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Take a Tour of the Beautiful, Historic Apartment in the movie, Green Card
While putting together a recent post listing a whole bunch of my fave decorating and design books, I came across my copy of The Conservatory Book by Peter Marston. This book is filled with pictures of beautiful greenhouses. The book reminded me of another beautiful greenhouse, the one in one of my favorite movies, Green Card.
Green Card is a romantic comedy, written, produced and directed by Peter Weir, starring Andie MacDowell who plays Brontë Mitchell, and Gérard Depardieu who plays Georges Fauré. In the movie, Georges is in a difficult situation because his visa is about to expire and he will have to return to his home country, France.
Brontë, a horticulturalist and an environmentalist, is also in a predicament. The Manhattan apartment of her dreams with a to-die-for greenhouse, has become available for rent, but the board of trustees overseeing the apartment building only rents to married couples. Brontë isn’t married. You can see where this is going.
Brontë and Georges get married for the sole purpose of achieving their individual dreams: Georges gets to stay in the country and Brontë gets her dream apartment with a beautiful greenhouse. They have no plans to live together and go their separate ways after they exchange vows.
As you might imagine, things go terribly awry. The movie is funny, sweet, romantic and has a surprise ending. The majority of this movie is filmed in the apartment and it becomes an important character in the movie…a charming, captivating, wonderful character…especially the greenhouse.
The entrance to the apartment is one level down from the rest of the apartment. (Click on any photos to enlarge them further.)
Whenever anyone stops by (like Brontë’s parents in this scene) they ring (or the doorman) rings on the little call box on the wall to the right.
This is how the apartment looks the day Brontë moves in. Apparently, it comes furnished, although, that isn’t really addressed in the movie.
Here’s the other side of the living room. Notice the built-in arched niches/bookshelves. LOVE those! There are two arched niches and they are built-in on either side of the fireplace. It’s obvious the apartment where this was filmed is in an older building…probably historic.
Things get complicated and the Immigration and Naturalization Service comes calling. I love the “collected-over-the-years” look of the furniture in the apartment.
The coffee table appears to be a bamboo style. Notice the lamp shade. This movie was made in 1990 but that same style lamp shade is popular right now. Bamboo is pretty big now, too. Classic style never goes out, does it?
The wall over the sofa is decorated with a casual grouping of pictures.
During the movie, Brontë’s parents make an unexpected visit. The tray shown here on the coffee table is visible in another scene in the kitchen.
This scene is from the day Brontë first sets foot inside her dream apartment. It’s really the greenhouse she craves with a passion…the apartment just happens to come with it. The conservatory has been left unattended for quite a while and it is badly in need of some tender gardening care. Brontë is so excited to get to work, she begins tidying and cleaning it up while still wearing her coat.
Once it’s all dead-headed and spiffied up, Brontë turns on the sprinkler system.
The conservatory is really one of the main characters or stars in this movie. Every scene in this room melts your heart…well, it did mine anyway.
Brontë is seen resting in the conservatory, contemplating the complicated situation she’s in.
The ceiling of the conservatory. Wow! Just Wow!
During the movie, Brontë’s friend Lauren, played by Bebe Neuwirth, stops by for a surprise visit. She and Brontë dine in the conservatory. This scene makes me think of Bunny Williams beautiful conservatory in her book, An Affair with a House.
The greenhouse is always visible through the French doors off the living room. Notice the writing desk between the French doors and the other door.
It isn’t there the day Brontë moves in. Ummm…that’s never really explained.
The view with the French doors thrown open. Tell me your heart isn’t melting!
Georges decides he and Brontë need to write pretend love letters to each other, to show they have a history together.
Brontë writes her pretend love letters while sitting at the kitchen table. We get a brief view out the kitchen door…looks like a potting shed for the greenhouse.
We get our first glimpse of the kitchen from the living room.
Note the old sink and the cabinets. The cabinets look like they’ve been painted many times over the years. When have you last seen a bread box like the one shown here on the counter…or a spice rack like that? This movie really makes me feel a bit nostalgic.
Another view in the kitchen.
No dishwasher…just a dish rack/drain board. Even in 1990 when this movie was made, refrigerators didn’t look like that. Love the vintage feel of this movie house. There’s the tray (under the window) Brontë used for tea when her Mom visited.
Even the stove is vintage.
Brontë and Georges are trying to live together during the INS investigation period. She drinks decaf, he doesn’t. He smokes, she doesn’t. He eats red meat, she eats muesli, or “bird seed” as Georges calls it. Yep, a marriage made in heaven.
We see just a little of Brontë’s bedroom in the movie.
Love the vintage dresser…so romantic.
Below we see the matching chest/armoire. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like this with doors that open up to drawers. Have you? Wonder what this piece is actually called. Chest/armoire just doesn’t really work, does it?
This hallway plays a pivotal point in the movie…a really pivotal point.
We only get a few views of the roof top garden.
Not exactly sure what that little glassed thing is. It can’t be the top of the conservatory…it’s just way too small. Maybe a skylight? Ummm, any idea?
Additional Info. The building where this movie was filmed is The Aylsmere. The following two pictures of this beautiful historic building were found HERE at Landmark West.
Another view of The Aylsmere…so now we know how the outside looked.
During the movie, a few scenes take place in Lauren’s (Brontë’s friend) parent’s home, which is quite fancy. This is a scene of the entry/foyer.
The scene in the dining room is my favorite. I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to have a dining room surrounded with built in bookcases, filled with gorgeous leather-bound books. I was so surprised to actually see it here in Green Card. This scene made me want to grow my hair out really long and get a perm. Andie MacDowell is beautiful, but she is especially stunning in this scene.
A few more scenes from Lauren’s parent’s home.
Lauren’s Mom playing a grand piano in the music room…
The other side of the music room…
Green Card did pretty well at the box office, winning Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards. It’s the apartment and that gorgeous greenhouse that won my heart.
Did you see the movie, Green Card? Would you be tempted to marry a stranger for a lovely apartment in New York with a gorgeous greenhouse…if you could have it annulled later?
You’ll find additional Movie House Tours here: Movie House Tours.