken within a block or two of 34th and O, there was one chase scene at the end that looped down Wisconsin and up 31st:

Wisconsin and M from the north (Nathans is on the left)

M and Wisconsin from the south

Down Thomas Jefferson St.

Down the alley off of Thomas Jefferson.

Out on to 31st. Notice Cannon’s on the right. Next to it was something called the “Wood Shop Canal Mart” (although for lease signs are in the window, so it was already closed). An old AU newspaper seems to suggest this was a furniture store. This is now Paper moon.

Eventually Tom Hanks and his female co-star (who looks exactly like Daryl Hannah, Hanks’s co-star in his earlier hit Splash) escape to Dupont. Here they are at 20th and P.

And down into the Metro. Although once they get down, they are magically transported to the Baltimore subway:

GM can’t quite recommend you watch this movie. It’s got all the utter lack of sophisticated ironic humor that you’d expect from a mid 80s film (particularly one with not just Jim Belushi but Dabney Coleman to boot). If you’re looking for vintage young Hanks, GM strongly recommends Volunteers.

Here are a few more shots from around West Georgetown. Again, notice how much fuller the tree canopy was:

 

 

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Georgetown With One Red Shoe

  1. Gregg

    Georgetown was a popular place to film movies in the mid-1980′s. You couldn’t avoid the film crews for such movies as the above-mentioned “Red Shoe” as well as “Heartburn” and “St Elmo’s Fire.” I also remember a few years earlier seeing Gary Busey and several of his castmates from “D.C.Cab” unsuccessfully trying to cut in line at the American Cafe on Wisconsin Avenue on a busy weekend night. The hostess was apparently unfamiliar with “The Buddy Holly Story” (which he kept mentioning) and didn’t recognize him (or otherwise didn’t want to antagonize everyone in front of him).

  2. alysia

    Also the early 1980s TV show Scarecrow & Mrs King was “set” in Georgetown. The “agency” is a house on 30th & Dumbarton. While amanda’s house is supposedly in Arlington, it is actually in Burbank, down the street from Warner Bros studio. A house that is for sale currently at 34th (or 33rd) and O (or P?) for $6 million+ is featured in one of the episodes of the first season as a house the “agency” owned and used for set-ups. They also show scenes of M St. You can buy the series on DVD from Amazon or watch it for free online if you have Amazon Prime. Cute show…I have been a fan of the show since it first aired in the 80s. It was on cable networks as re-runs in the 1990s. I was so happy when the series came out on DVD. A lot of the show was shot in Burbank though.

  3. This was great – thanks for sharing!

  4. rls

    Dear Topher,

    The Man With One Red Shoe is one of my favorite movies. And with all location movies, the sites and directions get scrambled. Scenes shift (editorially) from street to street in the same sequences. Our hero rides his bike from Georgetown to the dentist south on the C&O, but at a distance far north from where he would be. I don’t mind the inaccuracies, I give the filmmakers the creative licence they need. I just enjoy seeing places I grew up around. Recently, on AMC I think, they showed the Warren Beatty movie set in Rockville with Great Falls as a prominent background. I enjoy reading your posts and am nostalgic here in Seattle.

    Y.O.S

    RLS

    >________________________________ > From: The Georgetown Metropolitan >To: barbarossa@terpalum.umd.edu >Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:00 AM >Subject: [New post] Georgetown With One Red Shoe > > > WordPress.com >Topher posted: “Those familiar with Tom Hanks’s early wacky movie phase probably remember the spy farceThe Man With One Red Shoe. GM happened to catch it over the weekend. While he was vaguely aware that it had some scenes in Georgetown, he didn’t realize that in fact ” >

  5. charlie

    I thought some of it was filmed in old town alexandria as well?

    Really an under-rated film. Not just a goofy 1980s film, but a goofy remake of a 1980′s French film which really should be its own genre (bad french remakes).

    Just watched Lockout which I realized is Escape from NY in space. Amazing.

  6. Chris

    “Our hero rides his bike from Georgetown to the dentist south on the C&O, but at a distance far north from where he would be.”

    Out of curiosity, how far north is this location; or rather where should I be looking to find it? The skyscrapers in the background when the bus pulls up I guess look like some of the buildings in Rosslyn but since I can’t find these on Google Earth, I think either I’m looking in the wrong place or the buildings have long since been flattened.

    Yes, this film (and its soundtrack) rates as one of my favourites too.

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