Where was The Insider filmed?
Umm Al-Fahm (Israel), Louisville, Kentucky, San Francisco, Pascagoula, Mississippi, and New York.
Schools/Colleges, Hotels/Motels, House, Airport
American, Building Dated/Retro, French, Rustiс
About The Insider
The Insider tells the story of Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), a scientist employed as a researcher by Brown and Williamson, a major tobacco company. After being suddenly fired from his position, he is contacted by Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), a producer for 60 Minutes and a close collaborator of Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer).
Bergman manages to set up an interview between Wallace and Wigand regarding the dangers that the seven main tobacco companies were aware of and chose to conceal from consumers. Despite being legally bound to maintain confidentiality regarding his employment at Brown and Williamson, Wigand is willing to go through with the interview, thus bravely risking it all in hopes of exposing the truth about one of America's most notorious industries.
The 60 Minutes expose is scheduled to air shortly after the initial taping, however, CBS pulls out at the last minute due to pressure from prominent executives within the network. This refusal triggers an immense controversy among journalists across multiple news outlets who debate whether or not it is ethical for networks to bend under such pressures and suppress information relevant to public health.
The debate eventually leads CBS to reverse its decision and air Wigand's interview, albeit months later than initially planned. What followed became one of the most influential investigative journalism stories ever told on television. It provided viewers with a thought-provoking insight into how powerful corporations are able to manipulate both media outlets and consumers alike in order to protect their interests - sometimes even at the cost of human lives.
Thanks largely in part to Wigand's bravery, much stricter regulations have since been set by governments throughout the world in order for companies manufacturing potentially dangerous products like cigarettes or alcohol to act responsibly when it comes to notifying customers about its risks.
The Insider Locations
The 1999 film took movie-goers all over the United States and even to the Bahamas for production. Louisville, Kentucky, San Francisco, Pascagoula, Mississippi, and New York all provided stunning and varied backdrops for this suspenseful drama.
Louisville was used for several scenes in the film, taking advantage of its picturesque downtown buildings like The Seelbach Hotel and the historic brownstones of Old Louisville. In addition to filming in these locations, some scenes were recorded at Churchill Downs racetrack.
Some Washington DC-based scenes were partially filmed on location and Louisville was a stand-in in some instances. San Francisco provided a unique backdrop to some of the most heart-stopping scenes of The Insider due to its rolling hills and fog-laden streets.
Scenes set in Los Angeles made use of famous landmarks like the Transamerica Pyramid building, Coit Tower, and the nearby Golden Gate Bridge. Pascagoula, Mississippi was another key filming location chosen for an authentic boost to many of the courtroom scenes in The Insider.
New York played a pivotal role in The Insider for most of its financial aspects centered around Wall Street; however, some scenes were filmed upstate near Saratoga Springs where a casino was used as a stand-in for Las Vegas casinos featured within the film. Additionally, scenes set on boats were actually filmed down south near Miami Beach's Star Island.
Finally, exotic locations from the Bahamas make their way into this thrilling drama when Russell Crowe’s character journeys there for business meetings with influential figures involved in his storyline. Nassau provides an opulent setting filled with stunning beaches and crystal blue waters set against luxurious resorts — making it an ideal backdrop for any suspenseful storyline.
The opening scene of The Insider
Umm Al-Fahm, Israel
At the opening of the movie, we are first introduced to Bergman (Al Pacino) as he is escorted blindfolded through bustling streets in a strange land. He has been summoned by Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer) with a rather daunting mission: to secure an interview with a Sheikh before arranging his transportation.
A veteran agent, Bergman is up for the challenge; however, he soon discovers that convincing the wily Sheikh (Cliff Curtis) may prove much harder than he anticipated. His persuasive powers are put to the test as he navigates tough negotiation tactics and attempts to gain the consent of this powerful man without making any mistakes along the way.
For the opening scenes of The Insider, the production traveled to Umm al-Fahm, a city situated on the base of Umm al-Fahm mountain ridge and home to largely Arab citizens. The Insider production team chose this area because it authentically resembled Lebanon.
Begin your journey to this beautiful city by visiting the downtown area. You can take a drive down Haifa Street or opt for a leisurely walk since it's only 0.6 miles away! Turn left onto Derech Hairiya; then continue on to Ibn Al-Qaym and Kafr Lam Streets before making a slight right turn onto Haifa St for your final destination — an unforgettable experience awaits you here!
Bergman meeting FBI agents scene in The Insider
39226 N Shore Dr, Fawnskin, CA, United States
Big Bear Lake was chosen for its winter aesthetic, and it provided the perfect setting for the scene where Bergman (Al Pacino) meets two FBI agents at the North Shore Café in Fawnskin. When he sees them, he is angry and surprised. They tell him that they are two geologists.
