The Rock movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Rock filmed?

1996

About The Rock

In the opening film scene, Brigadier General Francis Hummel and Major Tom Baxter assume leadership of a disgruntled Marine group in a battle for gas-powered rockets taken from a well-guarded naval weapons storage space. During the mission, one of their men is killed. Two new recruits, Frye and Darrow, accompany the team to overtake control of Alcatraz Island, effectively making 81 tourists their prisoners.

Hummel makes a threat to launch a chemical warfare attack on San Francisco if his demand of $100 million for his men is not immediately dispatched. The Department of Defense and FBI strategize to overtake Alcatraz by using a Navy SEAL team under the leadership of Commander Anderson, Stanley Goodspeed, and the only man to escape the island, John Mason. FBI Director Womack gives Mason a pardon which he later secretly withdraws.

The team is easily able to access Alcatraz, but Hummel’s team is given advanced warning of the invasion and corners them in the showers. Anderson and the SEALS are murdered with only Mason and Goodspeed remaining alive. Goodspeed pushes to complete the mission and convinces Mason to go along with it.

Mason and Goodspeed kill several Marines and are able to deactivate twelve rockets with the removal of their chips. Hummel makes the threat to murder a hostage if the chips are not returned, but Mason destroys them prior to surrendering himself. Plan B is set into motion: an airstrike that will eliminate the poisonous gas but will leave any remaining people on the island dead.

Mason tells Goodread why he was once a prisoner at Alcatraz. While working as a British SAS captain and MI6 operative, he was seized after he was found with a microfilm full of heavily classified information. With the knowledge that he would be assassinated if he returned the microfilm, he chose instead to spend 30 years in prison.

Hummel’s ransom deadline expires, and he shoots the first rocket, aiming for the water. He admits the threat of rocket fire was something he was never prepared to follow through on. He abandons his ransom efforts and tells everyone to leave Alcatraz with the remaining hostages and a single rocket to disguise their retreat. Darrow and Frye rise up against Hummel. Baxter is killed, and Hummel is badly injured. Hummel reveals to Goodspeed the location of the final rocket before he dies.

Darrow and Frye continue their attack on San Francisco. Another bomb is dropped, sending Goodspeed barreling into the bay. He is rescued by Mason.

Goodspeed shares a report of victory with headquarters but covers up the fact that Mason is still alive. Mason informs him of the hiding spot for the microfilm that Goodspeed recovers. The final The Rock scene shows Goodspeed and his new wife driving away with the microfilm in hand and the knowledge that the information found on it reveals JFK’s assassin.

City Locations

Northern California: Alcatraz Island; Golden Gate Cemetery, San Bruno; Fairmont Hotel, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Hunter’s Point, Filbert, Leavenworth, San Francisco; Sausalito; Southern California: 200 West 7th Street, San Pedro, Los Angeles; Ventura

Location Types

American, Apartment, NatureScapes, Police/Jails, Hotels/Motels

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Beachfront, Dated/50's-60's-70's Building, Federal Building

The Rock Locations

A 1996 action film, The Rock was produced by the legendary filmmaking team Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. A movie with an all-star cast, among the well-known actors in this film are Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris.

The filming locations for The Rock are largely found in Northern and Southern California and include such well-known spots as Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Fairmont Hotel, and the Palace of Fine Arts.

Are you fascinated by all things Alcatraz? If so, why not plan to visit the filming locations for The Rock? You’re in for a wonderful time!

Fun Fact:

Sadly, one of the film’s producers, Don Simpson, passed away before the theatrical release of this movie.

The opening scene in The Rock

Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, California

The initial scene in The Rock opens on Hummel in a hotel room. He prepares to put on his full-dress uniform. As he dresses, flashbacks are seen that display a flag being placed over a serviceman’s casket and flames engulfing shot-down planes and helicopters during the war. In narration over these scenes, Hummel is heard saying.

“Congressman Weaver and esteemed members of the special armed services committee, I come before you to protest a grave injustice.”

This one critical filming sequence sets the stage for the entirety of the film as Hummel seeks what he feels is justice via a military payout for the families of the men who followed him into combat and lost their loved ones’ lives in battle.

To get to this The Rock production site, you can take bus line 1 or NL, the train via LTD 5, or cable cars C or PM.

Hummel informs Womack of the hostages and impending chemical warfare attack if his demands are not met scene in The Rock

Hotel Rosslyn, 112 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, California

This The Rock action scene takes place in two different locations with Director Womack located in his apartment in Washington, D.C, and Hummel and his men on Alcatraz Island with the hostages. Hummel places a call to Womack with the intent of informing him that he has taken 81 tourists hostage and that he is prepared to launch an attack on San Francisco if his demands are not met. The two men exchange these words.

Hummel: Be advised 81, I say again 81 civilians, are under my control as of this moment. You are to take measures to assure this remains a need-to-know classified fact.

Womack: Who is this?

Hummel: Mr. Director, you have a very serious problem. A battery of VX gas rockets is presently deployed to deliver a highly lethal strike on the population of the San Francisco Bay Area. I will call again at 0 hundred hours to state my demands.

