“The Fighter” on the ground in Lowell

I’ve tried to create a Google Maps mashup showing the various locations in Lowell where “The Fighter” was filmed. Just click on the blue markers to read a description of that location and use the zoom and and out tools to see the entire map. Many of the spots are approximate, so please send your corrections and additions via the comment feature:

View “The Fighter” in a larger map

36 Responses to “The Fighter” on the ground in Lowell

  1. tom g says:

    The West End Gym marker can be a bit more precise. Here’s how:

    If you click on the Sat (satellite) tab on google maps, Centennial Island (where West End Gym mill building is located) will magically appear to the right of your marker. You can then see the mill buildling and parking lot where the West End Gym is located. In the Map mode, all of this area appears as part of the Concord River.

    Great idea, Dick!

  2. Maxine says:

    It was Western Avenue Studios, definitely our tower, but it looks like the south facade facing the canal. I did a quick drive around the neighborhood at lunchtime but was having difficulty finding the right angle. If it had been shot from the Acre the A Mill would have been in the shot and would have broken up the line of windows. Now I have to go back and see the film again to try and figure this one out!

  3. corey says:

    Great call Maxine on which side of WAS we were looking at. It turns out that one of the trailers on youtube has a real clear shot of the house (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyIGL_aTjIc&feature=related), and Google Maps has Street View for all of Lowell now. Mystery solved, the house is 2 Marshall St: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=cushing+st+lowell+ma&layer=c&sll=42.641221,-71.319804&cbp=13,336.93,,0,-6.81&cbll=42.63808,-71.318424&gl=us&sspn=0.006295,0.006295&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Cushing+St,+Lowell,+Middlesex,+Massachusetts+01854&ll=42.638039,-71.318532&spn=0.005059,0.011362&t=h&z=17&panoid=7JJxbbN5OYBkRJr-57GfNw

    I’m going to try to figure out a few more this way.

  4. corey says:

    Grrr…they don’t have street view for much of Christian Hill yet. In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2HQJL399pw&feature=related at 1:58 you can see that the first two numbers of Charlene’s apartment are 10 and the glasswork over the doorway. A few seconds later, assuming they didn’t split the shot, Dicky is outside her front door and you can see the house across the street. I still can’t place it…

    So, I give up, but it’s interesting to virtually drive around some of the side streets with this and see what there is to see. I found some assumingly canal stone Greek Revival houses down on Franklin Street I would’ve never accidentally driven by.

    Also, why don’t we have a pin on the map for Lexington Center and Billerica House of Correction? :-P

  5. Mark says:

    The shot with the hooker and Dickie doing the arrest was shot at night at the intersection of Lawrence and Rogers street

    Also the nterior shot of the crack house was done at the multi unit property on Pine street and Stevens

  6. Marie says:

    I agree with Mark on the hooker/Dickie scene (Abbott/Wamesit/Lawrence/Rogers Streets) near The Whipple Cafe – also at the same area but up Lawrence Street slightly – outside the pizza parlor (formerly the Colonial Cafe) used for the police breaking Micky’s hand scene. Two scenes for the price of one!
    Of course, this is my opinion but Bill’s too – he grew up in the broader neighborhood.

  7. PaulM says:

    The scene in the limo when they are returning from Atlantic City is on the VFW highway. You can see landmarks through the windows.

    Why didn’t they go over a few streets on Christian Hill and get a panorama shot of the mile of mills—it’s a great view for a lot less money than the aerial views used in “The Invention of Lying.”

    One thing I thought missing from the movie was a sense of Lowell as a whole. Mile of mills. Merrimack River sweeping in a curve around the city. Residential neighborhoods packed up against the factory and commercial districts. The movie had a strong interior and domestic atmosphere with a lot of doorways, kitchens, parlors, stairways, porches, dingy gyms, bedrooms, courtrooms, jail rooms, etc. It was a visual relief to see the boxers running down the streets once in a while.

  8. PaulM says:

    You have to add the Olympia Restaurant on Market Street. That’s where the family was eating dinner when the big battle with the police broke out. I remember the summer night they were filming downtown. The streets were closed for a long time. Market Street area near Olympia.

  9. Mark says:

    The Olympia restaurant as the old Cosmo Lounge. Now that was a stretch!
    Also used was Paul and Gus bar on Chelmsford street as the Foxtail.

  10. corey says:

    I had noticed the lack of an establishing shot as well, Paul. I was wondering if they had purposely left it out to make a point of sorts. The “Two Lowells” article featuring Prof. Forrant from a few years ago (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/09/09/what_renaissance/) came to mind. Dicky makes it clear the city’s history is meaningless to him, and Micky and Charlene end up way out of their element in Lexington. The movie plays up the hardscrabble blue-collar heart-of-gold family-oriented Bostonian archetype much better if it doesn’t leave the 100-year-old wallpapered living rooms all that often.

  11. DickH says:

    Based on the above suggestions, I’ve added a number of new markers and repositioned a few of the original ones. Also, I grabbed some screen shots from the trailers and pasted images of many of the scenes into the info box alongside each blue marker.

  12. corey says:

    Looks great! Was this ever done for Invention of Lying? The locations were a little more spread out, but I have the DVD and can ID quite a few of the scenes.

  13. -b says:

    Love the map! I found one minor correction – Charlene’s apartment is on Eleventh, not Tenth – the distance from Beacon is about right though.

  14. Deb Forgione says:

    What a great job Dick, in New York they have a bus tour that takes you to all the Seinfeld locations in the TV series …maybe you developed a tour for tourists who come to Lowell !!

