Where was Pearl Harbor filmed?
San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; Honolulu, Hawaii
Hospital, ships, airplanes, military barracks, city
Hospital, ships, airplanes, military barracks, city, ocean, sky
About Pearl Harbor
The opening Pearl Harbor film shoot (spoiler alert!) shows two close friends, Rafe McCawley, played by Ben Affleck, and Danny Walker, played by Josh Hartnett, inside an aged biplane. The year is 1923.
The next Pearl Harbor production scene opens in January 1941. World War II is well underway, and Danny and Rafe are now first lieutenants serving under Major Doolittle, who is played by Alec Baldwin. The Major tells Rafe he will be moving to the Eagle Squad. During a medical exam, Nurse Evelyn Johnson (Beckinsale) notes that Rafe is dyslexic but still gives him a passing score. The two begin a relationship. A month later, Rafe and Evelyn are in love and out enjoying a night of dancing. Rafe informs Evelyn he will be leaving the following day to begin work for the RAF’s Eagle Squadron. While working for the RAF, Rafe is shot down and presumed dead. Danny grieves the loss of this friend and finds comfort in Evelyn. The two begin a romance.
On December 6th, Evelyn finds Rafe standing on her doorstep and is shocked to discover that he has spent the last few months in a Nazi territory in France. He finds out that Danny and Evelyn are in a relationship and heads to the local Hula bar. Danny meets an inebriated Rafe there. He intends to make amends, but instead, the two end up in a fight. The two leave the scene before the police arrive.
December 7th dawns on the attack at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Navy. Taken by surprise, the US fleet suffers great damage. Danny and Rafe take to the skies in fighter planes and shoot down several of the Japanese attackers. They help rescue the crew of the USS Oklahoma but arrive too late to assist the USS Arizona’s crew members.
On a subsequent day, President Roosevelt shares his Infamy Speech. He asks US Congress to declare war on Japan. Rafe and Danny are both ordered to participate in a top-secret mission. Prior to their leaving, Evelyn informs Rafe that she feels compelled to stay with Danny for the sake of their unborn baby.
Danny and Rafe arrive in California where they are promoted and then enlist in Doolittle’s secret mission. The two men train in B25 bombers. Their first assignment begins is to head to Japan on the U.S.S. Hornet. They have been assigned to bomb Tokyo and then enter China. Though the mission succeeds, Danny’s plane goes down in combat, and he is badly wounded. Rafe tells Danny that Evelyn is expecting his child, and Danny, on the verge of death, tells Rafe that the baby is now his.
Following the war, Rafe and Evelyn marry. They visit Danny’s grave with their son who they have named Danny. Rafe and his stepson Danny go flying in an old plane that Rafe and Danny played in when they were children.
Pearl Harbor Locations
A romantic drama filmed in 2001, Pearl Harbor is a classic war movie starring Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, and Cuba Gooding Jr. The movie centers on a largely fictional account on the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7th, 1941. The primary focus of the film is the love story that weaves its way throughout the historical events.
Pearl Harbor was a success at the box office but was not well received critically. Many critics disliked the storyline and felt the movie was too long. Nevertheless, Pearl Harbor received four Academy Award nominations though it won only one: Best Sound Editing.
Though the vast majority of the Pearl Harbor locations are found in Los Angeles or San Francisco, some of the footage was also shot in Oahu and other parts of Hawaii.
Consider yourself to be one of Pearl Harbor’s top fans? Why not plan a trip to visit the filming locations for Pearl Harbor? It’s sure to be the trip of a lifetime!
Pearl Harbor was nominated for six Golden Raspberry Awards.
Rafe and Evelyn meet at the hospital scene in Pearl Harbor
Linda Vista Hospital, 610 S. St. Louis, Los Angeles, California
This Pearl Harbor location is the site where Rafe and Evelyn first meet. Selected for special duty on the RAF’s Eagle Squadron, Rafe must undergo a full medical examination in order to qualify for service. He goes to the hospital where he is examined by Evelyn, a nurse. She notes that he is unable to pass his eye test, and he grudgingly admits to her that it is not his vision that is the problem: he is dyslexic. He tells her:
“Ma’am, I know I’m never going to be an English teacher. But I know why I’m here. To be a pilot, and you don’t dogfight with manuals; you don’t fly with gauges. It’s all about feeling and speed and letting that plane become a part of your body. That manual says the guy that’s a slow reader can’t be a good pilot; that file says I’m the best pilot in this room.”
In one of the best scenes in Pearl Harbor, Evelyn retells the story to her friends, telling them she felt badly, but she really had no choice. She reveals with a smile that she passed him.
To visit this Pearl Harbor location, follow US-101 S, taking exit 1A to 7th Street. Make a left hand turn onto E 7th Street, turning left at S Boyle Avenue. Mae a right onto South St Louis Street, and you will find the hospital directly to the right.
Rafe and Evelyn fall in love scene in Pearl Harbor
Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Honolulu, Hawaii
A bandaged-up Rafe waits for Evelyn as she exits the hospital, he carries a bottle of “French” champagne and asks her to celebrate with him. She asks what they are celebrating, and he responds, “For being my hero.”
