Alpha Dog movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Alpha Dog filmed?


City Locations

Palm Springs (USA), Los Angeles (USA), Glendale (USA), Santa Clarita (USA), Burbank (USA), Harbor City (USA), Universal City (USA)

Location Types

House, American, Clubs/Bars, Hotels/Motels, Film Studios

Location Styles

Desert, Parking Lot, Modern Car

About Alpha Dog

Alpha Dog is Nick Cassavetes’ 2006 crime drama, and The Notebook director also wrote the riveting story. The premise derives inspiration from the real-life events of the abduction and murder of Nicholas Markowitz six years earlier. The film stars Ben Foster, Shawn Hatosy, Christopher Marquette, Emile Hirsch, Sharon Stone, Anton Yelchin, Justin Timberlake, and Bruce Willis.

Premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Alpha Dog performed decently at the box office, raking in $32.1 million against a production budget of $9.5 million. Ronald J. Zonen, the Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney, was passionate about ensuring that Alpha Dog portrayed a truthful representation of his case and willingly provided documents to producers free of charge, in addition to serving as an advisor for the movie.

Following Jesse James Hollywood’s apprehension in Saquarema, Brazil, and his return to the US, his lawyer accused Zonen of having a conflict of interest. The California Court of Appeal for the Second District ruled that Zonen should not get involved in prosecuting Hollywood, given that he shared files and worked on the movie. However, this ruling was then overturned by the California Supreme Court. Joshua Lynn replaced Zonen as the lead prosecution attorney.

Lawyers representing Hollywood tried to prevent the release of the film. Once the delay was over, the trial began on May 15, 2009, with Blatt's legal team claiming that Hollywood had no involvement in the killing. In his opening statement, Lynn labeled Hollywood as a "ruthless coward” On 8 July 2009, Hollywood was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Alpha Dog Locations

Ultimately a bleak and disturbing portrayal of real-life events related to the escalating violence between drug-dealing youths; the story is set in the affluent suburbs of Los Angeles. The Alpha Dog production team set up film sets in numerous locations throughout California, most notably the San Fernando Valley.

In turn, several posh neighborhoods and establishments around Palm Springs, North Hollywood, Encino, Santa Clarita, and Burbank feature in the film. The production team also made use of the Santa Clarita Studios at 25135 Anza Drive, Los Angeles Center Studios at 450 s. Bixel Street, and the Saddle Ranch Chop House at 1000 Universal Studios Blvd.

Visiting the Alpha Dogs filming locations would be an immensely fulfilling experience, with beautiful scenery and plenty of activities to explore.

Party at the hotel scene in Alpha Dog

Caliente Tropics Resort, 411 East Palm Canyon Drive

Zack Mazursky (Anton Yelchin), Julie Beckley (Amanda Seyfried), and Alma (Amber Heard) enter the Palm Springs hotel, which is beautiful at first glance with bright shades and lush vegetation. The trio gets engulfed in a luxurious and laid-back atmosphere complete with an eye-catching pool surrounded by cozy loungers.

Zack, heeding the invitation of his two new friends, undresses and plunges into the pool. They swim in the inviting water, savoring its warmth as well as each other's company. Before long, things take an unexpected turn when Julie and Alma suggest joining Zack for a threesome that ultimately transforms into an evening of delight.

Zack's journey to the ultimate getaway, Caliente Tropics Resort in Palm Springs, would be one he never forgot! It's one of the best extant examples of Tiki and Polynesian-style hotels that were very popular during the ‘60s.

Located in scenic Palm Springs, if driving, it is situated right off of exit 134 on Interstate 10. For those making their way from the Palm Springs International Airport, there are several public transportation options available from there, including Yellow Cab Coop and Anza Grey Line.

Digging a grave scene in Alpha Dog

10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, CA 91390, United States

The sun is setting, casting a mysterious orange hue across the desert terrain. Elvis Schmidt (Shawn Hatosy) and Keith Stratten (Chris Marquette) start digging a deep grave in the arid ground of the nearby mountains. Dust flies around them as their shovels dig into the solid soil. They work rapidly, trying to finish before nightfall.

The stillness of the desert evening is disrupted by the noise of their shovels clacking against the stones and dirt as they excavate what would be the last resting place for Frankie “Nuts” Ballenbacker’s (Justin Timberlake) prey. In no time, they have finished digging the grave, leaving behind a dirt-covered indication that death found its way to the landscape.

With solemn understanding, Elvis turns to Zack and says farewell before quietly leading Keith away from this forsaken spot in the wilderness. The two figures blur gradually into nothingness in the obscurity of darkness.

The Vasquez Rocks Park provided the desert landscape for the Alpha Dog scene. From its captivating beauty to breathtaking rock formations, the park is recognized for its scenic splendor and mesmerizing charm! Towering sandstone boulders form an impressive network of jagged shapes.

The park also features a variety of trails through the breathtaking canyonlands, offering visitors views of the lush vegetation and local wildlife sightings. Additionally, the park is also a famous location for rock climbing and rappelling activities. A visit to Vasquez Rocks is sure to leave an unforgettable impression on any explorer looking for an adventure off the beaten path.

Situated in the magnificent Sierra Pelona Mountains of Los Angeles County, there are various routes to reach this picturesque park. Driving is the most direct option, with the official park website offering a navigation map. The LADOT's Commuter Express buses, Metro Rail, and Metro Buses services also connect visitors to the park from many different communities within Los Angeles County.

