Trailer Park Boys
For seven seasons a crew followed those dope-addled boys (and girls) around Dartmouth, making fans of the show unofficial regional topographers. But if you didn't know, for seasons five, six and seven, the Sunnyvale Trailer Park set was behind the fences at the Halifax County Regional Rehabilitation Centre on Bissett Road, just outside Cole Harbour. The episode when the boys abscond with Rush guitar god Alex Lifeson was filmed in the Metro Centre, of course. And the show's final episode, the special Say Goodbye to the Bad Guys, the singles dance---"Dancin', dope, liquor and food... you can't lose!" said Jim Lahey---was shot at the Olympic Community Centre at the corner of Hunter and Cunard. The Boys then moved to the big screen, adding a touch of nudity to the foul language: the first TPB movie utilized The Marquee---now The Paragon---as a strip club.
Poor Boy's Game
Directed by Clement Virgo and co-written by Halifax's Chaz Thorne, the gritty boxing-and-race-relations drama---refreshingly playing Halifax as Halifax---also shot at the Olympic Centre for the climactic bout. They found a location on Maynard Street, just off Cunard, for the house where Danny Glover's character George and his family lived. Check out the scene that takes place on the Young Street bridge over the railroad gorge in the south end, where Rossif Sutherland's Donnie pauses to take in the view of the dockyard.
The Jesse Stone series
American leading man/Easter Island statue stand-in Tom Selleck first came to Halifax in 2003 to shoot a TV movie called Reversible Errors, and then returned on six separate occasions to do the popular Jesse Stone series for CBS---based on a series of novels by Robert B. Parker---about a grizzled detective who relocates to a small New England town. The Jesse Stone movies shot in Lunenburg and locations around Halifax, including the Atlantic School of Theology, which doubles as the police station. (Hey, theology students! Some folks still think Magnum PI is god.)
The long-running and dearly missed CBC consumer awareness program aimed at kids was based in Halifaxand filmed in plenty of familiar spots at local shopping districts. (Check out the YouTube video "Street Cents' Finest Moment" to see footage from Spring Garden Road in the early 1990s. Doesn't look a whole lot different.)
Shake Hands With The Devil
The feature film version of Romeo Dallaire's tale of the Rwandan genocide in1994 was shot largely on location in Rwanda, but the segments of the film where Dallaire (Roy Dupuis) is being checked out by a psychiatrist in Ottawa were actually shot on the Dalhousie campus, at Shirreff Hall student residence.
K19: The Widowmaker
Before Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow lionized bomb disposal experts in The Hurt Locker, she made the big-budget Russian submarine movie here at the Halifax shipyard, starring Harrison Ford. Sharp-eyed viewers will spot Canadian warships in the Halifax harbour on wide shots of the sleek submersible.
Mira Nair's biopic of Amelia Earhart starring Hilary Swank didn't soar in audiences' affections, but the buzz around town was deafening in summer 2008 when the Toronto-based shoot spent a few days in Halifax. (Everyone was on the lookout for Richard Gere, star of American Gigolo and King David.) The film shot on the Northwest Arm not far from the Dingle, a scene of Earhart's Fokker F7 plane "Friendship" floating on the placid ocean before a transatlantic flight.
Director David Gordon Green's first venture away from his North Carolina indie-roots was a wintry small-town drama, starring Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale, shot all over the HRM. Prominent locations included Portland Street in downtown Dartmouth and at the Stardust Motel on the Bedford Highway for characters' extramarital trysts.
Hobo with a Shotgun
The grindhouse insta-classic has yet to be released in cinemas, but when it is you should look out for the many locations across the harbour where Dartmouthian Jason Eisener chose to make his movie this spring. (We suspect the pastoral side of the City of Lakes won't be on display in the bloody, violent action drama, but who can say until opening night?) One Halifax location in Hobo that is assured is the currently empty store on the corner of Portland Place and Gottingen Street across from The Paragon. Transformed into a pawn shop, it's where Rutger Hauer's Hobo gets his big gun.