EVERETT — Whoops, looks like I missed some. Much of the feedback from the previous articles in this series can be summed up as “I didn’t know that” or “You missed this one.” Apparently a lot of things have been filmed in Snohomish County, from reality television to low-budget indie films. A big thank you to everyone who sent in emails or left comments on Facebook and Reddit.
Most of what’s on this fourth list is here because of readers pointing it out. But there were also some false positives I looked into too.
While the SyFy Channel miniseries “5ive Days Till Midnight” (2004) was set in Everett, the film’s location manager Kirk Johns in an email wrote, as far as he knows, it was entirely shot in British Columbia. It’s the same situation with “The Unforgivable” (2021). Set in Seattle and Snohomish, the drama film starring Sandra Bullock was shot entirely in Vancouver.
And just to set the record straight, the high school attended by the teen hacker played by Matthew Broderick in “WarGames” (1983) was called Snohomish High School, but the movie was actually filmed at El Segundo High School in California.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into even more projects filmed in Snohomish County:
“Reflections of Murder” (1974)
This made-for-TV thriller starring Tuesday Weld and Sam Waterston was a remake of the classic 1955 French film Les Diaboliques.” It was filmed mostly in Seattle but some scenes were shot at a Tudor mansion in Woodway. Built in 1930 for then-Boeing President Philip Johnson, it was sold by his widow in 1956 to an order of Dominican nuns who renamed the property Rosary Heights.
Author Catherine Whitney wrote of the house in her 1999 book “The Calling: A Year in the Life of an Order of Nuns.” In it, she writes the exterior of Rosary Heights was used in the American remake of the 1955 French film “Les Diaboliques” as a stand-in for a boys’ school where a murder takes place.
A critical scene involved a dead body tossed into a swimming pool, so the film’s producers built one on the property. After filming, the pool was donated to Dominican Sisters and it fell into disrepair. The nuns, due to dwindling numbers and the high cost of maintenance, put the mansion up for sale in 2009. The Town of Woodway tried to buy the property for use as city offices, but the bond measure was voted down by a wide margin and the estate was sold to a private owner in 2011.
This action-adventure flick starred Desi Arnaz Jr., Robert Carradine and a young Melanie Griffith. It follows two California couples who move to Alaska, only to later find themselves involved in robbery, kidnapping and a high-speed car chase. The film’s crew spent four weeks filming in Snohomish and King counties, according to the Associated Press. The crew also filmed at the Pacific Lumberyard Dock at the Port of Tacoma.
A bar scene was filmed at The Corner Bar in Granite Falls and the mining town Roslyn was a stand-in for an oil town where a robbery takes place. Snow scenes were shot near Mount Rainier, suburban Seattle was used to represent Los Angeles and Woodinville the Midwest. The crew also filmed water pipes along a road near Everett to represent an Alaskan pipeline.
Another noteworthy tidbit about the movie is a cameraman was killed while filming a chase scene near Port Angeles. He was leaning out a car window when the vehicle, meant to skid and slid sideways, rolled over. The crash happened on Old Shine Road, a curvy country road leading from Port Ludlow to Hood Canal, the Associated Press reported.
“Bustin’ Loose ” (1981)
This comedy stars comedian Richard Pryor as a convict tasked with driving a busload of orphans from Philadelphia to a farm in rural Washington. Much of the movie was filmed in Washington, which is why a red delivery box for The Daily Herald can be seen for a few seconds on screen as the bus drives down a Midwestern road before reaching Montana.
In 2006, historian Jack O’Donnell wrote in his column for The Daily Herald about a four-minute chase scene near the end of the movie filmed on the streets of downtown Snohomish. In the film, Pryor, dressed as a cowboy, tries to swindle money from scammers hosting a “trapezoid” scheme seminar. Then he and three-time Emmy-winning actress Cicely Tyson are pursued out the door by armed men.
The two are shown running out of a building used by the “Royal Order of the Goose,” which in reality is the Feather Ballroom, and run down 1st Street past several businesses.
“Trading Spaces” (2002)
In this TLC reality show, two neighbors trade houses for two days, each redecorating a room on a $1,000 budget with the help of a professional designer. John and Julie Tarr were on the show with Nancy and Lennie Puetz from Everett’s 56th Place Southeast, according to the Seattle Times.
