Sunday, March 6, 2011

Movie and TV Houses--"Curly Sue"

I am not the slightest bit surprised that no one was able to guess the film from which I took the image of this rontunda:

It's from the 1991 movie "Curly Sue", a John Hughes film starring James Belushi, Kelly Lynch, and Allison Porter. IMBD summarizes the movie as "Bill Dancer and his young companion Curly Sue are the classic homeless folks with hearts of gold. Their scams are aimed not at turning a profit, but at getting enough to eat. When they scam the rich and beautiful Grey Ellison into believing she backed her Mercedes into Bill, they're only hoping for a free meal. But Grey is touched, and over the objections of her snotty fiance, insist on putting the two up for the night. As they get to know each other, Bill becomes convinced that this is where Curly Sue belongs - in a home, cared for by someone that can give her the advantages that his homeless, nomadic existence lacks. He plans to leave the young girl in the care of Grey and take off.... but Curly Sue has other ideas!"
Much of the movie takes place in Grey's luxurious Chicago apartment. The sets were decorated by Marjorie Fritz-Birch and Sam Schaffer. The apartment needed to symbolize a lifestyle totally unfamiliar to the homeless Bill and Curly Sue, so the "glam factor" is dialed way up. What I love about the set, though, is that 20 years later, it is still very fresh. There are very few things that date it, I could move right in today.

The Foyer. Those obelisks are very Michael Graves.

Might get rid of that floral arrangement, but the crisp white tile and timeless fixtures, and that stunning chinoiserie wallpaper make the master bath fresh twenty years later.

Grey's master bedroom is luxurious and timeless with it's tone-on-tone decor.

Another view of the master bedroom, with a glimpse of Grey's closet. Gorgeous arched casework!

The guest bedroom. Another timeless tone-on-tone space. Love the prints above the bed. The drapery is showing it's age a bit,  but otherwise this room could have been done last week!

The kitchen. Grey had stainless steel before stainless steel was "in." The tablecloth is an unexpected but "homey" touch, and LOVE that there is a fireplace in the kitchen!

Many thanks to Julia at Hooked on Houses for the tutorial in grabbing screen shots!


  1. Can you believe I never saw "Curly Sue"? I guess that explains why I couldn't figure out where that rotunda was from. This makes me want to watch it to see more of the house, though. I never would have known the decor was from '91!

  2. Neither would I! I'm impressed with how well it's aged. Now, if you watch it, remember I warned you that the set might be the best thing about the movie. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Girl --- I'd know that rotunda anywhere! Thank you for proving to my friends that I'm not crazy for continuing to cite this apartment as one of the modern cinema greats! Dunno about exactly where the interior was filmed, but I do know that the exterior shots of the apt are of 399 W. Fullerton in Chicago. I hope you can grab a shot of Grey's headboard/ window and maybe a shot of the Plexiglas drawers in her closet. I STILL haven't seen anyone with those cool drawers, to this day. Thanks again!

  4. I thought I was the only one who still drooled over this apartment! Thank you for making me feel a lil less crazy! I will see if I can find a shot of her headboard and those drawers--I had forgotten all about those!

  5. I love this apartment! I just remembered the movie and searched the internet for some pictures and I'm thrilled to see someone's already done the fantastic job of posting some set pictures! I even loved the corridor from the elevator to her apartment door!! Thanx for sharing!

  6. You are very welcome! I am so shocked that Im not the only one that remembers this set!

  7. I saw this movie for the first time about 6 months ago and can't get it out of my mind. I fell smack in love with the interior of that apartment. I am THRILLED that you posted them! Thank You!. Your comments are spot on, too. NOW, to only go on to find the colors.

    1. You're so welcome! I love that, now 24 years after the movie was made, that the apartment for the most part looks like it could have been done yesterday!

  8. I have drooled over this apartment since the movie came out in theaters. I still haven't been able to find where the interior was filmed. It is way too fancy for a set in a warehouse.