Then and Now: 12 Scenes From Famous Movies


SCENEPAST, the app version of time-travel, allows you to search for movie locations on your phone and see what they look like now. The app's library is constantly expanding, and now encompasses a lot of critically acclaimed films. 

Here's a modern look at some scenes from iconic movies that have won (or were nominated for) Oscars.

1. Back to the Future (1985 & Today)

Location: 9303 Roslyndale Ave, Arleta, CA

The iconic McFly house still stands! Back to the Future had 4 Academy Award nominations, and walked away with one win for Best Sound Effects Editing. 

2. Broadway Danny Rose (1983 & Today)

Location: 854 7th Avenue, New York, NY - Carnegie Deli

Outside of new awnings, the famous deli looks about the same. Broadway Danny Rose had 2 Academy Award nominations including Best Director.

3. Bullitt (1968 & Today)

Location: Intersection of Cesar Chavez St, Precita Ave & York St, San Francisco, CA

This still is from the beginning of the famous car chase scene. Bullitt was nominated for two awards and won one for Best Film Editing. 

4. Diamonds Are Forever (1971 & Today)

Location: Fremont St and 1st St, Las Vegas, NV

The Mint was sold in 1988 to became part of Binion's Horseshoe, but somehow looks even more retro. Diamonds Are Forever won an Academy Award for Best Sound. 

5. Fame (1980 & Today)

Location: 145 West 46th Street, New York, NY

The exterior of the high school was actually the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Fame was nominated for six Academy Awards, and took home two.

6. Naked City (1947 & Today)

Location: 230 West 20th Street, New York, NY

Naked City had 3 nominations and 2 wins. 

7. Pretty Woman (1989 & Today)

Location: 1738 Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood, CA

The motel is still standing, even if the big leafy tree was replaced. Pretty Woman had one nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 

8. Pulp Fiction (1994 & Today)

Location: Flower Street and Sonora Ave, Glendale, CA

Vincent Vega Mia Wallace go to Jack Rabbit Slims for milkshakes and dancing, but the real life location was actually a bowling alley. Despite having a whopping seven nominations, Pulp Fiction only won for Best Writing. 

9. Serpico (1973 & Today)

Location: Hudson St and West 13th St, New York, NY

The large building in the background lost its flashy red paint. Serpico had two nominations, including Best Actor.

10. Sunset Boulevard (1950 & Today)

Location: 8000 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA

Schwab's Pharmacy was a popular drug store that had a soda fountain with counter service. Unfortunately, the charming shop was demolished in 1983 and replaced with retail stores. Sunset Boulevard had eleven nominations and three wins, including one for Best Writing, Story & Screenplay. 

11. Taxi Driver (1975 & Today)

Location: 7th Ave and 43rd, New York, NY

Times Square is a lot more flashy today. Taxi Driver received four nominations.

12. It's a Wonderful Life (1946 & Today)

Location: 4587 Viro Road, La Canada Flintridge, CA

The streets of Bedford Falls were actually part of a large set that was sold and torn down in 1954. Luckily, the Martini house is still standing, almost completely unchanged. The movie had five nominations, but didn't win any awards. 

You can explore more places by downloading the app here. 

Hulton Archive, Getty Images
7 Things You Might Not Know About Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Though she’ll always be known as the little-black-dress-wearing big-screen incarnation of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about Audrey Hepburn, who passed away in Switzerland on January 20, 1993.


Though 1948’s Dutch in Seven Lessons is classified as a “documentary” on IMDb, it’s really more of an educational travel film, in which Hepburn appears as an airline attendant. If you don’t speak Dutch, it might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but you can watch it above anyway.


Hepburn was an unknown actress when she was handed the starring role of Princess Ann opposite Gregory Peck in 1953’s Roman Holiday. As such, Peck was going to be the only star listed, with Hepburn relegated to a smaller font and an “introducing” credit. But Peck insisted, “You've got to change that because she'll be a big star and I'll look like a big jerk.” Hepburn ended up winning her first and only Oscar for the role (Peck wasn’t even nominated).


