Dead Again | 1991
Los Angeles is the backdrop to Kenneth Branagh’s enjoyably flashy, and quite ludicrous, reincarnation thriller, with amnesiac Grace (Emma Thompson) apparently haunted by memories of a past life in which she was brutally murdered.
The Forties monochrome flashbacks see orchestra conductor Roman Strauss (Branagh) apparently wooing Grace in a previous life. The conductor’s grand mansion is 380 South San Rafael Avenue in Pasadena. You can’t see this oft-used mansion from the road, but you may recognise its entrance as the spot where Steve Martin grabs clandestine shots of Eddie Murphy leaving his estate in Hollywood satire Bowfinger.
The concert hall, where Strauss conducts, is the beautifully preserved 1926 Orpheum Theatre, 842 South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles, still functioning as a movie house, and seen in plenty of other films, including (500) Days Of Summer, Oliver Stone's The Doors, Tim Burton’s Ed Wood and Oscar-winner The Artist.
The glamorous ‘Syd’s’ restaurant was Perino's, the legendary Los Angeles restaurant, which stood at 4101 Wilshire Boulevard at Norton. The restaurant closed in 1986, since when it was used as a film location. It's now been converted into luxury apartments and, though the restaurant has gone, the restaurant's sign and striking canopy are preserved around the corner on Norton Avenue.
Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) dines at Perino’s in overheated (don’t dare say “camp’) biopic Mommie Dearest, and it’s where a down-on-his-luck Julian Kaye (Richard Gere) vainly appeals for help from his wealthy clients in American Gigolo.
In the present day scenes, the elaborate Gothicky bridge, where private dick Mike Church (Branagh again) gets beaten up by faker Doug (Campbell Scott), is Shakespeare Bridge, on Franklin Avenue between Myra Avenue and St George Street, in the Los Feliz district.
The jail is good old Lincoln Heights Jail, 421 North Avenue 19, Lincoln Heights. No longer used as a jail, the building is a frequent film location – seen in films as diverse as the 1954 A Star Is Born and A Nightmare On Elm Street.
The climax of the movie was written for the location. Grace’s striking, Italianate apartment complex is High Tower, High Tower Drive, off Camrose Drive west of Highland Avenue, North Hollywood, where the tower houses an outdoor elevator.