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Three ‘Gone Girl’ Places In Cape Girardeau, Missouri

20th Century Fox

Gone Girl, a new film based on the best-selling thriller by Kansas City native Gillian Flynn, opens this Friday.

It's directed by David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fight Club,Seven), and Flynn wrote the screenplay. Cape Girardeau, Mo., on the banks of the Mississippi River, was a stand-in for the fictional North Carthage, Mo. 

If you haven't read the 2012 book, here's a short plot summary: Amy goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary. Her husband, Nick, becomes the focus of the investigation.

Amy’s side of the story comes from the pages of her journal, including first impressions of Nick, and the move from her beloved New York City to small-town Missouri. Nick’s story is told in the present as he searches for his wife, recalling their early marriage and his own struggles returning to his hometown of North Carthage.

Some changes were made for the film adaptation.  

For six weeks in September and October 2013, producers filmed in nearly 30 locations around Cape Girardeau -- including government buildings and private residences. The city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau created a Gone Girl driving tour highlighting some of these spots: 

Credit Aaron Palmer / Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau
Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau

1. The Bar, 119 Themis

Credit Aaron Palmer / Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau
Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Bar is owned by Nick (played by Ben Affleck in the film) and his twin sister Margo, nicknamed Go (Carrie Coon). Nick purchased it with the last of the money in Amy's trust fund (Amy is played by Rosamund Pike). This closed restaurant was converted into a tavern for the film; a new owner has purchased the property and will likely re-open it as The Bar. 

2. Courthouse Gazebo, 44 North Lorimier

The gazebo is the site of a candlelight vigil organized by Amy's supporters. Local and national media descend on the town to cover her disappearance and Nick talks to the crowd. Hundreds of extras were used for this scene. According to the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, it's the gazebo that "sold the location scouts and [director] David Fincher on using Cape Girardeau as the primary location for the movie."

Credit courtesy: Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau
courtesy: Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau

3. Common Please Courthouse, intersection of North Spanish and Themis

This picture shows a snowy image of the terraces of the Common Please Courthouse, located right across the street from The Bar. But filming took place in September and October 2013, so crews shredded paper to create the illusion of snow. City merchants are offering a 2014 "Gone Girl Downtown" Christmas ornament with a scene from the film including The Bar and the Courthouse. 

For more Gone Girl filming locations, you can download the driving tour

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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