My Girl is a 1991 comedy-drama film starring Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Griffin Dunne, and Anna Chlumsky. The film was directed by Howard Zieff, produced by Brian Grazer and Laurice Elehwany took care of the writing part. It is based on the book written by Patricia Hermes. This coming-of-age movie was the first major movie for Anna Chlumsky. The film’s title was a reference to the 1964 classic soul music song “My Girl.” The song was used in the end credit of the film.
The story focuses on an 11-year old girl Vada Sultenfuss (aka Anna Chlumsky), living in Madison, Pennsylvania, in 1972. She is also a hypochondriac who becomes upset when she finds out her father, Harry (aka Dan Aykroyd), is starting to date a makeup artist in the funeral parlor and tries to break off their relationship.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated the movie as PG-13, but later the producers got the appeal to reclassify the film to a PG-rating. The movie was released on November 27, 1991. It was a box office success and received little-less positive reviews from the critics then. However, today, the film is praised for its mature representation of death and single parenthood to the children in a funny way.
As a result of grossing around $121 million with a budget of just $17 million, the film earned the chance to make a sequel, My Girl 2, released in 1994.
The production began in February 1991 in Sanford, and Bartow, Florida, United States. The Sultenfuss house’s outdoor scenes were filmed in a Victorian-based place in Bartow, and interior scenes were shot in a soundstage set in Orlando.
Where was ‘My Girl’ Filmed?
Vada and her father live in a house that is still there in the town of Bartow, Florida. The exterior scenes were filmed in that area, and the interior scenes took place on a soundstage in Orlando.
Another scene involves Shelly (aka Jamie Lee Curtis), who pulls over her RV in the front corner of the house. This was also shot in the exact location.
It also served as Harry’s Funeral Parlor, the official business of Harry. This is where Vada spends most of her time and becomes friends with Shelly.
The house was completed in 1908 by the Polk County Lawyer, Thomas Lee Wilson.
After the film’s release, the house was operated as a bed and breakfast for quite some time. However, due to its far-away distance from the majority of the tourist spots in the state, the place started to lose its guest bookings, and eventually, it was shut down and sold after a period of time.
Since then, it has become a private residence. But, the house has not changed a lot. It is still the same beauty featured in the movie. If you ever visit Bartow, don’t forget to visit this place.
Address: 555 East Stanford St, Bartow, FL 33830, USA
The location used for the scenes involving Mr. Bixler’s writing class is called the Plant City High School. It was built in 1914 and known as Tomlin Junior High School. But, now the building has a Community Center and historical society. On February 4, 1981, it was included in the long list of the National Register of Historic Places.
Now, it is a part of Hillsborough County Public Schools. The school has some notable alumni, including Arthur Cox (a former NFL player), Clay Roberts (a soccer player and also the coach), Kenny Rogers (a Major League Baseball pitcher), Ashley Moody (Attorney General in Florida), Derrick Gainer (a former NFL player) and Jon Goff Sr. (a disabled veteran and known for his participation in All Air Force/All Armed Forces Softball in 2003.
Address: 605 N Collins St, Plant City, FL 33563, USA
There are some scenes where Vada and Thomas J. would run into Mr. Bixler (aka Griffin Dunne), who will be painting his house, and where she finds out that he is going to get married to someone else. This sequence was shot at 605 Magnolia Avenue in Sanford.
This single-family house was built in 1910. It contains three bedrooms and three full baths. The whole property was sold in 1995 for a total price of $79,800. Its current estimated worth is around $280,500.
Address: 605 Magnolia Avenue, Sanford, Florida 32771, United States
“Nixon / Agnew ’72” Alley
When Vada and Thomas J. approach Dr. Welty’s office, they come across an alley while riding their bikes. The path also has a poster naming “Nixon / Agnew ’72” on its brick wall. It is actually in the exact location as in the movie (around one of the corners of Dr. Welty’s office).
Address: Alley in between 107 and 111 Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL 32771, USA
Dr. Welty’s office
Dr. Welty’s office is at 113 Magnolia Avenue. The scene when Vada comes to visit Dr. Welty that she’s sick, but the doctor says she is in good health, was shot here.
The building is now the company office of Crawford & Associates Real Estate LLC, which is also a section of the Real Estate Industry.
Address: 113 Magnolia Ave Ste 207, Sanford, FL, 32771-1307, USA
Mechanic’s Garage Alley
The two friends ride their bikes on a ramp that says “No Bicycles” and take a shortcut via a mechanic’s garage.
Now, the building and the ramp are not there as they were destroyed years after the shooting. But, when the garage owner yells at them, the alley they come through is still there behind the 228 East of 1st Street.
Address: Alley in the back of 228 East 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771, USA
The oak tree in which the two friends would become the “Blood Brothers” and later kiss each other. The tree is the result of a set built with actual tree parts. A team was sent to cut off and bring down an oak tree. Then, it was reassembled and kept in the lake. The tree base was set in place with 5-ton cement with metal coupling to support the branches. The leaves were made of a $15,000-ish silk willow.
Today, only the base is there. Some say that the parts were removed after the decaying, and some say the pieces are still present underwater.
That region of the lake is off-limits. You cannot see it from the road. But, the places in the surroundings were up for sale. So, it might be visible from the areas.
Address: Mirror Lake, Old Hwy 50 W, Clermont, FL 34711 USA
The tree base’s GPS coordinates are 28.565015, -81.700218.
Thomas J.’s House
Thomas J.’s house is at 603 Myrtle Avenue in real life. This is where Vada would ask him to accompany her to the church to look at the date between her father and Shelly secretly.
This place is a single-family house which was built in 1900. It has four full bedrooms, two full baths, and a detached garage. The house was sold lastly for a rate of $450,000.
Address: 603 Myrtle Ave, Sanford, FL 32771, USA
There is a main street where the duo would begin to ride their bikes. It is in Sanford, Florida. If you see the street now, you can still remember the scene where they would cross the road, which has a clock tower on the right and go on the sidewalk.
Address: Junction between the E 1st St and Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL 32771, USA
Ocoee Christian Church
The church the kids would go to is Ocoee Christian Church. They walk on the sidewalk present on the left and pass the steps in the front of the church to go to the bingo tent.
The church is far away from other locations, and it is still not sure why the crew went there to shoot. It is maybe because the crowd present there would be few.
This church was built in 1891 and included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on March 28, 1997.
Address: 15 S Bluford Ave, Ocoee, FL 34761, USA
Breezeway Restaurant & Bar
In the scene close to the climax, Thomas J.’s mother would run into Harry at the Breezeway Restaurant & Bar. It is located on the right side of the same clock tower in the main street. Harry would be eating inside the place when he sees her and comes outside to speak to her.
The location is still active. They serve a basic surf n’ turf menu in an open and casual space. The service options are takeaway and dine-in only.
Address: 112 E 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771, USA
The filming location where the Amusement Park scenes were filmed is still unknown. All the locations are far away from each other. So, if you are a die-hard fan of the film and want to see these locations, don’t do it in a day. It is not a good idea to visit all of them in a day. You need to prioritize and go for it.