Johnny Belinda movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Johnny Belinda filmed?

1948

About Johnny Belinda

Based on the same-titled ‘40s Broadway stage hit, Johnny Belinda is a psychological drama film directed by Jean Negulesco and produced by Jerry Wald. Writers Irma von Cube and Allen Vincent adapted Elmer Blaney Harris’s play for the screen. Harris based the story on an incident experienced near his Fortune Bridge summer residence.

Lydia Dingwell inspired the title character, and the premise revolves around the consequences tied to spreading unfounded rumors alongside the horrors of rape. The Motion Picture Production Code initially prohibited the latter theme. Off the bat, the production set the pace as the first Hollywood film to get the restriction lifted.

The story follows Belinda MacDonald (Jane Wyman), who is a deaf-mute resident of Cape Breton Island. Doctor Robert Richardson (Lew Ayres), who recently moved into town, befriends her. He quickly realizes that while she can’t speak or hear, Belinda is a highly intelligent woman.

Belinda lives with Black MacDonald (Charles Bickford), her father, and aunt Aggie (Agnes Moorehead). They make ends meet by rearing sheep and cattle alongside grinding wheat at their small mill. Belinda is the type of woman who dresses in plain clothes at work, never goes into town, and attended church only once.

Sadly, her dad and aunt aren’t too kind to her given that Belinda’s mother passed away during childbirth. Dr. Richardson is the first person to truly show her compassion, starting by teaching her sign language. She also learns to read, and with time, his affection for her deepens.

Dr. Richardson buys Belinda a pretty dress and encourages her dad to start taking her to church. On the other hand, Stella (Jan Sterling), who is Dr. Richardson’s secretary, carries a torch for the physician. She does her best to get his attention to no avail because the doctor is enamored by Belinda.

City Locations

Pacific Peninsula, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Pebble Beach

Location Types

Beach/Oceanview, Religious, Studios

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America

Johnny Belinda Locations

Johnny Belinda captivated audiences upon its release in 1948 and several decades later, it remains a respected classic. Inspired by real-life events made the movie even more moving.

At the time, it was the second movie to have garnered all six top Oscar nominations. That includes the Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film, and Best Director.

The story is set in Nova Scotia, Canada but in reality, filming took place in California. The slate went down on Johnny Belinda on September 3rd, 1947, and filming wrapped up on the 20th of November.

The Golden State provided all the Johnny Belinda filming locations, from Pacific Grove to the Warner Bros. Studios. Negulesco didn’t have an easy time working on the psychological drama. Jack L. Warner, a Warner Bros. studio head, re-edited the movie against the director’s wishes.

Worse still, the re-edit included footage filmed by a different director. Negulesco promptly severed his ties with the studio after working on the film. These are just some of the tidbits about the iconic picture, and here are more details about the best scenes in Johnny Belinda.

Fun facts:

For her role as Belinda, Wyman set the record as the first entertainer since Hollywood’s silent era to bag an Oscar without saying a single word. Her acceptance speech also set a record as the shortest.

Locky rapes Belinda scene in Johnny Belinda

Pacific Grove, CA

Much like a jilted lover, Stella starts resenting the pair. When a group of the family’s customers stops by the farm for their orders of ground grain and flour, Laughlin “Locky” McCormick (Stephen McNally) sets his eyes on Belinda.

He is dating Stella at the time and noticing that he has taken a liking to Belinda, she warns him to keep away from the ”dummy.” At a dance, Locky gets drunk and goes to the MacDonald farm where Belinda is alone.

He physically assaults her, and she soon finds out that she is pregnant. Another doctor, who Belinda visits with Dr. Richardson for audiology testing, is the one who delivers the news about her pregnancy.

The Pacific Grove served as one of the Johnny Belinda filming locations. A coastal city in Monterey County, the Pacific Grove community has a population of 15,401 as per the 2010 United States Census.

Besides the psychological drama, the city has hosted production crews working on “A Summer Place,” “Big Little Lies,” and “Turner & Hooch.” The Line 2 bus will get you to Pacific Grove.

Dr. Richardson offers to marry Belinda scene in Johnny Belinda

17-Mile Drive, Monterey Peninsula, Monterey, CA

Belinda has a home birth and welcomes a healthy bouncing baby boy. She names him Johnny, and sadly, the folks around town start shunning the MacDonalds. Dr. Richardson, who is believed to be the father, also receives the cold shoulder.

He offers to marry Belinda to quell the rumors explaining, “they're saying in the village that I'm Johnny's father. It's believable. When they don't know the answer, they make up one.”

However, Black isn’t too keen on the idea with the opinion that Dr. Richardson isn’t in love with his daughter but rather, he merely pities her.

