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The Rindge House from “The Brasher Doubloon”

Oct 23rd, 2015 | By | Category: Movie Locations

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There are few things the Grim Cheaper loves more than historic sites.  So when we came across a massive dwelling that appeared to have a past while on our way to stalk the Beckett Residence in September 2012, we stopped to take a closer look.  Figuring the place had appeared onscreen at some point, I also snapped some photos of it.  I didn’t end up doing much research on the home until recently, though.  As it turns out, the property is known as the Rindge House and it was built at the turn of the 20th Century for one of L.A.’s most prominent citizens.

The Rindge House was originally constructed in 1903 for wealthy businessman Frederick Hastings Rindge.  Frederick not only co-established the Union Oil Company and the Los Angeles Edison Electric Company, but his family was largely responsible for developing Malibu.  (I blogged about Frederick’s daughter’s home, the Adamson House, here.)

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The property was designed by Frederick L. Roehrig, the same architect who also gave us the Stimson House from House II: The Second Story, the Andrew McNally House from Kingdom Comethe Lincoln Clark House from Little Black Book, and Castle Green in Pasadena (an oft-filmed locale that I have yet to blog about).

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Sadly, Frederick Rindge passed away in 1905, just two years after the manse was completed.  His wife, May, continued living on the premises until she, too, passed away in 1941.  After May’s death, the property was utilized for a time as both a convent and a home for women.  At some point, it was reverted back to a private residence and it remains so today.  You can read a more detailed history of the Rindge House on the Big Orange Landmarks blog here.

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According to Zillow, the Chateauesque-style pad, which was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1972,  boasts 15 bedrooms, 9 baths, 11,704 square feet of living space, and 1.73 acres of land.

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The GC and I had a blast walking around the perimeter of the property and looking at all of its unique detailing, like the mailbox and light post pictured below.

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Because of its massive size and its age, the Rindge House definitely gives off an ominous aura.  The huge spider we spotted hanging out on the fence outside didn’t help to combat that image.

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A man named Mike had commented on the Big Orange Landmarks post that he used to live at the Rindge House and that many productions had been shot there.  I got in touch with him in the hopes that he might remember some of the productions lensed on the premises and not only did he get back to me right away, but he proved to be a vast wealth of information!  As it turns out, the property has a film resume that dates back to 1947!  That year, it masked as the Murdock mansion, which is said to be located “all the way out” in Pasadena, in the noir The Brasher Doubloon.

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The eastern portion of the residence, as well as the front porch and doorway were featured in the film.

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I am fairly certain that the interior of the Murdock mansion was a set.  You can check out what the real life interior of the Rindge House looks like here.

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In the Season 3 episode of Wonder Woman titled “The Man Who Could Not Die,” which aired in 1979, the Rindge House served as the residence of evil scientist Joseph Reichman (Brian Davies).

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Ironically enough, though the home was said to be in Topanga Canyon in the episode, a sign with its real life name and address was shown pretty prominently in a scene.  (Love the special effects below!)

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The interior of the Rindge House was featured quite prominently in “The Man Who Could Not Die.”

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As you can see, it is absolutely stunning inside!

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The property’s large guest house was also visible in the episode.

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In the 1980 CBS Children’s Mystery Theatre episode titled “The Haunting of Harrington House,” the home masked as Harrington House, an old hotel that Polly Ames (Dominique Dunne) investigates for paranormal activity during a break from boarding school.  For whatever reason, an establishing shot of the residence is never shown in the episode.  Only close-ups of the porte-cochère . . .

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. . . and the interior appeared onscreen.

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That same year, the Rindge House was featured in another CBS Children’s Mystery Theatre episode titled “The Treasure Of Alpheus T. Winterborn.”  In the episode, the property masqueraded as the Winterborn Public Library.  Sadly, as Mike informed me, during the filming a 40-year-old stuntwoman named Odile Astie was killed while performing a stunt in which she was supposed to fall off the roof of the home onto airbags situated twenty-five feet below.  Some plastic padding that Astie was wearing caught on the gutter during the sequence, though, causing her to land on the ground instead of the airbags.  You can read more about the tragedy here.

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The inside of the Rindge House masked as two different places in “The Treasure Of Alpheus T. Winterborn.”  It first appeared as the interior of the Winterborn Public Library.

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And it was also featured as the interior of Alpheus Winterborn’s former house.

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I was shocked to discover while watching that the exterior of the Winterborn home was none other than the Weller Residence, which I blogged about on Wednesday.

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And I was further shocked to discover that the episode starred Keith Coogan, who is married to my friend Pinky Lovejoy, of the Thinking Pink blog!

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In the 1982 comedy (and I use that term loosely) Slapstick (of Another Kind), the Rindge House was where twins Wilbur (Jerry Lewis) and Eliza Swain (Madeline Kahn) lived.

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The interior of the home was also featured in the movie.

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For Pat Benatar’s 1982 “Shadows of the Night” music video, both the exterior . . .

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. . . and the interior of the Rindge House were turned into a Nazi compound.

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You can watch that video by clicking below.

In 1983’s Private School, the interior of the Rindge House stood in for the interior of Cherryvale Academy for Girls.

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Oddly enough, two different exteriors were shown as the outside of Cherryvale Academy in the movie, neither of which was the Rindge House.  The first exterior shown was that of the “Batman mansion” in Pasadena, which I blogged about here.

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The other exterior shown was that of a house located at 4839 Louise Avenue in Encino.  That same residence was also where Roger Azarian (Matthew Perry) lived in the Season 1 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 titled “April Is the Cruelest Month.”  You can read a post I wrote about it here.

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The close-ups of the exterior of Cherryvale Academy were shot at the Rindge House, however.

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Mike also informed me that the Rindge House appeared in another episode of CBS Children’s Mystery Theatre, but he could not remember which episode, and in the 1980 made-for-television movie Scout’s Honor, which I, unfortunately, could not find a copy of to make screen captures for this post.

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For more stalking fun, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Los Angeles magazine and Discover Los Angeles.

Big THANK YOU to Mike for all of the help he provided with this post!  Smile

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Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: The Rindge House, from The Brasher Doubloon, is located at 2263 South Harvard Boulevard in the Adams-Normandie area of Los Angeles.

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