Where was Dangerous Minds filmed?
Santa Cruz, Burbank, Pasadena, San Mateo, Burlingame, Pacoima, Glendale, California
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About Dangerous Minds
Dangerous Minds is a drama released in 1995, based on an autobiography by retired U.S. Marine LouAnne Johnson, 'My Posse Don't Do Homework.' She took up an English teaching position at Carlmont High School, East Palo Alto, California, after the U.S. Marine Corps. Most of the students in her class belonged to economically backward African American and Latino students. They belonged to a poverty-stricken, poor, and racially segregated part of society.
Through her teaching methods, involvement in her students' lives, and her will to undo any damage society had wrought on these children, LouAnne Johnson changed their lives. She did this by systematically becoming interested in their futures and showing them a better way of life.
The film had mixed reviews post release, but became a significant hit with a huge box office collection globally. The reason for this change was that many parents, young middle school students, teenagers, and others related to the movie. The movie was so successful that a TV series by the same name was released the following year.
The story follows LouAnne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer), who applies and gets a teaching position in a high school. She starts work the next day and is surprised at the challenges she faces with an unruly bunch of kids who are disgusted by the education system. The kids make their loathing of English, her teachings, and her very apparent on her first day. They even call her 'White Bread' as a racial slur and her low position in the school. She realizes that she must toughen up and shows up in a leather jacket armed with karate lessons the next day. LouAnne abandons traditional teaching methods and launches into her unique teaching principles to motivate the kids.
What follows is a beautiful journey filled with heartache, teenage pregnancy, death, bullying, fighting, drug abuse, and more. In the end, LouAnne manages to make a difference in the lives of these students and helps them to a brighter future and a better life.
Dangerous Minds Locations
All the Dangerous Minds film scenes were shot on location and in studios in California. Most of the high school shots were divided among three schools, San Mateo High School, Washington Middle School, and Burlingame High School. The interior of the hallways, the English classroom, and all the lunch break scenes were filmed at Washington Middle School.
The film shoot for the school's exterior (for example, when Emilio and Angela fight over her ex-boyfriend) was done at Burlingame High School. San Mateo High School has been used for a mix of scenes from various parts, like the library scenes with multiple students.
The amusement park used in filming Dangerous Minds is the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California, and is open for tourists and visitors all year. Pasadena, Pacoima, Glendale, and Sherman Oaks have also been used extensively to depict scenes from the film.
The house that LouAnne lived in is undisclosed to protect the privacy of the homeowners.
Teaser: Fans of Dangerous Minds should stop at the school district and walk or catch a bus from one school to the other. Many localities along the way between schools have been used as extras for the filming. Perhaps you could spot one along the way?
Most audiences didn't know that Michelle Pfeiffer was pregnant during the filming of Dangerous Minds. Most of her clothes are baggy and loose around her torso to conceal the growing signs of her pregnancy.
LouAnne teaches English verbs scene in Dangerous Minds
Washington Middle School, 1505 N Marengo Avenue, Pasadena
LouAnne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer) is trying to teach her chaotic students their English verb forms and sentences. The assigned schoolbook is 'My Darling, My Hamburger,' but by breaking the school regulations, LouAnne focuses on 'we want to die' and 'we choose to die' as examples. When she uses the model from the schoolbook, none of the students pay her any attention, even going so far as to completely ignore her. Instead, she gets frustrated, writes, 'we want to die,' and asks her students if what she's written is true.
One of her students, Angela (Marisela Gonzalez), answers, "If we want to die? Sh*t no, we want you to die." LouAnne raises her eyebrows and asks nonchalantly, "Is that true?" Marisela answers, "Well, if it was between you and us? H*ll, yeah!" LouAnne says okay, cuts out the 'want' in the example, and writes 'choose.' After she's done, LouAnne again asks her students, "Is that true?"
This Dangerous Minds location is the Washington Middle School at 1505 N Marengo Avenue in Pasadena, California. The school has also been used as a shooting location for American Dreams. To see the site, fans can catch bus number 662 and hop off at the Washington/ Marengo stop. From this stop, the school is a 5-minute walk.
Emilio and LouAnne have a 'talk' scene in Dangerous Minds
Library at San Mateo High School, 506 N Delaware St, San Mateo
Emilio Ramirez (Wade Dominguez) gets into a fight and is under observation under the watchful eye of the school security in the library. LouAnne walks in, sits next to Emilio, and asks him, "You mind telling me what the fight was in the first place?"
Emilio looks at her, says, "Yeah," and doesn't continue. She again says, "I just want to know, was it worth it?" Emilio says, "Yeah. It was worth it because it felt good hitting him in the face," and slams his hand on the table. LouAnne asks him, "You like to hit people. Why? You feel angry all the time?" Emilio asks incredulously, "Why? You're gonna psychologize me? You're gonna try and figure me out? I'll help you. I come from a broken home and we're poor, okay?"
The conversation here is one of the best scenes in Dangerous Minds. Actor Wade Dominguez passed away in 1998, which makes this scene extremely emotional. The scene was shot at the San Mateo High School library in California. Catch bus number 292 and hop off at the N Delaware St and E Poplar Ave stop. From this stop, the school is within a 2-minute walking distance.
