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Tuesday September 17th 2019

American Psycho | 2000

American Psycho location: Front Street, Toronto
American Psycho location: Patrick Bateman confesses all in ‘Harry’s Bar’: Front Street, Toronto

Bret Easton Ellis’ notorious Eighties-set slasher satire gets a stylish but restrained treatment from director Mary Harron.

If you’re looking to follow the ultimate yuppie narcissist Patrick Bateman on a tour of Manhattan’s chi-chi nitespots, you’re in for a disappointment.

The movie was actually shot almost entirely in Toronto, Ontario, with the real New York featured only in a sprinkling of establishing shots.

The office of ‘Pierce & Pierce’, where Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) works in ‘mergers and acquisitions’ is the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower, 66 Wellington Street West. That seems a reasonable enough substitute for Manhattan since it was designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, responsible for New York’s iconic Seagram Building.

American Psycho location: Monsoon, Simcoe Street, Toronto
American Psycho location: Patrick Bateman passes of ‘Barcadia’ as the fabled ‘Dorsia’: Monsoon, Simcoe Street, Toronto

When Bateman fails to get a table at the fabled ‘Dorsia’, he takes the whacked-out Courtney (Samantha Mathis) to ‘Barcadia’ instead. It’s not only Courtney who’s being fobbed off. The slightly kitschy Pacific Rim restaurant was actually Monsoon, 100 Simcoe Street at Adelaide Street West in Toronto. The premises now houses Michael's On Simcoe steak house. In fact, since many of the bars and restaurants were cutting-edge, it's not surprising that since 2000, several have closed or moved on.

Bateman tries, and fails, to impress Paul Allen (Jared Leto) by getting a seat at the near-empty ‘Texarkana’. The wood-beamed, Western-themed restaurant was Montana, which stood at 145 John Street at Richmond Street West. It’s now a bowling alley-leisure complex.

The comfortable-looking gentlemen’s club, where Bateman’s quote from Ed Gein goes unrecognised (“Isn’t he maitre d’ at Canal Bar?”), and Luis Carruthers (Matt Ross) comes close to extinction when he flashes his new business card, is the Consort Bar of the prestigious 1903 Omni King Edward Hotel, 37 King Street East.

Up toward Cabbagetown is the Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne Street, now a nightclub and live music venue, which was used as the ‘Studio 54’-style dance club, where the none-too-bright yuppies consider, between nosefuls of coke, whether dyslexia is a virus.

‘Smith and Wollensky’ is a real enough New York restaurant – you can see it on-screen in The Devil Wears Prada. But the restaurant where Bateman squirms through an edgy lunch with Det Kimball (Willem Dafoe) is the (now closed) Savoy, which stood at 253 Victoria Street. [or Senator, 249]

Shark City seems the perfect name for one of the film’s locations. It’s closed now, but it was used as the restaurant in which Bateman’s girlfriend Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) doesn’t notice he’s doodling chainsaws and hookers on the napkin, or realise how lucky she is he’s breaking up with her. It stood at 117 Eglinton Avenue East.

The spectacular shoot-out with the police was filmed on Pearl Street between Simcoe and Duncan Streets, just around the corner from Monsoon.

And ‘Harry’s Bar’, where Bateman finally confesses all to a disbelieving lawyer, was the upper crust Boston Club, now Biff's Bistro, 4 Front Street East.