Christian Bale as Det. Augustus Landor in 'The Pale Blue Eye'
Source: Netflix

'The Pale Blue Eye' Features a Gloomy Gothic Setting — Where Was It Filmed?

Allison DeGrushe - Author
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Jan. 4 2023, Published 5:01 p.m. ET

This is not a drill — your next Netflix obsession is just around the corner.

Based on the 2003 eponymous novel by Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye sets the scene in gloomy 1830. There, veteran detective Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) investigates a series of gruesome murders at West Point with the help of a young military cadet known as Edgar Allan Poe — yes, that Edgar Allan Poe (played by Harry Melling).

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While the mystery thriller casts a dark tone for its narrative, the use of gloomy and gothic-like locations elevates the story to another level. With that said, where was The Pale Blue Eye filmed? Stick around for details regarding its filming locations.

Christian Bale as Det. Augustus Landor and Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe in 'The Pale Blue Eye'
Source: Netflix

Christian Bale as Det. Augustus Landor and Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe in 'The Pale Blue Eye'

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Let's explore the filming locations of Netflix's 'The Pale Blue Eye.'

As it turns out, The Pale Blue Eye was filmed entirely in Pennsylvania, primarily in Pittsburgh. Principal photography began in late November 2021 at the historic Compass Inn Museum in Laughlintown, Penn., per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"To find a location like the Compass Inn was fantastic," unit publicist Pete Silbermann told the outlet. "Visually, it absolutely suits the story. Scott fell in love with it when he saw it, and it absolutely works beautifully for the film. ... When you find something that looks so old even though they’ve renovated a bit and it suits the story, you feel fantastic about it."

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Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe and Lucy Boynton as Lea Marquis in 'The Pale Blue Eye'
Source: Netflix

Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe and Lucy Boynton as Lea Marquis in 'The Pale Blue Eye'

The following month, filming took place at Westminster College in New Wilmington — the quiet campus serves as a stand-in for West Point due to its breathtaking "Gothic-style buildings." Ahead of filming, the school announced that any modern features in the area would be "removed or disguised to create the look of the academy during the 19th century."

Regarding the decision to film at Westminster instead of the actual military academy, Pete Silbermann told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "West Point now looks like Silicon Valley, so you can’t quite make that transition [to 1830]."

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As for Detective Landor's cottage, it's a real place! Pete Silbermann revealed that the Davis Hollow Cabin in Butler County would serve as the veteran detective's home, adding, "You can’t build that. To have found that is really magical. We're blessed with great locations, a great locations team, and tremendous support."

Additional filming locations for The Pale Blue Eye include McConnells Mill State Park, Old Economy Village, Allegheny Cemetery, Penguin Court, and Moraine State Park. The latter area mainly showed off Lake Arthur, which stood in for the Hudson River.

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Writer-director Scott Cooper recently spoke about his love for Pittsburgh.

For those unaware, this film marks the third collaboration between writer-director Scott Cooper and Christian Bale.

The first project they worked together on was 2013's Out of the Furnace, which took place in Pennsylvania — a portion of the crime drama was filmed in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Now, since the duo has reunited (in Pittsburgh, nonetheless), we can't help but wonder what's so special about the East Coast region.

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Luckily, the filmmaker spoke with Trib Live and revealed all.

"I had a really wonderful experience the first time when I shot Out of the Furnace, made a lot of great friends, one of whom is your incoming (U.S.) senator, John Fetterman," Scott told the outlet over Zoom. "I love the people of Pittsburgh; the crews are fantastic. Love the people of Braddock. I have a real affinity for that city."

He continued, "And in terms of trying to re-create the Hudson Valley in 1830, it felt like Western Pennsylvania would be as good a place as any. It's the same Appalachian Mountain chain. I knew that it would give me the landscape that I was looking for. I knew that it would certainly give me the weather that I was looking for. So I was more than happy to come back."

The Pale Blue Eye hits Netflix on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.

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