Friday, July 01, 2005

Port Townsend and Fort Worden, Washington

Fort Worden scene
We went to Fort Worden in Port Townsend yesterday. It was particularly interesting because that's where " Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed. It's a beautiful fort that has been recycled into a resort of sorts (state park) where you can camp, stay at a bed and breakfast or hunt ghosts. Yup...there are a few ghost stories associated with Fort Wordens including one at the Guard House where a soldier accidentally shot and killed himself and has haunted the guard house ever since.
As we drove the grounds we could just visualize Lou Gossett addressing his unit of recruits, including " Mayo" played by Richard Gere. officer1.jpg (15450 bytes)

Trivia re: movie

  • John Travolta turned down the leading actor role on the advice of his agent. Richard Gere was the second choice.
  • Fort Worden was called "Fort Ranier" in the movie, a misspelling of "Rainier", made famous by the mountain of that name.
  • The paper mill is indeed the biggest employer in the town of Port Townsend.
  • The balloon hanger, famous for the fight scene between Richard Gere and Lou Gossett, Jr., has now been converted into a 1200 seat performing arts pavilion.
  • The dorm room used by "Mayo" was in building 204. At the end of the movie, Lou Gossett saluted them on the porch of dorm 204, now used as meeting rooms. (See photo)
  • The obstacle course was on the beach near Kinzie Battery. No trace remains.
  • The mooning was photographed from Battery Putnam.
  • The airplanes in the opening scene on the parade field were brought in just for the movie. But the corner near the park office still looks the same as when Richard Gere drove around it on his motorcycle.
  • The pool used for the diving/ rescue scenes is the swimming pool at Mountain View Middle School.
  • The set for the scene where they suffered a lack of oxygen and tried to play cards as part of their training, is still in the basement of dorm 225.
  • The Town Tavern was a prominent tavern on Water Street in downtown Port Townsend. In 2001 it was sold, remodeled, and currently operates as "Maxwell's Tavern"
  • The dance scene was filmed in the USO building.
  • The barber shop was in dorm 202.
  • Port Townsend reminds me of Sausalito, California. The downtown area is old....all buildings were built around 1880's and the names of the men who built them are engraved on each one. I guess that was a status symbol those put the date and your name on your building. There were dozens of wonderful shops for tourists including quilt stores which made me very happy. It's a port town so you will see lots of boats and seafood restaurants. It was nestled in a beautiful harbor surrounded by dense green forest. Spectacular.

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