The use of Monmouth County NJ, for scenes of the movie, like most films done on location, mingles disparate geographical points into a canvas of scenes that had us locals saying : "You can't get there from that other place", which is as good an example of any for the advice on "Why you should not learn Geography or History; from Movies or TV".
There were some "errors", probably only ones that local folks might know, but might probably be chalked up to "Artistic License and/or Necessity". Often characters in Films, will make an "in-film"-journey of a few steps; but the scenes they are moving in are divided by several miles in "real-life" The "Bud's Dog House" seen as Veronica (Patricia Wettig) walks to Fannie's house, really did exist- actually a few streets away from the Film "Fannie's house". The "Dog-Houdse" was a tradition of a local homeowner, as a place to party, drink and barbecue with friends. Erroniously, it was long thought to be a memorial to a dead child; it sadly disappeared some years ago, as ownership of the houses has changed in the area.
There is NO Ferry from NJ, to Rikers Island ( a NY City Jail).
When on their "getting re-acquainted weekend": bicycling ; the two sisters, (Fannie and Veronica) are wandering about Sandy Hook's Fort Hancock. It was not a prison, that they are in, but a artillery gun position. Fort Hancock, from 1780's until 1974; was a defense point for approaches to NY City and Harbour and until 1914, an Artillary testing grounds. Fort Hancock, until 1974, when decommissioned; was the main NY Harbour missile defense launch position; it is now part of Gateway National Park., It was not a prison, but a artillery position.
The Flood scene with rowboat, on Rt.36, was shot in Bradley Beach NJ's 'Sylvan Lake'.
The "shouting at the Storm-Flood Warning" scene, was shot on top of the (often shown during storms on TV weather shows), SeaBright NJ, Ocean Ave. Sea-Wall. This is a barrier to waves, keeping them from sweeping away this slender community, that is built where the Atlantic Ocean wants to return. This ea-wall also is shown in the weather-related film "Day After" ( on TV in the background) as the students are wandering around NY City- attempting to work out getting home with really bad storms sweeping the nation.
The Trailer Park ( Circle Trailer Park, of Rt 35) where Veronica's kids are,was/is in Eatontown NJ; South of most of the areas shot in the making of the film.
The Bar where Fannie( Elizabeth Mc Govern) worked, (long closed down) was /Is located under the 1930's built Rt.36 Bridge, which crosses from Sandy Hook /Seabright to Atlantic Highlands. The bar building is still there- but it has been vacant for a few years.)
When Fannie is seen leaving the Fabric store-( which was apparently in FairHaven or Red Bank- opinions differ) she turns onto a street that runs up to the Keansburg Amusement Park (which still exists) another journey of several miles- made by mere steps in the film.
Fannie( Elizabeth Mc Govern)had a very strange accent- seemingly Boston by-way-of-Bayonne- but hey- NJ has a raft of odd localized accents that may not be as distinctly different as one from the area might think.
Of course the film was not made to entertain only local Monmouth County film-nerds; - but it was a small picture, and under-advertised (very limited distribution).. But it has appeal, with extra points going for any trivia buff who can name 2 other Monmouth County NJ shot-films that Elizabeth Mc Govern was working in.
RAGTIME : her scenes shot outside; taking part in a 1900's Motion Picture Making, out/inside the Essex / Sussex Hotel; in (Spring Lake NJ)
ONCE UPON A TIME IN America: with Robert Deniro, driving around the Lake, and Ocean Avenue, Spring Lake NJ