In 1989, a movie about a detective in a small, ocean-side town, and a huge, disgusting dog hit theaters: Turner & Hooch, starring Tom Hanks. Hooch, a Dogue de Bordeaux (a fancy type of mastiff), touched the hearts, funny bones, and gag reflexes of millions of people.
Note: This is the opposite side of the country from Atlanta, Georgia, where I write most of my articles about film locations, but I was on vacation last week, so I worked with what I had. On the subject of vacations, Monterey Bay is gorgeous and beautifully temperate, but U.S. Airways, recently acquired by American Airlines, is an extremely shitty airline to fly across the country on.
My life companion grew up in Pacific Grove, and at the time they filmed Turner & Hooch, was a little punk with a boogie board. He and his friends effectively ruined a scene filmed at Lover's Point by refusing to leave the shot. One of his friends also taunted Tom Hanks, even after Hanks affectionately and kindly tousled my life companion's hair as he walked by. Damn kids.
Fun fact: In The Simpsons Movie, an animated Tom Hanks tousles an animated kid's hair, in much the same way he did to my live-action life companion.
The police station scenes from the film were staged at what is now a Chase Bank, on the corner of Forest Ave. and Lighthouse Ave. The building is very quaint, as you can see in the below photo.
At one point in the film, Turner chases Hooch through a wedding reception. This scene was staged at the opposite corner from the police station, at what is now a Union Bank. This corner, also at Lighthouse and Forest Aves., houses a little kiosk from which anyone can take tourist information pamphlets for free - they are so nice in Pacific Grove, California!
A large swath of Forest Ave. is used to film an extended scene of Turner again chasing Hooch.
In the background of that scene, you can see Sandy the Gray Whale in all her glory.
Sandy sits outside of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, just one of the many attractions (the whale AND the museum) in the area.
The Monterey Bay area is a whimsical place - Mare Winningham, who played the veterinarian in the movie, was rumored to have purchased a house there in real life.
If you visit, just remember to avoid flying U.S. Airways/American Airlines, and you should have a truly lovely experience.