Where was The Pale Blue Eye filmed? West Point & ALL the Filming Locations

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Based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Louis Bayard, this gothic mystery thriller revolves around a detective and a young Edgar Allan Poe investigating a murder mystery in West Point.

Set in New York’s Hudson Valley in 1830, The Pale Blue Eye was entirely filmed in Pennsylvania.

Christian Bale and Harry Melling in the tavern

Christian Bale takes on the lead role of Detective Augustus Landor in this 19th-century whodunit written and directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace).

Completing the main cast are Harry Melling as cadet Edgar Allan Poe, Toby Jones as Dr. Daniel Marquis, Gillian Anderson as his wife Julia Marquis, and Lucy Boynton as their daughter, Lea.

Welcome to our comprehensive and spoiler-free guide to all the filming locations of The Pale Blue Eye, in order of appearance.

The Pale Blue Eye Locations

Slippery Rock Creek river
The movie opens on the snowy Hudson River, filmed at Slippery Rock Creek in McConnells Mill State Park.

It looks gorgeous, but, as the name indicates, the rocks of this tributary of Connoquenessing Creek are deceptively slippery and dangerous.

In addition, views of nearby Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park were used in some establishing shots.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
  Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

The Pale Blue Eye cabin
Landor's home in Buttermilk Falls was filmed in Moraine State Park's Davis Hollow Cabin.

Built in 1780, the cabin is one of the oldest facilities along the park's North County Trail.

The house fell into disrepair until, in 2005, a group of volunteers came together to preserve the cabin. Today, it is possible to visit it or rent it for an event or overnight stay.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

The Pale Blue Eye West Point Academy

The Pale Blue Eye West Point
The U.S. Military Academy West Point in New York was partially filmed at Westminster College in New Wilmington.

Founded in 1852, the historic buildings of this private liberal arts college served as the central courtyards of the prestigious American army school.

Production VFX supervisor Jake Braver revealed to Art of VFX that the academy was set up with five exterior locations, blended in with some CGI help.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

West Point Academy School
Some exterior shots of the academy were filmed at Hartwood Acres Stables, a county park located about ten miles away from downtown Pittsburgh.

This popular wedding venue was designed in the late 1920s to resemble an English Cotswold Village, the picturesque region in central-southwest England.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

The West Point morgue
The interior of Dr. Daniel Marquis's morgue was filmed at the vaulted Great Feast Hall at the Old Economy Village in Ambridge.

Established in 1824, the village was the home of the Harmony Society, a 19th-century Christian communal group.

This six-acres National Historic Landmark site contains seventeen restored buildings and a beautiful garden.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

Lake Arthur snowy scene
The hanged tree scene was filmed on Lake Arthur's shores, at a point between Lakeview Beach and Barber Point Beach.

There's a short shot where you can see the modern bridge on Route 422 in the background.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

Benny’s Haven tavern
Benny’s Haven, the tavern where Patsy works (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg), is the Compass Inn Museum, a restored late-18th-century stagecoach stop.

The Ligonier Valley Historical Society maintains this structure founded in 1799 in Laughlintown, Westmoreland County.

As you can see in this image, the exterior was modified using some CGI.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

Penguin Court Pennsylvania
The scenes where Landor meets Poe secretly and the house of the professor expert in symbols and rituals, Jean-Pepe, were filmed on the grounds of Penguin Court.

Named for the ten penguins that once roamed the property, this large private estate located near Laughlintown contains more than 1,000 acres of forest, a conservatory, and a superb greenhouse.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

The ice house
McConnells Mill on the banks of the Slippery Rock Creek doubled as the eerie ice house.

The red, covered bridge that appears in an establishing shot is located nearby, also within the McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County.

Originally built in 1852, this gristmill operated until 1928. The interior was probably filmed at the studios.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

Allegheny Cemetery Lawrenceville
As Pittsburgh Magazine reported, the funeral scene at the graveyard was filmed at the monumental Allegheny Cemetery in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Opened in 1844, this is the sixth-oldest rural cemetery in the United States.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

The Pale Blue Eye house
Dr. Marquis’s house exterior is the Hartwood Acres Mansion located in a scenic Allegheny County park of the same name.

The filmmakers made the stately home a bit smaller, removing a wing of the house with some CGI help.

Completed in 1929, this magnificent 16th-Century-style Tudor mansion hosts a collection of original English and American antiques.
Image courtesy of Netflix and April Lee Uzarski - Map

The cliff at the end of the movie looks like one of the striking precipices at Breakneck Ridge, a mountain on the Hudson River situated between Cold Spring and Beacon, NY.

However, the actors are standing on a point on Storm King Mount, located just across the river. So the mountain in the background of this scene, pictured, is also Breakneck Ridge.

This sequence was shot on a stage in Pittsburgh, where a small section of the cliff was constructed. The footage recorded on location in this area was added in post-production.
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map

Can you help to improve this article about the filming locations of The Pale Blue Eye? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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1- Anonymous - Jan 7, 2023, 5:31 PM
Where were the cliffs in the last scene?

2- Anonymous - Jan 8, 2023, 6:31 PM
I also want to know where the cliff in the last scene is.

3- Anonymous - Jan 9, 2023, 11:56 AM
The final scene in Pale Blue Eye on the cliff looks across the Hudson River at Breakneck Ridge, just north of the town of Cold Spring, NY. Presumably, the actor is standing on a point on Storm King Mount on the west side of the river. PS, I’ve climbed Breakneck Ridge many times.

   4- Ra Moon - Jan 9, 2023, 17:56 PM
   Thank you, that's awesome!

5- Anonymous - Jan 12, 2023, 9:40 PM
They would be standing on the East facing edge of storm king Mountain at what today is called high point on route 218, heading towards West Point. The cliff is completely artificial, and the fall would involve a much bumpier ride to the bottom than depicted (no less deadly...). But the view of breakneck is true to life, and in the very last shot of the film, as the camera pans north, you can see what is today Bannerman’s Island (then would have been Pollepel Island) in the Hudson. Very cool to see my home used in film this way.

6- Anonymous - Jan 13, 2023, 3:18 PM
Thank you for the magical history tour. It took me away. Well done!

7- Frebo3 - Jan 17, 2023, 12:13 PM
Excellent article about Pale Blue Eye locations. Yet the closing credits indicate a large film crew was working in New Orleans! What was going on there? I'm sure it had to be interior locations. Until I read your article I thought it must have been the site of scenes like the morgue - a large airy room with a high ceiling and large windows, uncharacteristic of the small, low-ceilinged rooms with stoves and fireplaces typically found in older buildings in the Northeast. Any insight into what went on in NOLA?

   8- Ra Moon - Jan 17, 2023, 16:03 PM
   Production VFX supervisor Jake Braver confirmed that some additional photography was filmed in New Orleans.


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