The “Grumpy Old Men” HousesMay 11th, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.