To reach this former The Rock film set, you have several different public transportation options from which you can choose. The Hotel Rosslyn is easily accessible by bus lines 10/48, 16/17/316, 4, 487/489, 720, and 94, by train by taking the Metrolink San Bernardino Line or by subway via the B Line (Red).

Mason and Goodspeed meet scene in The Rock

City Hall, Van Ness Avenue, Civic Center, San Francisco, California

Goodspeed comes to the prison to meet with Mason in an interrogation room. Mason is dressed in the standard orange prisoner’s uniform and is in shackles. Goodspeed introduces himself and is visibly ill at ease.

Mason tells him that he is likely there because Goodspeed has an emergency, and he needs Mason’s help. Goodspeed admits this is true, and Mason asks for a cup of coffee and for his shackles to be removed.

Goodspeed informs Mason that Womack will grant him a pardon if he will assist the government on their mission to stop Hummel and his men from harming the tourists and attacking San Francisco Bay with rockets. He tells Mason he must sign the contract to receive the pardon for services he will later render.

Goodspeed: This is part of a release contract from the attorney general’s office that makes you a free man, provided that you cooperate. So, if you’ll just, uh, sign..ah, uh, where it says…

Mason: Signature?

Goodspeed: Yes, that’s it; signature.

This particular The Rock scene was filmed in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. This location can be reached via bus on lines 130, 14R, 49, 5, 5R, and 7, by train on LTD 5, or the light rail line M.

Mason distracts Hummel and Baxter while Goodspeed works to disarm the rockets scene in The Rock

Alcatraz Prison, Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California

Outside in the courtyard of Alcatraz prison, Mason is held at gunpoint by Hummel and Baxter. Inside the facility, master chemist Goodspeed works quickly to remove the chips from the rockets, effectively disabling them. This conversation takes place between the three men.

Hummel: Thought I’d been in the service a long time. Name and rank, sailor.

Mason: Army, actually.

Baxter: Answer the question. And address him as General, Sir.

Mason: Captain John Patrick Mason, General, Sir, of Her Majesty’s SAS. Retired, of course.

Hummel: You’re a long way from home, Captain. How the h*ll are you involved in this?

Mason: Oh, I have a unique knowledge of this prison facility. I was formerly a guest here.

This particular film sequence was shot in two different locations, both on Alcatraz Island. The scenes with Goodspeed disarming the rockets were filmed in the prison, and the footage in the courtyard was shot in what was once the outdoor yard for prisoners. A guided tour of the island will allow you to view The Rock filming locations in person.

Hummel abandons the mission scene in The Rock

Alcatraz Prison, Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California

In this The Rock scene, Hummel, Darrow, Frye, and Baxter are all inside Alcatraz prison. The men discuss their next move. Hummel, realizing that his bluff has been called, tells the men that he is abandoning the mission. He tells them that it was never his intention to harm any civilians, and it is time to bring everything to a close. The following conversation takes place between Hummel and his angry team of mercenaries with Baxter providing oversight.

Darrow: Excuse me, general…but what about the f***ing money?

Hummel: There is no f***ing money. The mission’s over.

Frye: Bullsh*t it’s over!

Baxter: You’re talking to a General, soldier. Maintain discipline!

Darrow: I’m not a soldier, Major. The day we took hostages, we became mercenaries. And mercenaries get paid. I want my f***ing money!

This The Rock location is the actual Alcatraz Prison building found on San Francisco Bay’s Alcatraz Island. To visit this The Rock production location, you will need to book a ticket on one of the ferries operated by Alcatraz City Cruises. You will find the ferry terminal on The Embarcadero near Bay Street to the southeast of Fisherman’s Wharf. No parking is available in the area, so you will need to take public transit to the ferry or park in a parking lot further away and walk.

Mason rescues Goodspeed scene in The Rock

Alcatraz Prison, Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California

Thrust into the water from the force of the rocket, Goodspeed is submerged, unconscious, in the deep Bay waters near the shore of the island. Mason races to him and plunges into the water, pulling him over steep rocks to safety on the coast. As he works to bring Goodspeed to dry land, Goodspeed regains consciousness, and the two men share this conversation in one of the most poignant yet funny scenes in The Rock.

Mason: Fed up saving your *ss. I’m amazed you ever got past puberty. I suppose all of this will make a great bedtime story to tell your kid.

Goodspeed: What I’m saying, Mason; he’ll have nightmares. And spend all of my money on shrinks.

This scene is found near the end of the movie and leaves off at the iconic place that forms the backdrop for nearly the entire film: Alcatraz Island. This particular film shoot location is quite easy to find since it is just a short walk from the ferry terminal.

Conclusion

When it comes to action films, it’s hard to beat anything that stars the classic combination of Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage. The Rock was largely filmed on Alcatraz Island itself with a few scenes taking place at various spots throughout Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the beauty of San Francisco Bay framing the prison shots, you’re treated to an incredible landscape in this dark adventure film.

Thinking you’d like to take a vacation to visit The Rock locations? Our comprehensive guide will be an invaluable help in planning your itinerary.