Netflix Film “The Pale Blue Eye”: Where Was It Actually Filmed?

Like many of Scott Cooper’s films, “The Pale Blue Eye” is immersed in a sense of foreboding. It’s one of his darkest and gloomiest film projects to date in terms of cinematography, with a tonne of dismal shots and gothic themes that would make Edgar Allan Poe smile from his grave. But are the sites and places are shown in the mystery movie starring Christian Bale real?

The events of “The Pale Blue Eye,” which are based on Louis Bayard’s 2003 novel of the same name, take place in West Point, New York, in the year 1830. Augustus Landor, played by Bale, is a “world-weary detective” who is hired to “discreetly investigate the gruesome murder of a cadet,” according to the synopsis and logline provided by Netflix.

Landor must work with one of the cadets because they are bound by a code of silence and pledged to secrecy in order to try to solve the mystery. The actor who plays Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Melling, from “Harry Potter,” reveals that the cadet is none other than Edgar Allan Poe.

Since its December 23 premiere, “The Pale Blue Eye” has received a generally mixed response, earning a 67% Tomatometer rating and a 77% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie’s “well-cast mystery is just intriguing enough to pursue,” according to the site’s Critics Consensus while lacking the “penetrating gaze” of its inspiration.

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Not to add, according to Tony Sokol of Den of Geek, “its photography and tone evoke the eeriness inherent in Poe’s writing, the thumbscrew tension of detective exams, and the lyrical hopelessness of Gothic literature.” And a significant portion of this is due to the fantastic settings Cooper and his crew picked for the movie, which we go over here.

“The Pale Blue Eye” Was Shot Around Steel City and Other Parts of Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other sources claim that Pennsylvania’s Steel City and other locations were used for the filming of Scott Cooper’s “The Pale Blue Eye.” According to Uncovering PA, Cooper and his team frequently used the Compass Inn Museum, which had its historic blacksmith shop converted into an inn in the 1830s. In fact, newly-elected Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman and his wife, Gisele, were reportedly used as extras for at least one scene inside the tavern.

The Pale Blue Eye

“John’s got this fantastic face, hulking figure,” said Christian Bale in November 2021 at an early screening (via Philly Voice) (via Philly Voice). “So I said to Scott, ‘We’ve got to have him in the tavern’ … That’s a face that fits the 1830s.”

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In addition to the Compass Inn, some other popular Pennsylvania locations that were used for “The Pale Blue Eye” include McConnells Mill State Park, Westminster College in New Wilmington, Moraine State Park, Penguin Court in Westmoreland County, Old Economy Village in Beaver County, and Allegheny Cemetery in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh (via Uncovering PA).



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