Mystic River (2003) Poster



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The situation at the opening of the movie is based on an incident when, as a child, author Dennis Lehane's mother castigated him for getting into a car with men who claimed to be plain-clothes policemen.
The studio executives at Warner Brothers wanted Clint Eastwood to shoot the film in Toronto, Canada to save money. Eastwood refused and pushed to have the film completely shot in Boston where the film is set.
Michael Keaton was originally cast as Sean Devine. He had done several script readings with the rest of the principal cast, and he had been doing research for the role with the Massachusetts State Police Department, and living in Boston for several weeks. A month before principal photography was to start, Keaton and Director Clint Eastwood got into a huge argument, and Keaton left the project. A week later, Kevin Bacon was cast in the role.
(at around 5 mins) In the beginning of the movie when a young Dave is thrown into the backseat of the car, a man in the front seat turns around and flashes his ring - a bishop's ring. The book never indicates that the character was a priest, but it was added to the film since the filming was right in the middle of the priest scandal in the Boston Archdiocese.
While researching his character's occupation, Kevin Bacon had worked in the office of the Massachusetts State Police.
In Sean Penn and Tim Robbins's only previous feature together - Dead Man Walking (1995) - both were respectively Oscar-nominated as Best Actor and Best Director. On this one, both were victorious as actors.
Sean Penn and Tim Robbins won Oscars for best actor and best supporting actor respectively. This is the first film since Ben-Hur (1959) to win both of these awards. This feat was achieved previously by Going My Way (1944) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and later by Dallas Buyers Club (2013).
The film was shot in 39 days.
At a press conference for his movie Mystic River (2003), Clint Eastwood condemned the Iraq war as a "big mistake" and defended Sean Penn's visit to Baghdad, saying he might have done the same thing but for his age.
Forest Whitaker was the original choice for Whitey Powers and almost accepted, but had to back out due to other conflicts.
Clint Eastwood narrated the teaser trailer.
The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Sean Penn, Marcia Gay Harden, and Tim Robbins; and two Oscar nominees: Laurence Fishburne and Laura Linney.
More than 2,000 people who wanted to be extras in the movie showed up at the Boston Teachers Union on September 14, 2002 for the open casting call. Carolyn Pickman of Collinge-Pickman Casting told The Boston Globe a week later that about two-thirds of those trying out would be called to fill a church and a local bar, play spectators at a parade, or walk through other scenes. All types of people from the greater Boston area (and as far away as New Hampshire) attended the call, where they waited in long lines to eventually hand in their applications and get their pictures taken.
(at around 1h 15 mins) The liquor store scene was shot at Costello's, a liquor store on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, next to Berklee College of Music. After filming, screen shots from that scene were placed in the front display windows. Costello's closed in January 2007.
Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne portray State Police partners Devine and Powers in this film. They first co-starred together as rival bicycle messengers Casey and VooDoo in the 1986 urban thriller Quicksilver (1986), a feature film where Bacon was the headliner.
In Dennis Lehane's novel, the surname of the characters of Jimmy and his family is Marcus, however in the film, it is Markum.
Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon were Clint Eastwood's choices for the leads from the outset.
(at around 2h 10 mins) The tune that the band is playing during the parade at the end of the movie is John Philip Sousa's "Semper Fidelis", which is Latin for "always faithful".
The tombstone scene was shot in Roslindale at Wellsmere Monumental Works, as it had the background of an overground field on two sides of it and on the other side an old 1820's house that still stands at 3849 Washington Street.
Kevin Bacon appeared with Sean Penn's brother, Chris Penn in Footloose (1984).
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Tom Guiry and Kevin Conway would later star in the tv series "The Black Donnellys" (2007).
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Dennis Lehane: (at around 2h 10 mins) author of the novel can be seen waving from the back of a convertible in the parade sequence.
Eli Wallach: (at around 1h 15 mins) appears uncredited as a liquor store owner in his first film with Clint Eastwood since The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

(at around 33 minutes) For the scene where Jimmy wails and thrashes in anguish at the discovery of Katie's body, Sean Penn requested that a tank of oxygen be standing by after he finished the take.
(at around one hour six minutes) During the scene where Sean Penn's character steps into the morgue where his daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) is lying on the slate dead, and when he is emotionally promising revenge, Rossum burst into tears, saying that "the scene was so powerful and moving and Sean Penn was so amazing".
The movie Dave is watching is Vampires (1998) starring James Woods.

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