Johny fleeing scene in Alpha Dog

6700 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, CA 91201, United States

Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) had been fleeing the law for days, hoping to make his way to a hideaway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With only a few meager belongings, he leaves Los Angeles and sets off on his journey. The drive is long and tiresome, with Johnny's fear of being caught never far from his mind.

He drives through the night with hardly any rest or sustenance, guiding himself only by the occasional streetlight and glittering stars above. Whenever he has to stop for gas, he quickly hastens to continue towards his destination until eventually, Albuquerque's lights begin to appear in sight.

After reaching the city limits in the wee hours of the morning, Johnny finally lets out a deep breath of relief. He quickly spots an old motel on the outskirts of town and decides it is a safe enough place to get some much-needed rest without raising any red flags. After checking into his room, he unpacks and lays down for what seems like the best sleep he has had in days.

The Glen Capri Motel, where Johnny found refuge with his girlfriend (Olivia Wilde), is not just featured in The Girl Next Door or The Good Girl but is known for its selections of accommodation options ranging from standard rooms to luxurious suites for travelers who desire something more extravagant.

From downtown Los Angeles, the motel is about 16 minutes away. Navigate your way via I-5 N, get on CA-110 N, and follow it to Flower St in Glendale. After the 145A exit, from the Golden State Fwy/ I-5 N, take Western Ave. That should get you to San Fernando Rd and your destination should be 2 minutes away.

Circus liquor scene in Alpha Dog

5600 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601, United States

As Johnny stops by Circus Liquor, previously seen in Clueless, he drops a duffle bag containing a stash of dope into the boot of his car. The atmosphere outside Circus Liquor that night is full of life. Neon signs cast their inviting glow as laughter and music fill the air.

As soon as Johnny's car pulls up to the curb, people begin to take notice of it, including two figures lurking around a van parked nearby. One of them steps forward and chucks the incriminating bag from Johnny's trunk before scurrying off into the night. After making sure no one has noticed anything suspicious, Johnny drives away quickly into the darkness.

With over 50 years in the business, Circus Liquor is a beloved destination for many Californians. Known for its vast selection of craft beers, hard liquors, and decent-priced wines, customers find the perfect beverage at this establishment.

Located in Los Angeles, California, take the 605 Freeway north for about 10 miles and then exit on San Gabriel Blvd. Travel 0.5 miles east and you will reach your destination.

Frankie getting beer scene in Alpha Dog

21434 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303, United States

Frankie pulls up at the West End Liquor Store in his Ford Falcon, accompanied by Zack. After shutting the engine, he steps out of the car and onto the hot pavement of the parking lot. His Ray-Ban aviators shine in the afternoon sun as he smooths out the collar of his vintage button-down shirt and opens the heavy glass door of the liquor store.

Inside the cool and dimly lit West End Liquor store is a wide selection of beverages from all corners of the globe. Frankie meanders to a refrigerated shelving unit, filled with Sierra Nevada Brewery craft beers from California. He quickly chooses two six packs, a chocolate stout and pale ale, before heading to the checkout counter at the back of the shop.

West End Liquor is a one-stop shop for all of your cocktail needs. With an extensive selection of top-shelf spirits, you can stock any bar with alcoholic excellence. West End Liquor is also an ideal location to host tasting events, with its wide range of hard-to-find craft brews and traditional beers drawing in plenty of regulars.

Navigate your way to I-80 and take exit 46 to get to West End Liquor. Parking is ample and free of charge, so you can take your time browsing their massive selection and finding the perfect bottle for any occasion.

Johnny calling his lawyer scene in Alpha Dog

16200 Nordhoff St, North Hills, CA 91343, United States

Panicked, Johnny stands outside the Norwood Inn, his heart pounding and his breathing shallow. He knows there is a way to turn the mess around, but he isn't sure how. Taking a deep breath, he pulls out his cell phone and dials his lawyer's number with trembling fingers.

When his lawyer answers, Johnny begins to speak quickly in a desperate voice. He tells him everything that has happened in the hotel room, how Sonny (Bruce Willis) has threatened him and the other guys with a gun and they all took off running. He recounts how they'd spent the rest of the day driving around aimlessly, getting drunk and high while trying to figure out what to do next.

Johnny's lawyer listens patiently as Johnny explains that they were stuck at the motel in Norwood and needed an escape plan. His lawyer says he could get them out of there if Johnny stayed put for a few hours until things cooled off. But it was up to Johnny to find a way out of the motel once it was safe enough for them to leave.

Navigating your way to the Norwood Inn starts on the 405 Freeway until you reach Nordhoff Street, and then drive East. Norwood Inn is located right off Nordhoff street, at 16200 Nordhoff Street, North Hills, CA 91343.


The story revolves around three fateful days for an older group of teenagers in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. In the evenings, they emulate black “gangsta” rappers and immerse themselves in a world of girls, guns, and drug references featured in their music videos.

As the leader, Johnny runs the local pot-dealing business while Elvis and his clueless friend, Frankie, remain loyal to him. Alpha Dog casts an unflinching eye on the pagan, hedonistic, and immoral behavior of too many American teenagers.

Unfortunately, it sometimes appears to glorify the profane party lifestyle of its characters. What's more, their outrageous actions are often humorous. It largely withholds judgment and leaves it for the audience to decide. Thankfully, all villainous characters receive their comeuppance; excluding Zach’s reckless brother.