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Monday August 20th 2018

I Am Number Four | 2011

I Am Number Four filming location: Buttermilk Falls, Homewood, Pennsylvania
I Am Number Four location: John Smith tries out his special powers: Buttermilk Falls, Homewood, Pennsylvania | Photograph: flickr / Lee of Western Pa

‘John Smith’ (Alex Pettyfer) is an alien from planet Lorien, Henri (Timothy Olyphant) his guardian. He needs to be protected because a rival race, the Mogadorians, are wiping out the few remaining Loriens – but in a strict numerical order – hence ‘Number Four’.

Moving from town to town, the pair have arrived at ‘Paradise, Ohio’, though the film was made in Pennsylvania, mainly around the town of Beaver, about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, at the confluence of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers.

As he discovers he has special powers, ‘John Smith’ tries them out at Buttermilk Falls (also known as Homewood Falls), reached by 1st Avenue, running west from Big Beaver Boulevard alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike, about 10 miles north of Beaver itself.

For an alien desperately trying to keep a low profile, it’s probably not the best of ideas to choose as his two best mates an amateur photographer and a flaky conspiracy theorist.

He falls in love with snapper Sarah Hart (Dianna Agron), who lives with her family at 1200 2nd Street in Beaver.

And he’s aided by geeky Sam (Callan McAuliffe), whose home is alongside the rail bridge just across the Ohio River on Atlantic Avenue at 4th Street, in Monaca.

‘Paradise Senior Regional High’, is Franklin Regional High School, 3170 School Road, in Murrysville, about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh.

See more of Beaver (sorry, there’s no other way to phrase it) in Curtis Hanson’s 2000 film Wonder Boys, with Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr.