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Saturday May 18th 2024

Scent Of A Woman | 1992

Scent of a Woman filming location: Waldorf Astoria, Park Avenue, Manhattan
Scent Of A Woman location: Charlie and Lt Col Slade stay in a luxury hotel: Waldorf Astoria, Park Avenue, Manhattan

College kid Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) accompanies fearsomely blind, suicidal ex-soldier Lt Col Frank Slade (Al Pacino) for a last fling in New York.

And it’s nothing but the best. They stay at the the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue between East 49th and East 50th Streets, midtown. The original Waldorf-Astoria was built in 1893 by the Astor family on the site now occupied by the Empire State Building (the town of Walldorf in Germany was the ancestral home of the Astors). The hotel on the current Park Avenue site opened in1931 as the tallest and largest hotel in the world. A private railway track beneath the hotel (known as Track 61) gives direct – and discreet – access to Grand Central Terminal.

The 1945 movie Week-End At The Waldorf, with Ginger Rogers and Lana Turner was set – and partly filmed- at the hotel. It’s since been featured in Woody Allen’s Hannah And Her Sisters, Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums, Analyze This, Coming To America, and briefly in Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing.

Scent Of A Woman location: Plaza Hotel, New York
Scent Of A Woman location: dining in style in the Oak Room: Plaza Hotel, New York

Frank and Charlie dine out in style in the the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street. This classy wood-panelled restaurant is where Arthur Bach (Moore) drank with hooker Gloria in the original 1981 Arthur. Sadly, its fortunes declined and the Oak Room closed in 2011. The Plaza itself is a screen regular – it was from the hotel’s lobby that Cary Grant is abducted in North By Northwest.

Slade visits a high-class escort at 817 Fifth Avenue at 63rd Street, and dances a mean tango in the ballroom of the grand old European-style Pierre Hotel, 2 East 61st Street at Fifth Avenue on the East Side. The luxury penthouse atop the Pierre was home to both William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) in Meet Joe Black, and Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) in the 2011 remake of Arthur.

Visual impairment doesn’t stop Slade driving a Ferrari at speed along the East River front of Brooklyn, along Plymouth Street between Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Simms’ snooty ‘Baird School’ is the Emma Willard School, 285 Pawlings Avenue, in Troy (the upstate NY town which stood in for turn-of-the-century ‘Manhattan’ in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence), though the final scene uses Hempstead House, one of the four mansions (another was used as the estate where the movie producer gets a horse’s head in his bed in The Godfather) on Sands Point Preserve, 95 Middleneck Road, Port Washington on Long Island.