“Her Alibi:” Tom Selleck’s House in Connecticut

"Her Alibi" movie house | hookedonhouses.netIn 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.

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location MD | hookedonhouses.net

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.

Tom Selleck and Paulina Porizkova Her Alibi

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:

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location | hookedonhouses.net

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.”

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location | hookedonhouses.net

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.)

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location | hookedonhouses.net

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.

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location | hookedonhouses.net

The kitchen doesn’t look too outdated, really–which is surprising considering that this was the ’80s, and ’80s decorating doesn’t always age well:

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location | hookedonhouses.net

The eating area has a lower, beamed ceiling:

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location | hookedonhouses.net

From this angle you can see the arched window above the kitchen cabinets:

The bedroom Nina stays in has an arched window, too:

Phil’s Bedroom:

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!).

"Her Alibi" movie house filming location | hookedonhouses.net

Nina practices her archery skills in the backyard, giving us a look at the back of the house:

*UPDATE*

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!):

Her Alibi house from movie aerial view

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?

Julia-simple teal signature

P.S. Visit my Movie Houses page to see more I’ve featured, including…

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Comments

  1. says

    Gosh! I don’t remember seeing this movie, but I LOVE seeing Movie Houses here, Julia!

    This is always so much fun! Thank you for sharing it.

    I hope you’re starting your week in a very happy way!

    xo

    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  2. says

    Oh I still remember watching that film.

    Paulina was so gorgeous in there that I do not care
    if she can act or not… quite funny too, the film.

    The house is quite huge,
    and looks great, but you’re right in the 80’s kind of way.

  3. says

    I didn’t see the movie but I really like the house. It seems so cozy and I love the beams.
    The lower level family room furniture really made me laugh. I remember that when I got out of college, my mom and I used to talk about how fun it would be to have unlimited funds to furnish my first apartment and the furniture in that room is exactly what we were dreaming about!
    There was a company that used to specialize in that style but I can’t remember the name. I do remember that it wasn’t actually all that expensive. But I was definitely relying on hand-me-downs for my first place (hmm…I still have many of those today).

  4. says

    I haven’t seen that movie, but may I just say how hunky Tom Selleck is? I used to swoon when he was on Friends. 😉 I love the front porch, but the inside makes me feel a little claustrophobic with (what look to be?) low ceilings in some of the rooms. Maybe it’s the dark beams. Looks like a fun movie!

  5. says

    LOL I remember the movie, but I only had eyes for Tom Selleck! Magnum PI was one of my favorite shows. Ever. I am also a huge Cars fan, and I can remember when Paulina and Ric Ocasek married. This is a super-cool post, Julia. It is nice to see the house. I think it has stood the test of time!

  6. says

    Julia I never saw this movie, now I must!! Tom has really aged well with his rugged good looks!! Love the house, would like to see more light in the interior!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    I have an amazing Giveaway from the Artisans at Novica. You will love it!

  7. Kelly says

    There was a pretty house in this movie??? Oh! I didn’t notice. I was too busy looking at gorgeous Tom Selleck. Ha!

  8. says

    Oh, I remember this movie! It was such a beautiful house! I especially loved the study with the desk under the l:-)ittle half round window. Glad you included a picture of that!

  9. says

    Wow I remember this movie… I loved this home at first sight… a dream. I couldn’t rimember the title to find pic of this home!! Thank you. You are UNIQUE!
    kISS
    eTTA

  10. T. says

    I have absolutely no memory of this movie! I will have to put it in my Netflix queue. I saw Paulina in person once, and she was so beautiful it seemed that she couldn’t possibly be human.

    I can’t even wrap my head around the idea of Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones. The character would have been so much different!

    I have a room on my old house that was added in the 1980s (by previous home-owners) and it definitely looks 80s. We added crown molding, and that helped it blend with the rest of the house a little bit, but I think we need to replace the windows to completely erase the 80s feel.

  11. says

    Oh! What jumps out at me is the furniture with crate-like sides. I remember those shops in the malls of that time – In a Crate or In a Cube – something like that!

  12. says

    This movie seems like a really long time ago but I would kill for that kitchen!
    Mary

  13. says

    I love this movie. It is silly and the plot is whacky and it has that “screwball” feel of the ’40s (I’m thinking My Man Godfrey). Tom Selleck is beautiful. Pauline Porizovka is beautiful. The house is beautiful. Who needs a plot? (Though there are some funny, funny scenes). Thanks for showing us the house.

  14. ShabbyChick says

    I don’t think I ever saw the movie, but I love this house! Even a couple of decades later it still looks so cozy and lived in, it’s the kind of place that I would love to visit and stay for hours! I love everything about it.

