We rarely pay attention to the locations in a film, unless the landscapes are unusually breathtaking (probably CGI) or, like, literally wallpapered in genitals. However, if you think back to your favorite films, you might notice that many of them used the same locations. Just like with actors, there is an elite group of places that tend to show up in hit and/or classic movies.
Here are six locations with more robust IMDb pages (and better managers, apparently) than 80 percent of Hollywood.
6 Quality Cafe -- Basically Every Cafe in Every Movie Ever
If you live in Los Angeles, you may have seen the Quality Cafe once or twice -- and if you own a television, you've probably seen it hundreds of times. Seriously, the same place has been featured in a ton of TV shows and movies:
Sometimes in the exact same spot:
And with the exact same coffee mugs:
Denzel and Ethan win the award for cutest couple to sit in that booth.
Remember the awkward scene in the first season of Mad Men when Don Draper talks with his half-brother? That was also the Quality Cafe, only with '60s hairdos and indoor smoking allowed.
"We even made a Colored entrance for some of the crew members. That didn't go over well."
Gary Sinise investigated a crime that was committed inside the Quality Cafe in an episode of CSI: NY, even though Los Angeles is a little outside a New York cop's jurisdiction:
Strange ... usually CSI is so firmly grounded in reality.
The Quality Cafe doesn't even function as a real diner anymore. It stopped serving meals in 2006, but it's been doing pretty well for itself as a film location over the past few decades, as demonstrated by this two-and-a-half-minute mashup video of different scenes shot there. For example, here's Hilary Swank taking some advice and/or exposition from Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby:
"Hey, how'd you like to be God? No? Guess it's time for Plan B, then ..."
Here's Morgan Freeman talking to Gwyneth Paltrow about Brad Pitt in Se7en:
He's a regular.
And here's Brad Pitt discussing some serious stuff with ... Vince Vaughn in Mr. and Mrs. Smith:
The really, really poor man's Morgan Freeman.
Meanwhile, here are Scarlett Johansson and Thora Birch making fun of Steve Buscemi's face in Ghost World:
And here's Tom Hanks looking exasperated in the same booth in Catch Me if You Can:
Do they at least wash those mugs?
How about a bleached Nicolas Cage staring at a lady in Gone in 60 Seconds? Sure thing, we got that, too:
Screw washing. If Cage drinks here, they'd better use an autoclave.
And there's more. So now you know: If you ever get the feeling that all the diners used in Hollywood movies look the same, that's because they probably are.
5 Vasquez Rocks -- The Slanting Rock Formation in Sci-Fi Movies
If this particular formation of rocks looks familiar to you, congratulations on being a nerd. These are the Vasquez Rocks located in Agua Dulce, California, and they are most famous for being used as the backdrop of several Star Trek scenes, from the famous showdown between Captain Kirk and the Gorn in the original series ...
Notice its position relative to Kirk's crotch. That's subtext, baby.
... to the scenes set on planet Vulcan in Star Trek IV and in the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot:
So what these movies are trying to tell us is that God isn't very creative.
That's right -- like many actors in the Star Trek universe, these rocks have played multiple parts. They even showed up in animated form in the Star Trek-themed episode of Futurama:
The real rocks weren't available to do voice work, so Michael Winslow filled in.
But unlike most actors involved with Star Trek, the rocks went on to have a long and varied career. Besides appearing in shows like Bones, The New Girl, and Friends ...
... the Vasquez Rocks have also appeared in over 40 films. Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, for example, was filmed almost entirely at Agua Dulce, which is appropriate because the rocks are actually named after a real bandit from the Old West, Tiburcio Vasquez.
Who may or may not have been involved in anachronistic musical numbers in real life.
For more-recent stuff, the rocks also show up in 127 Hours, Little Miss Sunshine, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. And speaking of films starring duos of immature slackers, the rocks actually play a double role in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Bill and Ted first see them while watching an episode of Star Trek, and then they get killed by their robot doubles at those very same rocks:
Just one Wayne's World movie short of the slacker trifecta.