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August 14, 2013

The Crane Estate: A Hollywood hit

'The Equalizer,' Denzel Washington, make way to Ipswich

IPSWICH — Denzel Washington is making the rounds on the North Shore in filming for his new movie, “The Equalizer,” and yesterday he arrived in Ipswich.

The “Malcolm X” and “American Gangster” star was in scenes being filmed at the Crane Estate on Castle Hill. Last month, the star was shooting scenes at Groton House Farm in Hamilton.

At the entrance to the Crane Estate yesterday, there was a yellow sign that read “SET.” The property remained open to the public yesterday, but guests were not allowed near the filming. Similar signs were posted around town saying “EQ” and “base camp,” directing crew members to the set.

Crews got exterior shots of the Great House before it rained and they filmed scenes inside, said Peter Pinciaro, deputy director of The Trustees of Reservations, the nonprofit that owns and manages the property.

He said the property was rented for a one-day shoot, but the house will not be available for tours today as crews break down their equipment. He said he could not speak further about filming specifics.

The film is a big-screen adaptation of the popular 1980s television series that starred Edward Woodward as a private detective with a mysterious past who doled out vigilante justice.

The movie co-stars Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Haley Bennett and Melissa Leo.

“The Equalizer” joins an impressive list of films shot on the Crane Estate.

“We’ve done movies here for a long, long time,” Pinciaro said.

“The Thomas Crown Affair,” starring Steve McQueen, was shot there in 1967. “There were scenes out on the beach way back then,” he said.

Filming also took place there in 2008 for “Ghost of Girlfriends Past,” in 1993 for “The Next Karate Kid” and in 1986 for “The Witches of Eastwick,” among other movies. The most notable might be the “The Crucible,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, with months of filming at the Crane Wildlife Refuge and Hog Island (now known as Choate Island).

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