Midnight Run movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Midnight Run filmed?

1988

About Midnight Run

The first Midnight Run film scene (spoiler alert!) introduces Jack Walsh (De Niro), a bounty hunter, who has been hired by bail bondsman Eddie Mascone, to find accountant Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Grodin). Mardukas has stolen $15 million from mafioso Jimmy Serrano and then subsequently left town. Walsh’s job is to return Mardukas to Chicago within five days. Moscone tells Walsh that this trip is an easy “midnight run,” but Walsh insists on receiving $100,000 for his services.

Walsh is asked by FBI Agent Alonzo Mosely to stay away from Mardukas, an order Walsh ignores. He takes Mosely’s ID and then uses it to falsely identify himself as an FBI agent en route to find Mardukas. Serrano’s crew offers to give Walsh $1 million to surrender Mardukas to him, but he refuses.

Walsh finds Mardukas in New York City, takes him captive, and places a call to Moscone when at the airport. Unbeknownst to Walsh, Moscone’s phone line has been tapped by the FBI. Mardukas pretends to have an anxiety attack on the plane, and the two men are forced to take the remainder of their journey by train.

Walsh and Mardukas fail to meet their Los Angeles arrival time, causing Moscone to hire another bounty hunter named Dorfler to track them down. Dorfler finds them and tries to seize Mardukas, but Walsh eludes him. He attempts to purchase bus tickets only to discover that Dorfler had his card canceled.

Without access to any money, Walsh must get resourceful. He steals cars, borrows a vehicle from his ex-wife, and even hitchhikes. News of the fight on the train travels to Mosely who institutes a team to locate Walsh and Mardukas.

Walsh admits that 10 years previously he was tracking a drug dealer who was paying off most of the Chicago police force. Working undercover, he was near to making an arrest when heroin was planted in his house. Instead of going to jail or entering the employment of a drug dealer, Walsh resigned from his position and started working as a bounty hunter. His wife left him and married a lieutenant involved in corruption. Mardukas discovers the dealer was Serrano.

Upon arrival in Arizona, Dorfler takes possession of Mardukas. In an argument with Moscone, Walsh becomes aware that Dorfler’s surrender of Mardukas will yield a prize of $2 million. Dorfler mistakenly reveals to Serrano’s men where Mardukas is and is knocked out by them. They begin the pursuit of Mardukas on their own.

Walsh places a call to Serrano's crew and informs him he has disks from Mardukas with sufficient information to see Serrano put in jail. He says he will exchange them for Mardukas. Wearing a wire and under FBI surveillance, Walsh meets with Serrano. Dorfler sees Mardukas and steps into the exchange, causing the wire to disconnect. Serrano accepts the disks and is arrested. Mosely returns Mardukas to Walsh. Walsh decides to let Mardukas go.

City Locations

Arizona: Casa Grande, Pinal County; Flagstaff, Coconino County; Upper Salt River Canyon, Globe, Gila County; Sedona, Yavapai County/Coconino County; Illinois: Chicago, Cook County; Nevada: Lake Mead, Boulder City, Clark County; McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Clark County

Location Types

Buildings/Offices, Police/Jails, Modern, NatureScapes

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Bus, Classic Car, Dated/50's-60's-70's Building, Plane/Helicopter Style

Midnight Run Locations

Filmed in 1988, Midnight Run is a much-beloved comedy with an all-star cast that includes the famed Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. Nominated both for Best Motion Picture and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the 46th Golden Globe Awards, Midnight Run was a highly successful film commercially and critically.

The filming locations for Midnight Run are primarily found in several different states including Nevada, Illinois, and Arizona. The trek across the United States in quest of Mardukas yielded many unique and interesting Midnight Run film sets including Casa Grande, Upper Salt River Canyon, and the McCarran International Airport in Vegas.

Are you one of Midnight Run’s biggest fans? Why not make a trip to visit the filming locations for Midnight Run? You’re sure to have an amazing time!

Fun Fact:

Both Bruce Willis and Albert Brooks were considered to play the role of Jonathan Mardukas.

Walsh meets Mosely and his crew scene in Midnight Run

The FBI/Metropolitan Courthouse, 1945 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles

This Midnight Run location opens on Walsh skipping down the precinct steps and meeting Mosely and his men. His henchmen manhandle Walsh into the back of his car. Mosely asks him if he is involved in anything to do with Mardukas which Walsh denies.

Mosely tells him he doesn’t believe him, and that he has been tracking Serrano for some time and doesn’t want Walsh interfering with his case. When asked if he understands what he has been asked to do, Walsh replies in one of the funniest scenes in Midnight Run, “Can I ask you something? These sunglasses, they’re really nice. Are they government issued, or do you all you guys go to like the same store to get ‘em?”

To visit this Midnight Run production location, travel southwest on S Hill St to W 5th St. You will pass by a McDonald’s on the right-hand side. The destination is just past this on the right.