With the locals boycotting his practice, the doctor has no option but to leave town for a small community in Toronto. As he starts up a position at a hospital, he writes to Belinda promising to return for her and Johnny.

Some of the Johnny Belinda scenes film shoots were at 17-Mile Drive, Monterey Peninsula. The scenic road passes through the Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach which also appeared in the movie. Other attractions along the route include Cypress Point, Point Joe, and Bird Rock.

Worth noting is that to access the Pebble Beach community, non-residents have to part with toll fees. The line 24 bus can get you to the 17-Mile Drive.

Locky kills Black scene in Johnny Belinda

Fort Bragg, California

Under the guise of buying ground barley, Locky goes to the MacDonald farm aiming at getting a look at the baby. Black orders him to leave and Locky blurts out that Johnny is the spitting image of his dad.

Belinda’s dad realizes that Locky is the child’s father and threatens to expose him. Having followed him to a seaside cliff, the confrontation devolves into a fight. Black tells him, “What you done. So, they’ll know how low a man can get.”

Locky gets the upper hand, and he throws Black off the cliff to his death. Town chatter dismisses it as an accident, and no one suspects Locky had anything to do with it.

Fort Bragg is listed as one of the Johnny Belinda locations. Located along the Pacific Coast of California, the City of Fort Bragg stretches along Mendocino County’s Shoreline Highway. Some of the notable points of interest around town include the California Western Railroad a.k.a Skunk Train and the Glass Beach.

Fort Bragg has welcomed several filming crews through the years including the 1966 comedy “The Majestic,” “Racing with the Moon,” and “The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!”

The townsfolk decide Belinda is an unfit mother scene in Johnny Belinda

Mendocino Presbyterian Church, 44831 Main St, Mendocino, CA

Locyk marries Stella and life goes on. In Black’s absence, Belinda and her aunt have a difficult time running the farm. The bills keep mounting making it difficult for them to stay afloat. Farmers also boycott their flour mill further leaving their finances in a dire situation as Aggie describes, “it; hard to be born and it’s hard to die.”

The townsfolk meet and conclude that Belinda isn’t a fit mother. Worse still, they award her son to Stella and Locky. When they drop by the farm to take the boy, Belinda lets

Stella knows that she is more competent and smarter than what they believe. She also maintains that no one will take her son away from her.

At 44831 Main Street, you’ll find the Mendocino Presbyterian Church which served as a Johnny Belinda film set.

Belinda shoots Locky scene in Johnny Belinda

Pebble Beach, CA

Stella bows out and tells Locky that the child’s mother should keep him. However, Locky isn’t hearing it and he demands for the boy. In the heat of the moment, he finally admits to his wife that Johnny is his son.

He forcefully goes for the boy and things turn physical with Belinda. Dr. Richardson’s words are resounding in that scene, “there’s only one shame –failing a human being that needs you.”

Belinda does what she can to fight for her son. Before he gets the chance to get to the upstairs door, Belinda shoots and kills him with a shotgun.

Pebble Beach in California provided another backdrop for some Johnny Belinda scenes. The unincorporated Monterey community houses single-family homes. It’s also a popular resort destination, with several golf courses including the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Every year since 1950, the community has hosted the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance auto show.

Stella saves Belinda from execution scene in Johnny Belinda

Warner Brothers Burbank Studios, 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA

Belinda is arrested and stands on trial for Locky’s murder. Dr. Richardson testifies on her at the trial explaining that protecting her family and property drove her to take someone else’s life. “Your Lordship, I insist this girl obeyed an impulse older than the laws of man: the instinct of a mother to protect her child.”

The court waters down his testimony to a lover defending his paramour. It doesn’t look good for her because she faces execution. Stella is moved into confessing that her husband admitted to having raped Belinda before his death. It earns Belinda her freedom, and alongside Aggie, Johnny, and Dr. Richardson, she leaves.

The Warner Brothers Burbank Studios housed several Johnny Belinda sets during the production process. In particular, the production team made use of Stage 19, Stage 24, and Stage 20.

Going on a Warner Bros. Studio tour should feature on every film enthusiast’s bucket list. Hop onto the Pink, 501, or 222 bus to get to the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.

Conclusion

Described by Variety’s William Brogdon as a “somber, tender, moving” production, visiting the Johnny Belinda locations pays homage to the great film. The movie received a remake in 1967 as a TV movie starring Mia Farrow and David Carradine as Belinda and Locky respectively.

In 1982, another TV remake went on air with Rosanna Arquette taking the lead as Belinda and Richard Thomas portraying the VISTA worker. NBC aired live versions of the film as part of the 1958 “Hallmark Hall of Fame” series.

The American Film Institute included Johnny Belinda in their 2005 list of movies that earned nominations for the AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores. Although it garnered 12 nominations, the