  15. says

    Wow! That house is incredible! It’s amazing to see how much appeal it still holds even though it was from the 80’s. I would definitely live there. I love all the exposed beams, archways, and large windows. Tom Selleck is such a handsome guy, hard to imagine him as Indy! I love him as Magnum, and Monica’s ex on Friends. I have never seen this movie, I’ll have to ask the rents if they remember it.

  16. says

    I’ve never seen the movie but Tom Selleck in any movie must be okay. :)
    I can’t believe he is nearing 70 though! Still good lookin’ in my book.

  17. Holly says

    Love the post, as always. The furniture was called This End Up. I think it’s so funny to see it in this house. That is definitely from the 80’s.

  18. Lizzy says

    The furniture in the family room jumped out at me too. Our family bought quite a bit of that type of furniture in the 80’s from THIS END UP. It was inexpensive and indestructable, that was the selling point for us. Various pieces have been handed down to other family members and it is still going strong. Not the look I would have expected from such a grand home.

    The eating area off the kitchen……. I think that would be a very depressing area to start off my day with breakfast, not loving that but the rest of the house is great!

  19. Sue says

    I vaguely remember when the movie was being filmed and the press said Seleck was shopping for antiques at a local store (Grant’s in Savage, MD) and some of the store’s wares were used in the movie. I spotted pieces that looked like their style, the desk for one. Of course, my memory could be playing tricks and it could have been another movie entirely. Several have been made in Maryland.

  20. Mercedes says

    I saw this movie, long time ago, and the house likes me from the begining.
    When you say that it will be a post of it, I believed that someone else saw the same
    amazing set !!
    Thanks for share

  21. Kim says

    I haven’t seen this movie, but that house is gorgeous. It doesn’t look outdated like most 80’s houses do. I could see myself living in a place like this.

    I am so glad that Tom Selleck didn’t end up playing in Indiana Jones. I just couldn’t see anyone else playing Indy, but Harrison Ford.

  22. says

    I do remember this movie. I remember her acting being so bad that it ruined it. But the house is great and you are right that kitchen has held up very well…just put some different countertops and it’s good to go.

  23. Vicki says

    I loved this movie back then and just as much now, great house, but who couldn’t live anywhere with Tom Selleck!!

  24. says

    I remember this movie specifically because of the house. How funny! I was completely in love w/ her bedroom and dreamed of recreating it for myself: complete w/ wicker bed, pine armoire and blue & white chinoiserie lamps. I remember pausing the VHS to get a better look at the details! I even remembered her comforter with the wide gray and white stripes! If memory serves, that room had french doors leading onto an upstairs porch in the movie! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one so obsessed w/ houses that I remember a room (including the comforter) from an obscure 80’s movie!! Seems I’m in good company here. Thanks for the blast from my 80’s past today Julia!

  25. Susan says

    I remember this movie. There’s a scene where she is describing his books in the thick foreign accent, and she says per…per…and selleck goes perfect? No she says perdictable. I can’t remember how it ends, but I vaguely remember it had to do with a circus. I love how I remember that, but still can’t remember what day my sister’s birthday is?

  26. says

    I loves me some vintage Tom Selleck! ROWR!

    But seriously, great writeup on this house. I’ve never heard of the movie, so I’ll have to check it out.

  27. Jo says

    There is no one so good-looking as Tom Selleck! I don’t care how bad the movie is, I have my own copies of all his movies. Yes, the house was nice, too.

  28. E. George says

    You didn’t say which part of his body the arrow landed in…. It’s been a long time since I saw this film I remember a bit of it …I will look out for it. It’s a beautiful house even if it was the 80’s – we moved into this house in 1985 and our kitchen does not look like that … my tragic story. Thanks for the memories Julia this was great. Regards Esther from Sydney (with a big smile).

  29. Julie says

    Julia,
    I’ve watched this movie so many times as it’s one of my favorites. I fell in love with the house and all the surrounding area. The design was masculine but I still found it very comfortable looking.

  30. Kelley says

    Thanks so much for posting this house. I wanted to see the first picture the most. I loved how silly the whole movie was but the house is what impressed me.

  31. T. Loftin says

    I’ve always loved this house. I can see Tom Selleck living in this house.

  32. P says

    this is actually what the house looks like on the inside. the movie was filmed in the house and not on a soundstage. i have been inside the actual house many times. i went to school with one of the 3 girls that lived there. we had a ring dance after party there and i had 2 birthday parties there. the house and grounds were truly amazing – great pool and hot tub and a fabulous pond with an island. the family has since sold the house – actually the ravens old head coach, Billick, used to live there but it has since been sold again.
    great memories in that wonderful house!

