The Burbs, starring Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher
Since Halloween is just two weeks away, I thought I’d share a hilarious movie that’s got that Halloween spirit without being too scary. The ‘Burbs, starring, Tom Hanks, is a comedy and super funny! I pulled it out and watched it again this past weekend and I couldn’t get over how young Tom Hanks looked…then I realized the movie is from 1989! Ha! No wonder he looks so young!
The house below is the main focus in the movie and where much of the action takes place. The opening scene of the movie takes place at night. The whole movie actually takes place on Mayfield Place, a little cul–de-sac in the fictional suburban town of Hinckley Hills, Iowa.
The background story behind the movie is: Ray Peterson…played by Tom Hanks, and his wife, Carol…played by Carrie Fisher, live right next door to this very neglected, downright spooky house. Ray has just taken a week off from work, but instead of going up to the lake for vacation, he has decided to stay home the whole week. Carol thinks that’s a terrible idea and attempts to talk him into going on a real vacation. Ray refuses, insisting he just wants to stay home and “relax.” Yea, right…
Later that night, Ray wakes up to loud, bizarre noises coming from the house next door. All he and the others in the neighborhood know is that a family by the name of Klopek has purchased the home from the previous family that lived there, the Napps. It seems the Napps just sort of vanished one day and the Klopeks moved in the next day.
Here’s a shot of the front porch with a rare daytime sighting of one of the Klopeks…
This movie is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny. One of the funniest scenes takes place on the front porch of the scary Klopek house. Notice the dead plants.
Ray (Tom Hanks) along with his neighbor, Art (Rick Ducommun) venture up to the front door of the home to meet their new neighbors. They knock on the door. Note the house number showing on the right…669.
After they knock, the last number swings down and suddenly the house number reads, 666. What happens next is absolutely hysterical. I don’t want to spoil it for you…you can rent or buy the movie online at Amazon. I don’t want to give too much away, just in case you plan to watch it.
At one point in the movie they actually do get inside the house for a “normal” visit and here’s how the living room looked…
Another view of the living room…
You’re not going to believe what Ray and Art find in the basement of this house when they eventually break in one day while the Klopeks are away. Yes, they break in! They are obsessed with getting to the bottom of what is going on inside this house.
The Neighborhood…is it real?
When you watch movies, do you ever try to figure out if the houses are real homes or just movie sets? I do that all the time and sometimes it is really hard to tell. I was intrigued by all the homes in the Mayfield Place neighborhood and a little research online uncovered that it’s really a set at Universal Studios called, “Colonial Street.” Turns out, this set has been used in the past for Dragnet and Leave it to Beaver. In fact, the Beaver household had to be removed to make room for the scary Klopek house.
Today, the Klopek house doesn’t fully exist in its original form. But, guess what?! A section of it is now Bree Van de Kamp’s home in Desperate House Wives! Can you believe it? LOL
The Klopek’s home stands in stark contrast to the other homes in the neighborhood. I’m always amazed at how set designers can create the exact feeling they want and make us totally believe we are in your typical picturesque suburban neighborhood. Here’s Ray and Carol’s (Tom Hanks/Carrie Fisher’s) home right next door to the scary Klopek house.
Here’s a daylight view of their home…would someone please tell me why we ever stopped building homes with wonderful, delightful front porches like this? ~~~sigh~~~
I know…something called air conditioning came along. Frankly, I think I’d rather have the front porch. LOL
Remember when houses were built with these little sundecks over the garage?
Despite how large the homes look from the outside, inside they seem a bit small. This is Ray and Carol’s kitchen…note the 80’s wallpaper. Did you have any of those copper molds on your wall back then? I know I did. 🙂 Actually, I still have them down in my basement somewhere…I think.
Another view of the kitchen…note the microwave on the counter…very typical for that period.
This is a little shot of the Peterson’s living room. This movie has some other well known actors: Bruce Dern on the left plays Lt. Mark Rumsfield…the neighbor who lives across from the scary house. That’s Art (Rick Ducommun) toward the back, Ray and Carol’s neighbor on the other side. Of course, that’s Ray (Tom Hanks) with the ice pack on his face and his wife, Carol (Carrie Fisher) standing close by. Not pictured: Corey Feldman plays another neighbor named, Ricky. The scary neighbors are: Henry Gibson who plays Dr. Klopek and Uncle Klopek is played by Brother Theodore.
Here are three of the main characters in Ray’s study, plotting their next strategy in finding out what’s really going on at the Klopek house.
Here’s a shot of Art’s house…again, picturesque with a fabulous porch.
The neighborhood even has a tire swing…they think of everything don’t they?
Remember Gale Gordon…Mr. Mooney from the The Lucy Show? He’s in this movie, too. This is his house and you can just see him standing out front in this scene. He mysteriously disappears in the movie, adding to all the mystery and intrigue.
Here’s a little diagram compliments of Wikipedia, showing the cul–de-sac where the entire movie takes place. This movie really makes you stop and think about the neighborhoods we live in and how we never really know what’s going on behind closed doors.
Here’s a view looking down the street away from the cul–de-sac where everyone lives… While we are busy bringing back porches, what say we bring back street lamps that look like these, too.
Now, I’d like to know…what’s your favorite scary-movie house?
You’ll find more movie house tours here: Movie House Tours