The Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead HouseOct 15th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Thought I’d take a little break today from writing about New York filming locations as there is a movie house that Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I stalked a few weeks back that I am just dying to blog about – Christina Applegate’s home from fave movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead! I swear, I’ve wanted to stalk that house for what seems like forever, but could never figure out its location. In fact, Mike and I had become convinced that the house wasn’t really a house at all, but a facade that had been built on a studio back lot somewhere. So, a few weeks ago, I decided to ask fellow stalker Owen for some help in either locating the house or getting a confirmation that it had been just a set. Well, not twenty-four hours later, Owen emailed me back . . . with an address!!!!!!!!!!!!! He had somehow managed to track down a crew member from the 1991 film who confirmed that the house was real. And while he didn’t remember its exact location, he said he had the address written down in one of his files and promised to look it up for us. So, later that day, the guy actually WENT THROUGH HIS FILES and found the address!!!! How incredibly nice is that????? And pretty much immediately after I had it, Mike and I were on our way to stalk the house.
Because the Don’t Tell Mom house had been at the very top of my Must-Stalk list for YEARS, I was practically bursting with excitement the entire car ride there! I’m actually surprised my head didn’t explode or something! LOL And I am very happy to report that, in person, the house did not disappoint! Over eighteen years later and it still looks very much the same as it did in the movie. The crew member had told Owen that they had roughed up the house a bit for the filming and dressed it to look dingier than it actually was. He also told Owen that, using camera angles, the house was made to look much smaller onscreen than it actually was in real life. Well, I really had to laugh when I heard that, because the one thing I’ve always remembered about the Don’t Tell Mom house was how absolutely HUGE it was. So, for the crew member to say that it was even bigger in person absolutely boggled my mind! Anyway, due to the behind-the-scenes info that Owen was told, I wasn’t really expecting the house to look at all the same in person as it did in the movie. So, you can imagine my surprise when Mike and I pulled up to the house and saw that it was still completely, one hundred percent recognizable from the film! YAY! Because the angle of the house shown in the movie was not the view of the house seen from the street, I was, unfortunately, not able to get great photographs of it. In the movie, the exterior shots of the house were filmed mostly from the driveway area, with the camera facing West. The view from the street, however, which you can see in the above photograph, faces South.
Pictured above is the view of the house from the West, but because of the many trees on the property, not much is visible from that angle.
Other behind-the-scenes info the crew member told Owen was that the real interior of the home was used extensively for the filming, but that it, too, was made to look dingier and smaller for the production. He also told Owen that the “Dishes Are Done” scene in which Kenny (aka Keith Coogan) stands on the roof of the house with his friends and shoots the dishes instead of cleaning them, was not filmed on the home’s actual roof, but on a fake roof that was built in the backyard area. If you’ll notice in that scene, the camera never pans back far enough to show the whole house, because there wasn’t a whole house to show. The boys were actually standing just a few feet off the ground.
The crew member also said that the home’s real life backyard and pool area were used for the filming of the fashion show scene. And, as you can see in the above screen capture and aerial image, both look very much the same today as they did in the movie.
And can I just say that I so love the fact that the house was made a part of the Don’t Tell Mom movie poster! So cool!
On an ironic side note: About a year ago I got to meet Christopher Morley, who played the Marilyn Monroe drag queen who stole Christina Applegate’s car in the movie. And even though he wasn’t in any scenes that took place at the house, pretty much the very first words out of my mouth when I met him were “Do you happen to know where the house from Don’t Tell Mom is located?” To which he replied, “Oh honey, I don’t even remember where I filmed my scene, let alone where they filmed scenes I wasn’t even in!” LOL I always find it amazing when people forget things like that. And, while I realize that, as hard as it may be to believe, most people aren’t as interested in stalking locations as I am, I still find it odd when crew members don’t remember the addresses to places where they worked for days at a time. For about a year and a half, I worked as a personal assistant and, I’m telling you, my former boss could call me up today and say, “Do you remember where you bought those sheets for my guest house in May of 2007?” and, even though I’m not particularly interested in bedding, not only could I tell him the name of the store and it’s exact location, but also the color of the sheets I got him and the cost! And that’s not just because that particular store offered me champagne when I walked in the door, either. LOL No, no matter what anyone says, I will just never understand how people can forget something as important as a filming location!
Big, big THANK YOU to Owen for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead house is located at 15548 Iron Canyon Road in Canyon Country, near Santa Clarita.