Angela and Emilio are arguing outside the school scene in Dangerous Minds
Burlingame High School, 1 Mangini Way, Burlingame
Emilio and Angela are having an argument outside their school. At the same time, LouAnne walks in on them. Angela yells at Emilio, "Wonderful! Is that what you think? Tell her what you're gonna do!" LouAnne asks, "What is it?" Angela tells her, "He's strapped!" Emilio swears at Angela and screams, "She doesn't need to know my business!"
Angela gets into Emilio's face and shouts, "Is your business dying? No!" She then turns to LouAnne and says, "There's this cr*ckhead named Shorty. He just came out of jail. He says I'm his girl, and Emilio took me from him, and now he wants to kill Emilio." LouAnne says, "Emilio if this boy is threatening you, we can go to the police." Emilio turns to LouAnne and yells, "This is nothing you can do about. This guy's looking for me, to kill me, and the only way for me to stop him is to kill him first."
This stunning Dangerous Minds filming location is the exterior of Burlingame High School in California. Reaching the school is quick if fans catch the 292 and get off at the California Drive and North Lane stop. From this stop, the school is within a 2-minute walking distance. All the exterior school shots of Carlmont High School in the movie are filmed at this location.
LouAnne meets Raul's family scene in Dangerous Minds
Samuel Goldwyn Studios, 7200 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood
Raul Sanchero (Renoly Santiago) gets sent home for being in a fight. When his parents find out he was in a fight, they get distraught. Teacher LouAnne Johnson accompanies Raul to meet his parents. Raul's father (Roman Cisneros), Mr. Sanchero, looks at LouAnne in despair and says, "We know why you're here, Ms. Johnson. I warned Raul to stay out of trouble." Mrs. Sanchero (Cynthia Avila) nods, adding, "He's the first in our family to maybe graduate high school." Mr. Sanchero interrupts his wife, "So, he's gonna get punished for what he's done. Don't you worry about that." LouAnne smiles and says, "But he didn't do anything wrong."
LouAnne explains to Raul's parents that he defended himself against an older bully. Raul didn't start the fight. The Sancheros still wonder why he was sent home. LouAnne explains its school policy to give the students time to cool down. LouAnne tells Raul's parents, "I just wanted to tell you both, personally, what a pleasure it's been having Raul in my class this semester. You must be very proud."
The filming location of Dangerous Minds scene with Raul's parents is the Samuel Goldwyn Studios at 7200 Santa Monica Boulevard in California. Bus number 4 will take you straight to the entrance of the studios.
LouAnne visits Callie and Irene scene in Dangerous Minds
Warner Hollywood Studio, Burbank
LouAnne goes to meet Callie Roberts (Bruklin Harris) at her mother, Irene Roberts' (Lorraine Toussaint) house. When Callie comes to greet her teacher, LouAnne says, "I'm sorry to just bust in on you like this, but I have some wonderful news I wanted to tell you personally. You do not have to go to Clearview. There is nothing in the rules that says you can't stay exactly where you are." Irene looks at Callie and tells LouAnne, "But, uh, she already enrolled in Clearview.
LouAnne replies, "Wee, that's alright, but she doesn't have to go there." Callie responds, "Yeah, but Kimboley wants me to take the mother-to-be programme at Clearview, you know. He thought it would be a good idea if I learned how to take care of the baby and stuff."
Since many fans like to visit Dangerous Minds locations, this filming site is a treat. You will get to see various sets and a filming or two of another movie. The place is the Warner Hollywood Studio in Burbank, California. To get to Warner Studios, hop onto bus number 222 and hop off at Hollywood Way/ Alameda. The studios are a 2- minute walk from the bus stop. Visitors can also book a tour.
Amusement Park scene in Dangerous Minds
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
LouAnne takes her English class students to the amusement park. While there, they ride the roller coaster and eventually settle down to have a good time. When on the roller coaster, Lou Anne, Angela, Emilio, and the other kids scream, yell, and have a great time.
Meanwhile, Raul is in a weird single circular ride that moves in 360-degrees. Raul's friend keeps egging the attendant, "Go faster, man! You can go faster! Faster, man! Faster!" Emilio and Angela share a car in bumper cars and get major whiplash from all the vehicles crashing into each other.
Finally, Raul is done with his ride and is left feeling completely boneless! He can barely stand, his head is woozy with all the twirling, and he can't look straight. Once the ride is stopped and the safety harness removed, Raul cannot even stand on his feet and falls to the ground trying to crawl to his friend. Meanwhile, his friend is roaring with laughter!
While there aren't too many funny scenes in Dangerous Minds, this one was memorable and brought a smile to audiences' faces. The filming location is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in California. To get to the amusement park, catch bus number 40, and hop off at the Santa Cruz Metro Center stop. From this stop, the park is a 10 – 12 minute walk.
Dangerous Minds was one of the few movies that resonated with audiences of all demographics. Considering the alarmingly high rate that kids dropped out of school in the 1990s, this movie hit home for many. Some of the issues that were portrayed in the film were teen pregnancy, suicide attempts, bullying, murder, turf wars, drug abuse, and addictions.
The cast and crew did a fabulous job, and the Dangerous Minds production team went above and beyond finding filming locations that fit the theme of the storyline. The various schools used to portray the high school, the car rides, amusement park, homes, library, and more were terrific additions to the diversity in filming locations.
Considering how well the movie was received, Dangerous Minds is regarded as one of the best movies in the genre of changing young people's lives. The background score was excellent, the acting superior, and the locations fantastic!