  15. DickH says:

    This kind of interactive map is getting easier to create. I’m open for suggestions for other topics and themes. Invention of Lying would be a good one although not as many locals have seen that. Still, it has some fantastic shots of Lowell. Corey, if you could start a list of locations from that film, I’ll create the map. And -b, thanks for the adjustment on Charlene’s apartment – I’ll fix that now.

  16. corey says:

    OK, let’s see…

    * There’s all those birds-eyes of the city, but I don’t know how you’d label those.
    * Ricky’s apartment is on Princeton Blvd, right behind the Brooks pharmacy.
    * His girlfriend lives in the new towers on Pawtucket Blvd.
    * Their first date is at La Boniche
    * The second is at Cobblestones
    * He first tells a lie at the Lowell Five on John St
    * When his movie premieres, the theater is on John St, right across from the Lowell Five
    * The street with the couple and the homeless guy they help is the first block of Central near Merrimack, between Edible Arrangements and the Old Court
    * The bar he’s with Louis CK at is the Dubliner
    * He talks to Stephanie March about the world ending just outside, the Athenian Corner is visible in the background
    * The seedy motel they go to is The Caswell on 38 in Tewksbury
    * The old people’s home his mother is in is in Haverhill at Water Street and Bethany Ave
    * When she goes to the hospital, they’re in the old St Joes.
    * The interior and exterior of the casino is the Lowell Memorial Auditorium (at least on certain copies of the film, they forgot to crop the shot to edit out the name).
    * The scene with Ed Norton as a cop has them betting pulled over on the Bridge Street Bridge. Right before they get pulled over, they really are driving on Bridge Street. At some point, they’re on Father Morrisette Blvd.


    * His office is the big white building on Osgood St opposite of Beechwood Dr in North Andover. It could be, but I’d need to see the film again to be sure.

    Can’t identify:

    * The church (I think it’s in Sudbury)
    * The park
    * The mansion they move into (I heard Andover)
    * The restaurant Rob Lowe takes Garner to.

  17. Maxine says:

    Thanks Corey! I drove past that house a couple of times yesterday, but discounted it because I ‘read’ the building as a triple decker! Duh.

    I found when I was on the Cultural Council that for many Lowellians, when they spoke of Lowell, they were really speaking of their neighborhood . . . there was a deep identification with neighborhood/parish rather than city. Having grown up in Chicago where there is an equally strong identification with neighborhood that trumps city, it was something that resonated strongly with me.

  18. Meghan Moore says:

    Thanks for the mashup – that’s a really great idea! I paused the trailer for a little while and figured out which windows are my studio windows at Western Ave. Ready? Looking at the tower’s left wall, see the window directly underneath, with a white pane on top and a black pane below? That’s my window! One to the left of it and two to the right of it are also mine, for a total of 4 windows. To the left of my set are those of Bill Bradbury, formerly of The Sun.

    Has anyone found a list of people from Lowell who were used as extras in the movie’s crowd scenes?

  19. DickH says:

    -b, thanks for clarifying the name spelling. I had read somewhere that in one scene Wahlberg wore trunks that misspelled Ward’s name. It was done purposefully because in that’s how his name had been spelled on the trunks in that fight in real life. I just got my Mickey and Micky mixed up. I’ll fix it tomorrow.

  20. Eileen L says:

    Although not in the movie, don’t forget Micky Ward Square at the rotary by the connector and Industrial Avenue.

  21. Dawn Grenier says:

    I love this! I was hoping there’d be a map of The Fighter’s locations, and it makes me doubly happy to find it here.

    Wasn’t the brief Cosmo scene shot at the White Eagle, just down Market from the Olympia?

  22. -b says:

    Dick – Very true about the misspelling. I remember the scene, and there was even dialog about it.

    I was looking at old fights on youtube and found at least two examples.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8G0RVHpbVk (7:37) – Ward vs Peoples – ESPN captions and his corner’s uniforms both show “Mickey” on them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTZPL5-_lc0 (5:38) – Ward vs Andujar – Lowell Memorial Auditorium. You can clearly see “Mickey” on his corner’s uniforms.

  23. Phil Terrana says:

    Love the map. I also loved the movie but probably wouldn’t have seen it until I heard it was filmed in Lowell. My mother’s family is from Lowell (Centerville). I went to Lowell Tech in the 60’s, spent a lot of time on Merrimac and Market streets–still have a postcard of the Lac (Laconia-Lowells most beautiful bar) and spent a night in the same jail as the brothers. Like I say, many fond memories of Lowell.
    My only objection with movie was that many of the street scenes went by too quickly.
    Good job.

  24. FL says:

    The house where his daughter lived is definately Florence Rd near the Daley school.
    Also the scene when Micky calls to try to stop his daughter from watching High on crack street was filmed in the actual living room of the house

  25. Phama says:

    All of the scenes from Charlene’s house including when Dickie looks accross the street and comments on the dog are exact. When she practices the long jump it is filmed directly across the street from her apartment. All of it is exact. I drive by everyday on my way home! They did a great job!

  26. KH says:

    Yep, Charlene’s apartment is at 105 Eleventh. You can see the house number in the movie. I knew it wasn’t Stevens St. as they claimed because it looked too hilly for Stevens St. However, I can’t believe I didn’t recognize the house as it is adjacent to another old Victorian, #99, where I had an apartment for a few years about 20 years ago. There are some fine old homes on Christian Hill. I wonder how much they fixed it up for the movie??? I drove by today and saw a few older folks coming out of homes on the other side of the street. I wondered if any of them were the dog-walking people!!!!!

  27. Mike says:

    105 11 st street used to be the Sig-O frat house up till the early 80’s, it was owned by Louie Saab I think. I lived there on the second floor…Go -Sig-O.