Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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The Far Shore of Accomplishment

Page 5

31
Sunday, 28 February 1999

I Couldn't Stop   01:33:23

Driving: Tripp's Hardapple's 1966 Ford Galaxie 500
Unknown Location
Pennsylvania Route 65, Beaver County, PA

Third Avenue On-Ramp Overpass
Pennsylvania Route 65, Freedom, PA 15042

The book gone and Green's car disabled, Tripp and Crabtree are getting a ride to campus from Hardapple and Oola. The background plates for this scene appear to be from Pennsylvania Route 65 in Beaver County. Twisting along the Ohio River, this route offers many of the railroad yard views seen out the windows. In addition, I believe that a billboard that can be seen briefly is advertising Beaver County Treasurer Connie Tuccinard Javens.

Wonder Boys Driving Scene
Paramount Pictures

For most of the footage, I believe that the car is heading north on Route 65 alongside the massive Norfolk Southern Conway Yard (1884) complex. In a pivotal moment for Tripp at the end of the scene, the car travels under an overpass visible out the back window. Although they would have to be travelling south to get this particular shot, this appears to be the Route 65 Third Avenue on-ramp overpass for southbound traffic in Freedom, Pennsylvania.

Wonder Boys Driving Scene
Paramount Pictures
Google Street View of Route 65
Google
32
Sunday, 28 February 1999

Small Shoulders   01:35:40

Goodbye to Hardapple and Oola
Carnegie Mellon University
Margaret Morrison Street at Tech Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Hardapple barrels west down Margaret Morrison Street and blows through the stop sign that we are not supposed to remember is down there. He screeches to a halt in the middle of the Tech Street intersection — stopping too far forward, by the way, to make the left turn he does later.

Having arrived at campus to drop off Tripp and Crabtree, Hardapple stops where he does so that the Galaxie 500 can be seen from a camera crane inside the Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall rotunda.

Wonder Boys Drop Off Scene
Paramount Pictures

Outside the car, Tripp tells Oola about the jacket she is wearing which in turn prompts Hardapple to smile. Well look at that, he somehow has plenty of clearance now to make that upcoming left turn.

Wonder Boys Drop Off Scene
Paramount Pictures

We bid farewell to Hardapple, Oola and the Galaxie 500 as they head south on Tech Street and exit the film.

Wonder Boys Drop Off Scene
Paramount Pictures
Google Street View of Tech Street
Google

Tripp and Crabtree talk while slowly walking west on the sidewalk in front of Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall. As Tripp parts ways, you can see the College of Fine Arts Building and the Fine Arts Parking Lot (P8) that Tripp had used on Friday.

Wonder Boys Drop Off Scene
Paramount Pictures
33
Sunday, 28 February 1999

Through Improvising   01:39:05

Tripp Looks for Gaskell
Baker Hall East Entrance at Carnegie Mellon University
4825 Frew Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

On a hunt for Gaskell, Tripp enters a campus building on course to the university chancellor's office. This is the eastern entrance to Baker Hall, the real location of Tripp's classroom from the film's opening scene.

Wonder Boys Baker Hall Scene
Paramount Pictures

From a brief shot of Gaskell's empty office, I think this location was also in Baker Hall. The large window visible on the left looks like those found on Baker Hall's second floor exterior, but then again it could be a clever filmmaking trick.

Wonder Boys Baker Hall Scene
Paramount Pictures
34
Sunday, 28 February 1999

Wonder Boy   01:39:28

WordFest Closing Presentation
College of Fine Arts 128 (Kresge Theatre) at Carnegie Mellon University
5100 Margaret Morrison Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Back at the Kresge Theatre one last time, Walter Gaskell is on stage closing out the WordFest weekend by presenting the Plums, "those fortunate local writers who have successfully placed their manuscripts with visiting publishers' representatives."

Wonder Boys Kresge Theatre Scene
Paramount Pictures

Leer gets his big moment, stands and takes a bow. The presentation wraps and everyone starts to leave. Tripp attempts to wade through the auditorium's exiting crowd over to Sara Gaskell. He sees her go out a side exit and follows.

35
Sunday, 28 February 1999

Shooting Star   01:42:36

Tripp Encounters Traxler
College of Fine Arts (Southern Stairway) at Carnegie Mellon University
5100 Margaret Morrison Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Passing through a backstage space and out a door, Tripp emerges into the building's southern stairway and proceeds up to the second level.

Wonder Boys Stairway Scene
Paramount Pictures

Gaskell nowhere in sight, Tripp sits down on a bench near the landing. The ceiling to Tripp's right is that of the Great Hall.

Wonder Boys Stairway Scene
Paramount Pictures

Hearing footsteps, Tripp moves to the stairs to see if it is Gaskell.

Wonder Boys Stairway Scene
Paramount Pictures

False alarm, it is only Traxler working.

Wonder Boys Stairway Scene
Paramount Pictures

Tripp nearly has another spell/episode while standing at the stairs causing Traxler to fear he will fall. In the voiceover narration, Tripp tells us that he "didn't fall. Not then, not ever again." The voiceover continues into the next scene…

36
September–November 1999

Save   01:44:32

The Future
Unknown Location

Cut to Tripp typing on a notebook computer and continuing the voiceover, "once the Monongahela River swallowed my never ending opus, there were no more 'spells.'" A closeup of the screen reveals that Tripp's writing is that of the voiceover narration.

The location is a nice corner office on the second floor of a house that we have not seen previously. The room is lined with large windows that show the surrounding land to be wooded.

Wonder Boys Ending Scene
Paramount Pictures

Tripp continues typing and narrating, wrapping up the film's key storylines and telling us the fate of Leer, Green and himself. We get a better view out the side window of autumn foliage.

Wonder Boys Ending Scene
Paramount Pictures

The unknown location certainly looks nice. I would love to have an office with windows and a view like this. The use of stone in and around the structure make me think that this could be a house on Chatham University's Woodland Road. Ultimately, I have found zero information about this spot and can only guess.

Tripp hears something and turns to look out the window behind him. From it we see Sara Gaskell's 1968 Citroën DS 21 pulling into the driveway, which is covered in fallen multicolored leaves.

Wonder Boys Ending Scene
Paramount Pictures

Gaskell retrieves an infant from the backseat and makes her way inside, looking up to smile at Tripp. He finishes the last sentence of narration, turns back to the computer, uses the touchpad and then clicks "Save."

Wonder Boys Ending Scene
Paramount Pictures

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