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"Dogfight" was filmed in and around Seattle, which was modified to represent San Francisco in the 1960s. In Ballard, on the perimeter of Seattle, the production was able to take over an entire city block, which became the setting for Rose's Cafe in both 1963 and 1967.
Production designer Lester Cohen says, "In Ballard we had our own little sort of backlot. The architecture there is similar to the Mission District in San Francisco; we were able to look in both directions and not find buildings that were the wrong period.
"For Rose's cafe, we used the building with the most character. We had to temporarily relocate an art gallery that was originally there. It had an old wooden floor, which we kept. We wanted the place to look like it hadn't been renovated since 1947, right after the war when Rose's grandfather fixed it up, and it's been decaying ever since. We did that for the upstairs as well, the apartment that the two Roses live in."
Three days of filming were spent in San Francisco's actual Mission District and at the city's famous City Lights bookstore.
Warner Bros. Presents A Peter Newman Production of A Film by Nancy Savoca: River Phoenix and Lili Taylor in "Dogfight." The film is executive produced by Cathleen Summers, produced by Peter Newman and Richard Guay, and written by Bob Comfort. The director is Nancy Savoca. Bobby Bukowski is the director of photography, Lester Cohen is the production designer and John Tintori is the film editor. Distributed by Warner Bros., A Time Warner Company.
About the Cast...
RIVER PHOENIX (Birdlace), nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Sidney Lumet's "Running on Empty," rose to national attention in 1984 as the sensitive kid from the wrong side of the tracks in Rob Reiner's critical and box-office success "Stand By Me."
The son of progressive parents and the eldest of five children, Phoenix was born in Madras, Oregon in a small farm house his parents lived in. As a child, he traveled extensively outside the U.S., returning to this country when he was seven.
Interested in acting for as long as he can remember, at 10 Phoenix and his sister Rain were doing audience warm-ups for the TV show "Real Kids." Phoenix soon began appearing in a number of TV series and movies, including 22 episodes of television's "Seven Brothers." At age 13 he performed on TV in "Surviving," the miniseries "Celebrity" and as young Bobby Kennedy in "Robert Kennedy: The Man and His Times." On television he has also appeared in "Family Ties" and the ABC Afterschool Special "Backwards--The Riddle of Dyslexia."
Phoenix's first feature was "Explorers," directed by Joe Dante. He has gone on to play the young Indiana Jones in Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"; to co-star with Harrison Ford in Peter Weir's critically acclaimed "The Mosquito Coast"; to star in Sidney Lumet's "Running on Empty"; and to appear opposite William Hurt in Lawrence Kasdan's "I Love You To Death." His most recent work is a starring role in Gus Van Sant's "My Own Private Idaho."
An accomplished guitarist, River plays in a band called Aleka's Attic. They can be heard on a compilation album for PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, distributed by Island Records. Also appearing on the album are Michael Stipe from R.E.M., the Indigo Girls, K.D. Lang and the B-52's.
LILI TAYLOR (Rose) made her feature-film debut in "Mystic Pizza" as Jojo Barboza, the feisty bride-to-be who faints at the alter and backs out of her impending marriage. Taylor also appeared as the lovesick Carey in "Say Anything," and in "Born on the Fourth of July" as the young widow Ron Kovic visits to confess his accidental killing of her husband. She most recently starred in "Bright Angel."
A native of Chicago, Illinois, the 23-year-old actress attended New Trier High School and spent a year at the Goodman Theatre School of De Paul before making her professional debut at 17 with "Bing and Walker" at Chicago's Northlight Theatre. She worked with Second City founder Del Close in "No Laughing Matter," a one-hour TV special, and in the television film "Night of Courage." She performed with the Actors Theatre of Louisville's production of "The Love Talker" and "Fun," as part of the Humana Festival of New Plays. In May, 1987, she went to Czechoslovakia with the Actors Theatre International Cultural Exchange and participated in The American Theatre Today Exhibition, performing the monologue "Talking With" from "Clear Glass Marbles."
Taylor studied acting and performed with Joyce and Bryne Piven in "Mud" and in two plays by Flannery O'Conner at the Piven Theatre in Chicago. She then participated in a two-week workshop with John Cusak, Tim Robbins and other members of the Actor's Gang of Los Angeles, perfecting comedic technique. In the fall of 1989 she appeared in a production of "What Did He See?" directed by Richard Foreman at the Public Theatre in New York. Also in New York, she appeared in "Increase" at La Mama and "A Day With Doris" at Playwrights Horizon. She then went on to do an American Playhouse production of "Sensibility and Sense" with Eric Stoltz.