The Puetzs went for a “circus-tent theme” living room by draping it with curtains and coloring with fuchsia spray paint. The Tarrs, who were asked not to use any Asian decor by the other couple, were instructed by their designer to do just that and also painted a wall traffic-cone orange. In the end both couples said they loved their new rooms.
The full episode can be seen on YouTube.
“Kitchen Nightmares” (2013)
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay set out to fix up struggling restaurants in this television series on Fox. One such eatery was the Prohibition Grille at 1414 Hewitt Ave. in Everett. He visited in December 2012 and the episode aired the following April.
Restaurant owner Rishi Brown spoke to The Herald about Ramsay’s visit before the episode’s premiere.
“I cried the entire time,” Brown said. “It was so upsetting. He exposed all my problems, my shortcomings, my vulnerabilities.”
“He said the f-word constantly. I said the f-word a gazillion times my own self,” Brown added. “It was so bad. I suddenly turned into this potty mouth. Even if they bleep it, my community is going to hear how many times I said it.”
Brown was surprised when a Fox TV scout turned up at Prohibition Grille. She was unaware her son had submitted her name for the show as the restaurant struggled. Brown bought the restaurant in 2008.
“I opened it with $10,000 and no restaurant experience,” Brown said. “A month after we opened the economy crashed.”
Ramsay later returned to Everett in July 2013. He signed autographs and a fan’s prosthetic leg. In response, the mayor of Everett proclaimed July 31, 2013, “Prohibition Gastropub Appreciation Day.”
Ramsay’s improvements to the venue and menu helped the restaurant survive another three years. Brown got out of the restaurant business in 2016 and the venue has since housed three other restaurants, the current being The Flying Pig.
Before her death in 2020 at age 54, writer-director Lynn Shelton filmed a number of projects in the Seattle area, including this romcom drama starring Keira Knightley as a woman who goes into a mid-life crisis after her long-time boyfriend proposes.
Dave Drummond, of Edmonds, is a location manager who’s worked on several projects filmed in Snohomish County, including “Captain Fantastic” (2016) filmed near Index and the third season of “Twin Peaks” (2017). For “Laggies,” he said the filmmakers wanted locations with a suburban look and new homes to contrast scenes filmed at older homes and businesses in Seattle.
Mill Creek was picked because of its “big houses along the golf course, and cul-de-sacs.” The scene shot there had Knightley wearing headphones and holding up a sign promoting an accounting service. Drummond said he enjoyed watching the reactions from people driving by as they saw the two-time Academy Award nominated actress, famous for playing Elizabeth Swann in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, twirling a sign on a random street corner in downtown Mill Creek.
“It was really fun to see the double takes that people would do as a movie star was out there dancing around,” Drummond said. “So that was a fun one, for sure.”
“Outside In” (2017)
Shelton returned to Snohomish County to direct this drama about an ex-con granted parole who returns to their hometown after 20 years. When it came to picking shooting locations, Shelton told Deadline: “I didn’t want it to be in an urban area. I wanted it to be gray but with a lot of nature — a place where you could feel the struggle of people trying to scrape by.”
In her opinion, Granite Falls fit that description. The crew largely shot in the area over 20 days. Production was based out of the town’s American Legion Post where most scenes were shot within walking distance.
Drummond also worked on this film and said they picked Granite Falls “because we needed a small mountain town that wasn’t particularly touristy looking and felt like a very authentic Northwestern town.” He said the script called for a “dumpy motel,” so the crew filmed at one in “the seedier sides of Everett.”
“Unsellable Houses” (2019-Present)
This HGTV reality show stars real estate consultants and twin sisters Leslie Davis and Lyndsay Lamb of Snohomish. The premise is the sisters invest their own money into renovating a home, then split the profits with the seller. Episodes feature houses across Snohomish and King County.
The series is produced by High Noon Entertainment, which also created the shows “Fixer Upper” and “Cake Boss.” The company contacted the sisters in 2017 after seeing YouTube videos of them singing car karaoke and a pilot premiered two years later.
Last year, the sisters opened a design center on First Street in Snohomish. It houses their real estate office and renovation company called Lamb & Co. The fourth season of “Unsellable Houses” premiered Sept. 10.