Search for your location!

The “Grumpy Old Men” Houses

May 11th, 2010 | By | Category: Movie Locations

P1040229

A few locations that my family and I stalked this past week while spending time in the North Star State were the homes which appeared in the 1993 comedy Grumpy Old Men.  I found these locations thanks to fellow stalker Lavonna, who, a few weeks before my trip out to the Midwest, gifted me with the stalking tome Shot On This Site: A Traveler’s Guide to the Places and Locations Used to Film Famous Movies and TV Shows.  In the book, author William A. Gordon states that the residences belonging to John Gustafson (aka Jack Lemmon), Max Goldman (aka Walter Matthau), and Ariel Truax (aka Ann-Margret) in the flick could all be found on the 1100 block of Hyacinth Avenue East in St. Paul.  No actual address numbers were given, though, so before I left for Minnesota, I scanned through the movie with my laptop in hand and found the exact house numbers thanks to Google Street View.  Yay!  :)

ScreenShot4361 ScreenShot4366

P1040216 IMG_0320

In the flick, John Gustafson and Max Goldman are, as the title suggests, two grumpy old men, and long time adversaries, who live next door to each other in what is supposedly Wabasha, Minnesota.  When the beautiful Ariel Truax moves in across the street, both men, of course, fall madly in love with her and comedy ensues.  I just re-watched the movie last night (such a great flick!) and was shocked to discover how much filming was actually done on location on Hyacinth Avenue East.  In fact, according to IMDB’s Grumpy Old Men trivia page, so much filming was done outside in Minnesota’s inclement weather that Walter Matthau actually developed double pneumonia.  :(    Anyway, I am very happy to report that the homes look much the same in person as they did onscreen in Grumpy Old Men, but I must say that it was very jarring to see them during the Spring, sans snow and surrounded by greenery.

ScreenShot4364 ScreenShot4359

       P1040211 IMG_0315      

Ariel Truax’s gorgeous colonial-style, hilltop home is the residence which is shown most often in the flick.  Due to the many trees surrounding the property, though, I was unable to get a great shot of the place. 

P1040214

Pictured above is what the residence looks like head on.  There are so many trees that you can hardly see the house!  It truly is beautiful, though.

ScreenShot4363  ScreenShot4362

IMG_0324 IMG_0319

John Gustafson’s home also appeared numerous times in the flick and, as you can see in the above screen captures and photographs, looks much the same today as it did in 1993 when Grumpy Old Men was filmed.  All that was missing in real life was the little firewood cover/roof located on the side of the residence which John climbed down several times in the movie.  I am guessing that the roof was just a prop that was added for filming, though, and was never actually there in real life.

   ScreenShot4367 ScreenShot4365 

 IMG_0326 P1040224

For whatever reason, the exterior of Max Goldman’s home was never shown in its entirety in Grumpy Old Men, but you can sort of see a good view of it in the above screen captures.  All three residences also appeared in the movie’s 1995 sequel, Grumpier Old Men.

P1040235 P1040236

Ironically enough, while we were stalking the homes, my mom noticed a residence for sale down the street and went to go look at it.  She immediately started yelling for me to come check out the “For Sale” sign in the front yard, in which the real estate agent had called the residence “the Grumpy Old Men house”.  According to the real estate brochure, in 1993, the home’s then-owners were paid $500 for their property to appear in the background of the flick.  They were also given an invite to the movie’s premiere at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.  How incredibly cool is that?  Even cooler is the fact that the real estate agent not only mentioned Grumpy Old Men on the “For Sale” sign, but made it the basis for the home’s entire marketing scheme!  Love it, love it, love it! 

GrumpyOldMenHouse

So, when I re-watched the flick last night, I was SUPER excited to see the residence in the background of the opening scene.  So darn cool! 

Grumpy-old-men-house grumpy-old-men-house-2

Pictured above is the home’s real estate brochure – which I, of course, took! :)  And you can check out the property’s real estate listing here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  :)

Stalk It: The Grumpy Old Men houses are all located on Hyacinth Avenue East in St. Paul, Minnesota.  John Gustafson’s house can be found at 1133 Hyacinth Avenue East, Max Goldman’s house can be found at 1137 Hyacinth Avenue East, and Ariel Truax’s house can be found at 1122 Hyacinth Avenue East.

20078

18 comments

Leave a comment »

  1. Danica says:

    So DID they tear down the bait shop? I don’t understand why they would. So much history with my favorite movies. The addresses were the same, accurate numbers in movies as I recall.

  2. VAS says:

    WAS THERE ACTUALLY A BAIT SHOP ON THE LAKE? WAS THIS FILMED ON LOCATION AS WELL ?

  3. VAS says:

    GRUMPY OLD MEN IS MY FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME. JUST THE MUSIC MAKES MY SOUL FEEL GOOD AND FOR SOME RESON I FEEL SO COMPELLED TO VISIT SOME DAY GRUMPIER OLD MEN ALSO WAS GREAT . I WOULD LOVE NOTHING MORE THAT TO VISIT THIS AREA JUST TO GO TO THESE PLACES THAT I FEEL SO CONNECTED TO. ENJOYED YOUR STORY.
    THANK YOU

  4. Bridget says:

    Great stories … I grew up on nearby Orange Avenue and for much of my childhood delivered the St. Paul Pioneer Press to all three houses. The owner of “Ann Margret’s house” would gift me every Christmas with a box of Andies Mints – I suppose he felt grateful for my journey up those steps every day to put his paper into the porch…

  5. JeTaime Paiser says:

    Friday I started my trip in Wabasha. I was searching and searching for the houses and thanks to your site I learned they were like 70 miles away!!!! So thanks again