In one of several funny scenes in Pearl Harbor, Rafe uncorks the champagne and is hit in the nose with the cork. He laughingly says the cork got away from him before admitting that he is actually in pain. He lays down in Evelyn’s lap, and they look into each other’s eyes as she applies ice to his nose. He tells her, “You are so beautiful.” Evelyn responds, “It’s your nose that hurts.” Rafe looks into her eyes and tells her, “I think it’s my heart,” and the two kiss.
This scene takes place on within a region known as the Palm Circle Historic District of Fort Shafter in Honolulu. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you can reach Palm Circle by bus, taking lines 3, 301, or 43.
Rafe and Evelyn discuss the future outside the Queen Mary scene in Pearl Harbor
Long Beach, California
After an evening of dancing at a local club, Rafe and Evelyn commandeer a small police boat and sail out to the Queen Mary. Evelyn shares her dreams with Rafe, telling him that some day when the war is over that they will dance to Cole Porter on a boat just like that. Rafe helps Evelyn onto a small platform and uses a hand crank to help reach the boat’s deck. In a poignant moment, the two share this conversation:
Evelyn: What’s going to become of us all, Rafe?
Rafe: Well, the future’s not exactly in our hands, is it?
Evelyn: No, I guess you’re right.
Suddenly, the hand crank seizes, and the platform begins to rapidly plummet back towards the water. It stops but leaves the two safe yet on unsteady footing.
To access the beautiful Long Beach, the site of this Pearl Harbor film set, head out on I-710 S toward Long Beach, taking exit 1C that leads towards downtown. Continue along W Shoreline Drive, exiting at the 6th street ramp. Follow along onto W 6th Street, making a right onto Pacific Avenue. Just a short distance up this road, you will find the parking lot and entrance to this beach.
Rafe tells Evelyn he is leaving for England scene in Pearl Harbor
Title Insurance Company Building, 433 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California
After a romantic evening on the town, Rafe is faced with the difficult decision of telling Evelyn that he is leaving in the morning for England. She tells him that she passed his test and that he should not be forced to enlist. He informs her that he volunteered, news that she takes very hard. In a heartwrenching scene, Rafe utters the words, “I will come back.”
The two kiss, and Evelyn enters the revolving doors. As she exits the other side, she looks back to see Rafe standing there, holding up his hand towards her in a final goodbye.
To get to this Pearl Harbor location, simply drive southwest on S Hill Street, making a right onto W 8th Street. Continue past the IHOP. You will notice your destination on the right-hand side of the street.
Evelyn tells Rafe she is pregnant scene in Pearl Harbor
Luna Park Auto Court (now the Lincoln Park Motel), 2101 Parkside Avenue, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, California
Evelyn comes to Rafe’s hotel. She tells him she hasn’t been able to find Danny, and Rafe tells her that they have been instructed to tell those they care about that they are going away. The two share this exchange:
Evelyn: I wasn’t looking for Danny. I couldn’t let you go away without understanding something.
Rafe: Yeah, well, you don’t have to explain anything to me.
Evelyn: I do. Because you’re acting like I didn’t love you.
Rafe: Evelyn, loving you kept me alive.
Rafe walks out into the street, and the two share an emotional moment discussing why Evelyn moved on with Danny. He tells her he is going to walk away, so she and Danny can be happy. But first, he asks her why she chose to start a relationship with him. She tells him, “Rafe, I’m pregnant.”
He is shocked by this news. She shares her heart with him, saying, “Rafe, all I ever wanted was for us to have a home and to grow old together, but life never asked me what I wanted.”
To reach the site of this Pearl Harbor scene, follow US-101 to North Mission Road, following the route to Parkside Avenue.
The final scene in Pearl Harbor
Disney's Golden Oak Ranch, 19802 Placerita Road, Newhall, California
Rafe exits the plane and finds Evelyn waiting for him. He and several other soldiers help to carry out Danny’s coffin. The two embrace and weep over their lost friend.
In a voiceover, Evelyn narrates, “When the action is over and we look back, we understand both more and less.”
Several servicemen receive awards for their bravery and service in the Japan raid.
The last scene in Pearl Harbor shows Rafe and Evelyn visiting Danny’s graveside with their young son. Rafe asks, “Hey, Danny! How’d ya like to go fly?” The two board the same old bi-plane he and his father Danny used to play in when children, one of the most beautiful action scenes in Pearl Harbor.
To visit the site of this Pearl Harbor film set, take Interstate 5 from Los Angeles to Highway 14. Travel north on this route until you reach Placerita Canyon Road. Make a right here and continue approximately ¾’s of a mile and until you reach the ranch.
Pearl Harbor is a poignant film that tells the story of enduring love in a time of war. Though it is largely set in Hawaii, most of the filming for this movie took place in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Still, there are many picturesque locales that help transport you back in time to that fateful time in 1941 when the country was deeply embroiled in a bitter war. If it’s among your goals to visit Pearl Harbor locations, our comprehensive guide to the various film sets is a great place to start when planning your vacation.