In the movie Her Alibi, Tom Selleck plays a murder-mystery writer who falls in love with the beautiful Paulina Porizkova, who may or may not be a murderer. I loved it when it came out in 1989, and his house in Connecticut was a big reason why.
The newer addition built onto the original house is modern in an ’80s kind of way with windows and doors that really don’t belong with the old home. I had forgotten about that until I watched the movie again.
The first shot of the interior of the house is a long, lingering pan across the stone-walled great room and up the open staircase to the front door as Phil Blackwood (Selleck) and Nina (Porizkova) walk in:
Even though it’s supposed to be in Connecticut, the movie was actually filmed in Maryland outside Baltimore. And from what I can tell, they used the actual interiors of the house for the shoot. Either that, or they built some pretty elaborate sets. (If anyone knows for sure, fill us in!)
According to a commenter on the Baltimore Sun’s forums: “They filmed a lot in Baltimore County. The house where Tom Selleck’s character lived is somewhere on Belfast Road near Glyndon.”
As I was researching this post, I thought it was interesting to learn that the Production Designer was Henry Bumstead and the Set Decoration was done by James W. Payne, the same team that worked on another one of my favorite movie houses – Funny Farm. (You can see my post about that one here.)
Tom Selleck was 44 when he made this movie. “Magnum, P.I.” had just come to an end of its 8-year run, and he’d had a hit with 3 Men and a Baby two years before (1987).
Paulina Porizkova, one of the original Supermodel Celebrities of the ’80s, was born in Czechoslovakia. She was 24 when she made this movie and married Ric Ocasek that same year. They’re still together and have two sons.
The kitchen doesn’t look too outdated, really–which is surprising considering that this was the ’80s, and ’80s decorating doesn’t always age well:
The eating area has a lower, beamed ceiling:
From this angle you can see the arched window above the kitchen cabinets:
The bedroom Nina stays in has an arched window, too:
When Phil has a dream about Nina coming into his bedroom to kill him in the middle of the night, we get to see all of the rafters and what appears to be a loft above his bed:
Phil’s Writing Study has a desk in the dormer:
Did you know Tom Selleck was “thisclose” to being Indiana Jones instead of Harrison Ford? To take the role he would have had to break his “Magnum, P.I.” contract. Ironically, the shooting of the pilot for “Magnum” was delayed for so many months that he would have had time to film Raiders of the Lost Ark after all.
Phil talks on the phone in the lower-level family room, moments before Nina accidentally shoots him with an arrow from the backyard:
Nina takes a late-night swim in the pool:
Moments later, the house blows up, and suspicious minds think Nina might have had something to do with it:
But never fear–the house appears to be completely intact and undamaged in the scenes that follow (that’s the kind of movie this is–you can’t think about any of the plot points too hard!).
Nina practices her archery skills in the backyard, giving us a look at the back of the house:
A reader named John just contacted me with more information about the location of the house. He tracked it down to Ivy Mill Road in Reisterstown, Maryland. As you can see from this aerial view of the property, it does look like a match for the Her Alibi house (good sleuth work, John!):
Does anyone else remember seeing this movie in the ’80s and falling in love with the house? Do you still like it after all these years as much as I do?
P.S. Visit my Movie Houses page to see more I’ve featured, including…