SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.
Twice in a Lifetime (1985)
Twice in a Lifetime is a bittersweet divorce drama starring Gene Hackman as Harry MacKenzie, the patriarch of a working class family who lives in the fictional town of Holden. Holden supposedly exists somewhere between Seattle and Tacoma but the home the filmmakers used for the MacKenzie household is located on the northwest part of Phinney Ridge and you can see the Ballard Bridge out of their dining room window. They show a glimpse of "downtown" Holden and I think they may use downtown Snohomish for these scenes. "The Hack" works at a steel mill that is also supposed to be in Holden but is actually located in SODO or Georgetown. There is a lot of location footage and other details incorporated into the film and Twice in a Lifetime provides a fairly accurate portrayal of "blue-collar" Seattle. For example, Harry is a sports fan: In one scene he is watching a Mariner's game on TV (you can hear Dave Niehaus call a Dave Henderson home run); on his birthday his friends give him a Seahawks jacket and cap; and later he actually goes to a Seahawks game at the Kingdome and the crowd is shown doing "the wave." Harry and his wife Kate (Ellen Burstyn) are growing apart and, while celebrating his 50th at the local watering hole, he meets a new love interest named Audrey (Ann Margret). The bar is called The Shamrock Tavern but it is really Fremont's The Dubliner when it was located closer to the Fremont Bridge. Harry and Kate separate and he takes Audrey out on a few dates including lunch at Ivar's Salmon House followed by a stroll around Gas Works Park. The two also have a long talk at Jose Rizal Park with a view of the Kingdome in the background. After she splits with her husband, Kate gets a new haircut and hits the town with her girlfriends. They go to a male strip club that was shot at a place called Deeter's in Bellevue that is no longer in business. Harry eventually moves out of Holden and gets his own apartment in Seattle. His bachelor pad is located on Lower Capitol Hill. He has a view of the Seattle Center out of one window and a view of his neighbor's bathroom out of another. Later in the film, a despondent Harry goes to Mike's Chili Parlor (which hasn't changed much in 25 years) where he aimlessly rolls billiard balls with his hands. I've been to a lot of bars and I've never seen anybody do this in real life but I've also seen a lot of films and the "depressed guy rolling pool balls around" is a familiar sight in the movies. And what Seattle movie would be complete without a ferry ride into Elliott Bay and a stroll through Pioneer Square? As you can probably infer, I found myself more interested in the locations than in the main plot of this film, but it is nice to see a film about "regular" Seattle folks.