After a short talk, Bergman leaves the cafe and goes to a phone box. From its humble beginnings as an old mining shack to its current state as a quaint cafe, the history of Chef Richard Ortiz and his wife Barbara's business has been filled with evolution and change. Established in 1994 on North Shore Drive, near Big Bear Lake in the California San Bernardino Mountains, the building has gone through many changes, including serving as a donut shop and pizzeria.
The current house is composed of a cafe plus an owner's residence, with an outdoor stone patio open during the warm months that offers al fresco dining. It is an impressive feat created by two passionate entrepreneurs and their beloved businesses in such a short time.
If you're starting off in Fawnskin, the best way to get there is by car. Head west on Garden Place and then take a left onto North Shore Drive. Next, turn right onto California State Road 38 East until you reach your destination - it'll be visible on your right-hand side!
Wigang flies to testify in Mississippi scene in The Insider
18601 Airport Way, Santa Ana, CA, United States
As Wigand (Russell Crowe) departs Louisville, Kentucky to testify in Mississippi, the airport shown is not actually Louisville International Airport. Viewers are instead presented with a glimpse of John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
Despite the fact that B&W lawyers strongly opposed his decision and he was served with a gag order, Wigand took a courageous stand and testified in Mississippi. When he returned home heartbroken, he discovered that his wife Liane (Diane Venora) had left him along with their daughters.
John Wayne Airport, or SNA as it is commonly referred to, is a magnificent example of the Orange County aviation scene. Constructed between 1962 and 1967, this busy commercial and general aviation airport has served the Greater Los Angeles area for over fifty years.
The airport serves a reported 2 million passengers annually, providing direct flights to thirty-nine American cities and regular international services from western Canada. The facility offers securely covered parking garages, long-term parking lots, and curbside drop-offs for ease of use by those flying in and out of Southern California.
Public transportation to the airport can be a demanding and exhaustive experience, especially if you need to transfer buses. If driving, get on I-5 S from W Civic Center Dr., then continue until your destination - it's only 11 minutes away in total!
The first lesson at school scene in The Insider
1600 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA, United States
After leaving his prominent position, Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) and his family downsized to a more humble abode. His next career step saw him land a job in education as a chemistry teacher. In one scene, he stands in front of students for the first time, introducing himself as their professor - exclaiming that Chemistry is like magic for him.
The scene was shot at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, nestled between Signal Hill, Lakewood, and Bixby Knolls. It was established in 1895 as Long Beach High School and has long been an integral fabric of the bustling city.
The school has also been used as the backdrop for many commercials, television shows, and films. Famous alumni include Snoop Dogg and Cameron Diaz and this speaks volumes about both the long-standing reputation of the school itself and its connection with popular cultures throughout the years.
The nearest bus stop to the campus is located at L.B. Blvd and 15th NE, just a short 6-minute walk away! To get there from the bus stop simply head north on Long Beach Blvd toward E 16th St, turn right onto E 16th St, and then make one more quick right onto Atlantic Ave - you'll be there in no time!
Bergman and Weigand’s first meeting scene in The Insider
500 Fourth Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky, United States
As Bergman (Al Pacino) peruses a newspaper in the Seelbach Hotel lobby, his suspicious expression is clear. When Weigand (Russell Crowe) arrives and they meet for their initial conversation, Bergman inquires about how long Weigand has lived in Louisville. A wide shot reveals a few small buildings on the periphery of downtown Louisville at that moment.
Embedded in the core of Louisville, Kentucky lies a beacon of timeless grandeur – The Seelbach Hilton Louisville. Founded at the dawn of the 20th century by two brothers Louis and Otto Seelbach, from Bavaria, the hotel was designed with an exquisite French Renaissance style paying homage to its rich history.
Home to many famous celebrities over the years, including eccentric writer F. Scott Fitzgerald who based his novel The Great Gatsby on the hotel's majestic atmosphere, the hotel has been part of the prestigious Hilton Hotels & Resorts chain for many years now.
Situated close to downtown, the hotel is easily accessible by any mode of transportation. If you choose to take a bus, get off at S 5th and W Muhammad Ali. But if you'd prefer to go by car instead, then I-65 N is your fastest route!
A riveting, controversial true story handled in a documentary format by the acclaimed director Michael Mann, the real-life drama was nominated for seven Academy Awards. It is a film that tackles monumental issues such as corporate responsibility, journalistic ethics, one's moral duty to the truth, and the politics of class.
Al Pacino brings forth his finest acting skills in his role as crusading news producer Lowell Bergman. He also displays an audacious attitude and self-righteousness that contrasts with his heroic persona. In a time when actors prefer playing characters who demonstrate unwavering courage throughout their journey.
This movie is filled with exceptional performances, interesting topics, and complex characters who make it an enjoyable watch for viewers. To top it off, Mann handles these topics with finesse as he delves deep into each subject without compromising its impact or relevance to modern-day society.