How do you feel about being the Devil’s Advocate? Well, the first thing that comes to your mind is fear. Keanu Reeves did great work expressing what a man would have felt and done if he was under Devil’s thumb. And, Al Pacino has given us the exact impressions of Satan living on the Earth.
The Devil’s Advocate is a supernatural horror movie that was released in 1997. It was based on the novel “The Devil’s Advocate” by Andrew Neiderman. Taylor Hackford did the direction of this film, and Jonathan Lemkin and Tony Gilroy were the writers. The ensemble cast includes Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Connie Nielsen, Judith Ivey, Jeffrey Jones, and many more.
It received average reviews with the appreciation from the entertainment point and Al Pacino’s awestruck performance by the critics.
The story goes on with a young never-lost-a-case lawyer from Florida, Kevin Lomax (aka Keanu Reeves), getting invited to work on a huge firm in New York. While living there, his wife, Mary Ann Lomax (aka Charlize Theron), will begin to experience some evil phantasm. Going on with it, Kevin eventually starts to realize that his boss, John Milton (aka Al Pacino), is not the man he says he is. He is the Devil himself.
The film was shot in New York City, Florida, and New Jersey. One place was designed to be more erotic and spacious. You might have guessed the place – it’s Milton’s Apartment.
New York Locations
Mary Ann and Kevin’s Apartment
After getting a massive offer from Milton’s office, the couple would be shifting to their New York Apartment, which Milton gave as a gift. This apartment is beside the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. It has a collection of 240 years of New York’s Design values. The apartment is in one of the well-known places in New York. Although, we are not entirely sure that the interior scenes were filmed here.
Address: 1107 5th Avenue, Manhattan, New York, United States
John Milton Apartment
Kevin’s apartment building has one of the prestigious penthouses in New York. The penthouse was enhanced with some designs to make it more like the Devil’s Den. The director asked Reeves and Pacino to stay there and feel the surroundings. He was looking for some improvisation. Pacino suggested an idea of dancing to the song “It Happened in Monterey,” which Hackford accepted immediately.
Address: 94th Street, Fifth Avenue, Carnegie Hill, New York, NY 10128, USA.
Apartment of Alexander Cullen
Kevin was the defense attorney for a billionaire Alexander Cullen (Craig T. Nelson). He would meet his client in his luxurious apartment overlooking Central Park, which was actually a personal house of Donald Trump located at the Trump Tower in Manhattan.
The tower is the headquarters of the Trump Organization. It also comprises the penthouse condo residences. Various members of the Trump family are living in the building.
Address: 725 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York, NY 10022, USA
Continental Plaza in Wall Street was used as Milton’s Company office, Penta Plaza at 180 Maiden Lane, Manhattan, New York, United States. It has a spectacular sky view of the three bridges that cross over the East River.
However, the rooftop with a water garden was filmed 50 floors up at the top of the Continental Tower. Unfortunately, the water garden was the work of CGI.
Address: 1 Wall Street Court, New York, NY 10005, USA
One of the Law firm’s managing partners, Eddie Barzoon (aka Jeffrey Jones), will be attacked and killed by the demons while jogging. This happens in Central Park in Manhattan. This urban park is actually safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and travelers. But, sometimes, the nighttime can be alarming.
It also was the primary influence in developing the idea of urban parks around the nation. All appreciated the landscape architecture of the park.
Address: 59th – 110th Street Manhattan Borough, Central Park West – 5th Avenue, New York City, NY 10022, USA
Since most of the scenes are in the courthouses, you would often see this place in the film. The scene where Kevin gets out of the court was filmed in the Surrogate Court Building, 31 Chambers Street & Centre Street, Manhattan.
The scene in which Milton will advise Kevin to leave the case and take care of his wife, but Kevin refuses to do so was shot in Foley Square, Civic Center district, Lower Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA.
Mary Ann will go shopping with Kevin’s colleagues’ wives in a place at Soho. She will see the demon face of one of the wives and starts to lose her mind. It was shot at Yohji Yamamoto’s. This place is a minimalist clothing shop with titular designer men’s and women’s accessories and clothing.
Due to the pandemic, it follows some rules, including compulsory face masks, temperature checks, and more.
Address: 103 Grand St, New York, NY 10013, United States
The scene before the climax shows a shot when Kevin Lomax walks out of the hospital onto a deserted street. This street is East 57th Street looking North West towards 3rd Ave. The crew has to shoot the scene early in the morning and block some streets to get this iconic shot. You would have noticed the Sutton Theater, which was destroyed in 2005.
Chambers Street Subway Station
John Milton and Kevin Lomax would be taking the train at the Chambers Street Subway Station. This is where he would see a man and tell the secret about his wife that was going to happen.
Address: New York, NY 10007, United States
There is a scene where Milton would test Kevin’s knowledge and sincerity towards the job. They both walk through Chinatown, passing through a lot of Chinese restaurants and stores.
Address: Chinatown, Lower Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA.
Church of the Heavenly Rest
As the Devil is involved in this story, lots of churches were used as the filming locations. This church is where Mary Ann would say to Kevin that Milton raped her. It is an Episcopal church.
Address:1085 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, United States
Manhattan Church of the Most Holy Redeemer
There is a scene where Milton would boil the holy water only by touching it with his finger. Of course, we all would have guessed that he is Satan even before this scene. However, this scene officially marks the existence of The Devil. This church is also known as Santísimo Redentor, a Roman Catholic parish church.
Address: 173 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009, USA
Central Presbyterian Church
This church was just used as a location to take a picture of the funeral of Eddie Barzoon. It is an 1821 historic parish church established by pastor Willian Patton.
Address: 593 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065, United States
Mary Ann commits suicide in the Psych ward of Bellevue Hospital. This scene is quite a tragedy to see and will make us all sad and angry too. After that, Kevin will be walking on the deserted street.
Address: 462 First Avenue, Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
Locations in Florida and New Jersey
Many scenes, including Mrs. Howard’s business scene, were filmed in Jacksonville, Florida.
As Kevin hails from Gainesville in I-75 of North Florida, the beginning scenes were filmed in this place before Kevin shifts to New York City.
The Gainesville church scenes were filmed in the actual Gainesville church. Hackford asked the pastor to be in the scenes. He convinced them by saying that it is about fighting Satan.
Bergen County CourtHouse
Here, the schoolteacher Lloyd Gettys’ trial occurred, and Kevin was the defense lawyer for him.
Address: 10 Main Street, Hackensack, New Jersey
The movie’s production was finished in New York in March 1996, the crew began the shoot in Florida in June 1997, and then went to New Jersey. You should have seen the similarity between the story and Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. The director started looking for places that give the same impression of the Inferno.
All the locations will naturally and made to look more appropriate to the situation. For instance, Milton’s apartment has art that looks like Samael’s actual white wings, and the whole place will reflect Milton’s taste of being modern and wanted-by-all look. The Devil was indeed a handsome man when he was an angel.
Also, Milton will have swag in him and reflects it to his surroundings. You would have seen Kevin quoting a famous line from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n.” Milton’s place looks dark and more like a modern hell if looked closely.
The churches with sculpture, applied arts, decorative arts, visual art (iconography), and architecture were chosen to deepen the story. There are some scenes in which the director would have used art instead of dialogues to show the situation symbolically. Without the perfect locations, these scenes will not be possible.