  6. JeTaime Paiser says:

    I visited here yesterday thanks to your awesome sight! I was shocked the houses were in such a normal working community. I guessed I expected something more “Hollywood”.
    But it was awesome! The coolest movie location I have ever been to is Superior, AZ for (U Turn). It looks EXACTLY like the movie. Nothing has changed. It’s actually quite erie. And the best part is I ate breakfast in the same diner used in the movie. Even the wallpaper was the exact same as in the movie. It was like I was starring in the movie! I love things like that. Thanks again

    • Danica says:

      I felt the same way in Gilley’s, Pasadena, Tx. I walked in as if to see Bud & Sissy dancing the Texas Two Step from the movie Urban Cowboy! If you look hard and quickly, in the dance marathon scene, you will see Patrick Swayze sitting in cowboy hat with green feather in it.

    • Danica says:

      I felt the same way in Gilley’s, Pasadena, Tx. I walked in as if to see Bud & Sissy dancing the Texas Two Step from the movie Urban Cowboy! If you look hard and quickly, in the dance marathon scene, you will see Patrick Swayze sitting in cowboy hat with green feather in it. I had to back up a few times as it’s QUICK! He is looking at dancers smiling and enjoying it. His mom, Patsy, and wife, Lisa Niemi were dance instructor/choreographers for movie and he was an extra

  7. Kris says:

    Hi Lindsay,
    Awesome site. I thought I was the only person that gave any thought about the filming locations of the movies “Grumpy Old Men” and “Grumpier Old Men”. I have used Google Earth to view the locations of John and Max’s houses in both films, but never had the opportunity to actually visit the site, as you have done. John’s house at 1133 Hyacinth Avenue E, St. Paul Mn. was also listed for sale in 2007 by Edina Realty, as I have a copy of the listing.
    I was wondering if you tried to locate the location of Chuck’s Bait Shop or the lake location from Grumpy Old Men? I read that it was filmed at Lake Rebecca in Mn. I viewed Lake Rebecca on Google Earth and saw a large “T” shaped dock on the lake in a cove area, that looked to be the same dock in the movie behind Chuck’s Bait Shop, but I could be wrong.
    I also read somewhere on the internet that the ice shanty scene from “Beautiful Girls” was filmed in Stillwater Mn., as were the fishing scenes in ” Grumpier Old Men.” If you watch closely during “Grumpier Old Men” you will see that it appears as a slightly different lake filming location and structure was used for Chuck’s Bait Shop, then in “Grumpy Old Men”.

    • dukie says:

      Lake Rebecca Park Reserve in Rockford, MN. Chucks bait shop is still there, but not for long. They plan on demolishing it soon.

  8. Blaine says:

    I’m the owner of the Hyacinth Ave home listed “For Sale” above. I discovered your posting after the realtor sent us a summary of our Website showing that one of the top referring sites was something called “IAmNotAStalker.Com”. I found the domain name a little jarring, although better than IAmGoingToBurnDownYourHouseWhileYouSleep.Com, I suppose.
    Thanks for the shout out. One of the things I’ve always liked best about the home was that no matter who I was talking to, I could give them a mental picture of where we lived just by mentioning the movie. Unfortunately a corporate relocation to Atlanta is taking us away from the neighborhood, but a lot of people who were there when it filmed are still living there today. Although of the principal residences, only Ann Margaret’s house is still occupied by the same owner.

    A couple of stories about the filming:
    – One of the homes on the block had such ugly siding the producers paid to replace it.
    – During the first filming, most of the snow was created by snow machines. It was cold, but there hadn’t been any precipitation, so they set up snow machines. Unfortunately it warmed overnight and they left the machines on, coating everyone’s house in ice. Or so I’m told. The filmmakers used up a lot of Goodwill during the first filming; causing people to be a little less nice when they came back for the sequel.
    – A number of the neighbors and their pets were used in background scenes in the neighborhood. Our next door neighbor’s old dog (May she rest in piece) can be seen in one scene.
    – Our own story: Prior to filming the production manager dropped off a contract that needed signed and that would provide them with rights to film the house and its image. The language was really, really broad, so I asked for a couple of changes. In return for my signature and cooperation we were to get $500. Understandably (but not acceptably) they were reluctant to change the contract, so they kept stalling its return. We weren’t getting our $500 either. A couple of days into filming (and being blown off) the movie was outside on the street filming. So we decided to tie the dog in the front yard. It was surprising how quickly they returned the contract when they found there was an excited Golden Retriever in all the background scenes.

    • Lindsay says:

      Hi Blaine,
      Thank you so much for sharing all of this insider information! Those are some great stories!!! :) And I can assure you, I am a friendly stalker. :)
      Happy Stalking :),
      Lindsay

    • Ed says:

      We?? It was I who tied the dog out front when they kept blowing me off! lol

  9. Chas says:

    Love the post. Great job!!!

  10. Lavonna says:

    We are planning a trip to Mall of America this Sept…might have to “stalk” a few of these sites:) Glad the book had something useful in it! I still say you could WRITE a book that people would buy if we love to read your posts why not a book:) Think about it.


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. […] can read more about the house in an article at Twin Cities, a fun post at I Am Not a Stalker, and the listing at Keller Williams Realty. (Note: Zillow says the listing was removed over the […]

  2. […] homes in the neighborhood are featured on websites devoted to “Grumpy Old Men” — iamnotastalker.com/2010/05/11/the-grumpy-old-men-houses, for one — which means the house still gets visits from fans hoping to looky-loo at a piece […]

Leave a Reply