Mardukas has an anxiety attack on the plane scene in Midnight Run

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, 5757 Wayne Newton Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada

This Midnight Run scene starts with Walsh and Mardukas on a plane. The men are asked by the airline hostess if she can take their coats, and both men decline her offer. Seated in first class, both men are offered a drink, and Walsh orders expensive champagne.

He carries on a one-sided conversation with Mardukas who is deep in thought. Mardukas tells Walsh he is uncomfortable flying, and Walsh tells him he has no choice. A very anxious Mardukas starts chewing his nails and then starts to hyperventilate. He succumbs to an anxiety attack saying, “I can’t do it, I can’t do it. These things go down, these things go down. It’s too big. It can’t go up!”

The pilot tries to help settle Mardukas, but Walsh is informed that the two men must leave the airplane. As they exit the airport Mardukas has a wide grin on his face. The following conversation ensues.

Walsh: What are you smiling about?

Mardukas: I love to travel by train.

Walsh: Oh, yeah? What do you think this is—a class trip?

One of the best scenes in Midnight Run, you can visit the location for this set by taking any of the shuttle buses from Las Vegas’ downtown core offering service to the airport.

Mardukas and Walsh travel by train scene in Midnight Run

Grand Central Station, New York City, New York

Walsh enjoys a meal while Mardukas looks on morosely. He is disgusted by the food Walsh has ordered and initiates this conversation with him.

Mardukas: Familiar with the word arteriosclerosis? Cholesterol? If you want, I’ll outline a complete balanced diet for you.

Walsh: You can mail it to me from C-block.

To reach this Midnight Run film set, start your journey on FDR, taking exit 9 for E 42nd Street. You will easily find Grand Central Station on the right-hand side of the street.

Dorfler captures Walsh and Mardukas scene in Midnight Run

Salt River Canyon Bridge, San Carlos Reservation, San Carlos, Arizona

Captured by Dorfler, Walsh and Mardukas sit in the front seat of Dorfler’s car on their way back to Chicago to meet Moscone. A helicopter starts firing shots at the car, the men duck in the car while trying to outrun their airborne assailants.

Mardukas yells to Dorfler and Walsh, “You guys are the dumbest bounty hunters I’ve ever seen! You couldn’t even deliver a bottle of milk!!”

This Midnight Run filming location is found along I-60 traveling to the west of Globe. The crash that occurs near the end of this scene was shot on the Salt River Canyon Bridge.

Walsh discovers Mardukas is a pilot scene in Midnight Run

Cameron Trading Post, 466 US-89, Cameron, Arizona

Mardukas and Walsh arrive in a dusty border town in need of transportation. They ask the men sitting on the porch out front of the store if they know where they can find a phone. The men say no and laugh. Mardukas enters the store in search of a bathroom. Suddenly, Walsh notices a plane starting up and circling a path on the ground. It takes a few moments before he discovers that the plane’s pilot is none other than Mardukas. This conversation follows.

Walsh: Fear of flying, you son of a b*tch! Get over here! {He chases after the plane.} Get back here, you son of a b*tch! Get over here! Stop!!!

Walsh tries to grab onto the plane’s wing, but Mardukas makes a sharp turn, cutting off his path.

Walsh: Fear of flying, my *ss! Get out of that plane!

He climbs aboard the plane and looms over Mardukas who is sitting in the pilot’s seat.

Walsh: You’re a g*dd*man pilot, you son of a b*tch?

Mardukas: I didn’t feel it was appropriate to share that with you, Jack.

In a relatively remote area, you will find this former Midnight Run production location by traveling southeast from the city of Cameron. Make a right-hand turn onto an unnamed road after 302 feet. Your destination can be found on the right-hand side at 466 US-89.

Walsh lets Mardukas go free at the airport scene in Midnight Run

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, 5757 Wayne Newton Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada

Walsh phones Moscone to inform him that he has Mardukas in his custody. Moscone is very excited, and Walsh asks if he would like to speak to him. Mardukas picks up the phone and says, “Hello.”

Moscone: Hello, you son of a b*tch! We got you, you son of a b*tch!

Walsh grabs the phone and the conversation continues between him and Moscone.

Walsh: Now say goodbye, you lying little piece of sh*t cause I’m letting him go.

Walsh hangs up on Moscone and turns to Mardukas. He takes off his handcuffs and sets Mardukas free. Mardukas tells him he doesn’t know what to say to which Walsh responds, “Don’t say anything. Knowing you, you’ll make me want to put those back on you again.”

He hands Mardukas his watch as a memento of their adventures. Mardukas stops him, calling him back and giving him some money that he had strapped to his body in case he needed to flee. He tells Walsh, “It’s not a payoff. It’s a gift. You already let me go.” He opens the pouch to find approximately $3000 in it. The two men part ways.

The site of this poignant scene takes you back to the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, a location easily accessed by a variety of shuttle buses throughout Sin City.

Conclusion

Midnight Run is a comedy classic with fans extolling its virtues all across the globe. The film was primarily shot in three different states: Illinois, Nevada, and New York with one additional scene taken in New Zealand. If it’s among your goals to visit Midnight Run locations, you’ll find our comprehensive guide to be indispensable!