In 1954, the same year she won the Oscar for Roman Holiday, Hepburn accepted a Tony Award for her title role in Ondine on Broadway. Hepburn is one of only 12 EGOTs, meaning that she has won all of the four major creative awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Unfortunately, the honor came to Hepburn posthumously; her 1994 Grammy for the children’s album Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales and her 1993 Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn were both awarded following her passing in early 1993.


Blake Edwards’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history, but it’s a miracle that the film ever got made at all. Particularly if you listened to Truman Capote, who wrote the novella upon which it was based, and saw only one actress in the lead: Marilyn Monroe. When asked what he thought was wrong with the film, which downplayed the more tawdry aspects of the fact that Ms. Golightly makes her living as a call girl (Hepburn had told the producers, “I can’t play a hooker”), Capote replied, “Oh, God, just everything. It was the most miscast film I’ve ever seen. It made me want to throw up.”


Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Keystone Features, Getty Images

In 2006, Christie’s auctioned off the iconic Givenchy-designed little black dress that Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a whopping $923,187 (pre-auction numbers estimated that it would go for between $98,800 and $138,320). It was a record-setting amount at the time, until Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway dress” from The Seven Year Itch sold for $5.6 million in 2006.


One year after Marilyn Monroe’s sultry birthday serenade to John F. Kennedy in 1962, Hepburn paid a musical tribute to the President at a private party in 1963, on what would be his final birthday.


Photo of Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

In 1990, a rare white tulip hybrid was named after the actress and humanitarian, and dedicated to her at her family’s former estate in Holland.

Why the Film You're Watching on HBO Might Not Be the Whole Movie

In the days before widescreen televisions, most of the movies you watched on VHS or on cable looked a little different than their big-screen versions. The sides of the image had to be cropped out so that you could watch a movie made for a rectangular screen on the small screen. Today, those little black bars on the top and bottom of the screen that allow you to watch the same movie scaled to any shape of screen are everywhere. But it turns out, cropping for aspect ratios is alive and well—on HBO, as YouTube film vlogger Patrick Willems explains.

In his latest video, which we spotted on Digg, Willems explains why aspect ratios matter, and how the commonly used aspect ratios can fundamentally change a movie.

Most old-school televisions have 4:3 aspect ratios, meaning movies had to be significantly cropped to fit wide-screen films on the small screen. Now, most computers and televisions use 16:9 aspect ratios, which is approximately the same as the one used for movies, typically 1.85:1, so many movies expand to fit TV screens perfectly. The catch: Some Hollywood movies are shot with even wider angles to show even more of an image at once. And even though viewers are familiar with the sight of those black bars, it seems the streaming sites are determined to limit their use, even for movies that don’t fit on a normal screen. As a result, you may only be seeing the central part of the image, not the whole thing. You could be missing characters, action, and landscape that’s happening on the far sides of the screen.

Since 1993, the Motion Picture Association of America has mandated that any film that’s been altered in a way that changes the original vision of its creators—say, to edit out swear words, adjust the run time, or to make it fit a certain screen—run with a disclaimer that says as much. That’s why before movies run on TV, they usually show a note that says something like “This film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.” But this doesn’t seem to apply to streaming.

In 2013, Netflix was accused of cropping films, too, showing wide-angle movies to fit the standard 16:9 screen instead of running the original version with black bars. The streaming giant claimed it was a mistake due to distributors sending them the cropped version, and those films would be replaced with the originals. However, as of 2015, users were still complaining of the problem. According to Willems, it’s a problem that still plagues not just HBO, but Starz and Hulu, too, and there isn’t any clear rationale for it other than that perhaps people don’t like looking at black bars. But frankly, that seems better than seeing a version of a film that the director never intended.

You can get all the details in the video below:

[h/t Digg]


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