The Pale Blue Eye Filming Locations (With Images)

the pale blue eye

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The Pale Blue Eye, which is going to be available on Netflix soon, is an upcoming psychological mystery movie that is set to excite a lot of fans that are into films with thrills, suspense, and mystery. Of course, the plot of the movie involves a somewhat small and secluded area because it takes place in an early 19th-century military academy. As such, the filming location had to be chosen properly to mimic the kind of setting that the film aimed for. So, where was The Pale Blue Eye filmed?

The Pale Blue Eye was primarily filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This location was chosen because the director saw how it was able to act as a stand-in for the United States Military Academy West Point. There is also a generous tax rebate for filmmakers in Western Pennsylvania.  

Of course, a lot of the reasons why some directors and filmmakers choose to film their movies in certain areas are financial in nature, as this was one of the reasons why Pittsburgh was one of the main places where The Pale Blue Eye was filmed. But this area also looked like a good place that could mimic what the military academy was like during the 1830s. That said, let’s look at this topic in greater detail.

Where Was The Pale Blue Eye Filmed?

One of the films that people are excited about when it comes to the psychological mystery genre in movies is The Pale Blue Eye, which stars the brilliant Christian Bale. The movie focuses on Bale’s retired detective character as he comes out of retirement to try to solve a series of murder cases in the United States Military Academy using his modern forensic techniques.

However, because he struggles to crack the case, he ends up working with a young man named Edgar Allan Poe before he becomes a poet and a writer that’s associated with the macabre. As such, he now has to look at things through the eyes of Poe, whose perspective may end up helping him crack the mystery behind these murders.


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Of course, the movie takes place in the 1830s, and that means that it can be difficult to actually film a movie that takes places place in the 19th-century version of the US Military Academy. So, with that said, where was The Pale Blue Eye filmed?

Almost the entire movie was filmed in Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania. In fact, some of the scenes were shot in the historical landmark known as Compass Inn, which has been around since the 1790s and has become a museum today. Due to the fact that Compass Inn was restored to its 1800s appearance, it became an obvious choice as one of the filming locations of The Pale Blue Eye.

Of course, a lot of the other scenes were shot in areas all over the Ligonier Township village of Laughlintown. That’s because this entire town has an 1800s appeal that the movie needed to recreate without having to spend a lot of money to create an entire 1800s town or location that fit the setting of The Pale Blue Eye.

“It’s an incredibly pleasant place to shoot,” said director Scott Cooper, “and it works exceedingly well for the 1830s Hudson Valley.”

A lot of the different buildings in this area were transformed into historical places that were present in the novel version of The Pale Blue Eye and were quite popular among the cadets of the military academy during the 1800s. Benny Havens, for example, was recreated in its 1800s appearance in some of the areas around the Ligonier Township village.


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There were also scenes that were shot in scenic places because of how important they were to the film. For example, the crew headed over to Moraine State Park to shoot lake views that allowed them to mimic some of the portions of the Hudson River. This allowed them to actually try to make this area of Pittsburgh feel like it was US Military Academy.

“We had a wonderful reception,” Copper said during his time in Laughlintown. “Everyone was so warm and inviting and accommodating. That goes for Pittsburgh in general.”

Why Was Pittsburgh Chosen For The Location Of The Pale Blue Eye?

Of course, the main reason why Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the place chosen by Scott Cooper to shoot The Pale Blue Eye is the fact that the aesthetic appeal of the selected locations was able to fit the kind of 19th-century setting that they were looking for. It is also a fact that they could no longer use the actual military academy for the movie, considering that it no longer looks like its 1800s counterpart.

However, another reason why Cooper selected Pittsburgh as the filming location for the movie is related to the financial aspect of filmmaking. It happens quite often that filmmakers are given tax incentives for filming their movies in certain locations, and the local government often does that to boost the economy by enticing filmmakers to go there and film their movies.

In this case, Cooper himself said that he loved the fact that there were tax incentives given by the local government in relation to the movie. As such, by filming the film in Pittsburgh, the entire crew was able to save money due to the tax incentives. On top of that, the local economy also benefited from the presence of the film crew.

“I love shooting here,” Cooper said. “I hope the state Legislature continues to offer a very generous tax rebate.”

As such, this place was chosen not only for its aesthetic appeal but also because of the financial side of filmmaking, as Cooper was able to save a lot of money by filming The Pale Blue Eye in Western Pennsylvania. And because the location was perfect for the 1800s appeal that they were looking for, the stars aligned to allow Cooper to use the right location for his film while saving money in the process.

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