  33. christa says

    I was surprised to learn that the same team worked on both this and the home from “Funny Farm” , as, these are my two favorite movie homes. I was only a kid when these movies came out ,but, I have always remembered these homes. I hope to one day find a property that captures their essence.

    Thanks so much for this post!

    Love this site :)

  34. Robyn Barnhardt says

    I sooo remember this movie! I was a huge Tom Selleck fan when I went to see this movie but it was the house that I couldn’t get enough of! I rented it it several times over the years just to get another look! Thanks so much for posting it….I would love to get my hands on it today and do a little updating furniture-wise but even now there’s not much about the house that I would change!

  35. Peg says

    I’ve also been in love with this house since I first saw the movie in 1989. I knew it was actually in Baltimore but didn’t know where. (Glad to see this article which has more news about it!)

    This movie is one of my all-time guilty-pleasure movies. It’s a bit silly and the editing gets sloppy but I always thought the characters, especially the supporting characters, were great, and love Tom’s starring role as a bit of a blundering goofball (in contrast to the mystery sleuth his character makes up).

  36. Robyn says

    We are in the beginning stages of building a home. I’ve told my architect that the home in this movie is the house I want; wood beams, rock walls and all. Your pictures will help him in drawing up the plans. Thanks.

    • Katnip says

      I agree, the wood beams and rock walls are very attractive! There is nothing like the beauty of antique touches like that!

  37. Michael says

    I have loved this movie since it came out. I have wanted this house ven more, it’s one of those dreams, if I did ever have the money to build a home this nice, that I would have the people find this house and copy it exactly…such a beautiful place that played a quiet part in this movie…

  38. Katnip says

    First of all, great website!
    The kitchen really held up, decor wise. True, usually ’80s interiors don’t stand the test of time, but this kitchen did so beautifully. My favorite touch is the grouping of pottery and copper above the cabinets. I’d like to do the same in my own kitchen with a collection of antique Pennsylvania pottery.

    To be honest, the formica (?) countertops are unattractive and dated. They are, however, somehow more appropriate than granite or marble used today. My preference would be to have wood countertops, at least in a house like this.

    Another criticism is the clutter on the counter. That may be because Tom is cooking something.

    I agree with the last poster, the wood beams and stone walls are beautiful. They look very East coast, very Pennsylvania. I have lived in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The exterior front of the home as well as the stone interior look more like homes in PA than CT. Beautiful nonetheless! Yep, this is how I’d like my kitchen!

  39. says

    You and I seem to have the same tastes or curiosities about homes, locales and how important homes play in the movies. Father of the bride, her alibi, brothers and sisters and just about anything in Santa Barbara. My excuse is my dad is an architect. What about you? Johm

    • Katnip says

      I, too, liked the house on Brothers and Sisters. Too bad the show went off the air.

      The use of dark beams and dark, contrasting woodwork seems to be used quite a bit on the West coast. It is very attractive. So is the use of colorful tiles.

  40. Katnip says

    After looking at the interior pics carefully, the interior shots were probably taken in the home rather than this being a constructed set. The clue is the windows. In the shots, they are too much like the windows from the house seen in the first pic. Then there is the view outside the windows, what can be seen, anyway. The vegetation and trees looks very East Coast.

    The interiors aged well. Maybe that is because the look is country. That look is pretty timeless. Note the Windsor chairs in the dining room shot, and the hardware on the kitchen cabinets. The Crate Craft furniture in the shot where Tom’s character is talking on the phone are very 1980s, however.

  41. invenio says

    I was a little bored today and I figured I try to find the location of this house on Google Earth/Maps. Unfortunately, I was unable to do this and I was wondering if anybody had more specific information on its exact location. In the article above it states:

    “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.””

    However, Belfast Road in not in Glyndon, it is in Sparks Glencoe, MD.

    Here are the coordinates for the start of Belfast Road: 39°32’15.11″N 76°43’14.81″W. I scanned all the houses on this road but could not match it up to the “Her Alibi” house.

    I figured the shape of the house and the location of the pool would make it easy to spot, but I can’t find it. Is it possible it is not on Belfast Road? Any information helping to locate the house would be helpful. Thanks!

    If I end up finding the location, I will post the coordinates.

  42. Ray says

    I loved this house. Always have from the first time I viewed the movie. The movie itself is one of my favorites. If I had to pick the Bob Murray’s house in Zombiland or Tom’s house in this flick I’d pick Tom’s. (What kind of moron would live in the Zombiland house?)