Barry Levinson had the main actors arrive in Baltimore a week before filming began to get to know each other and build rapport. Predictably, the young male actors went out on the town to clubs and tried to pick up women. Sometimes they would use bogus stories about what they were doing in Baltimore. Tim Daly says he came up with the most popular one, that they were engineers working on a rotating rooftop restaurant.
MGM was reluctant to release the film, which they believed would be a commercial flop. But when they found out that critic Pauline Kael had written a glowing review in the New Yorker, they immediately released it.
The name of the diner was the "Fell's Point Diner". It's physical location was situated on a hilltop setting at the junction of Rogers Avenue and Reisterstown Road in Baltimore. The diner used in the movie was moved further downtown in Baltimore, and by 2002 was an on-the-job training school for at-risk youth. According to Wikimapia, "In 1981, the production rented and moved a diner from Paramount Diner Company of New Jersey to this location. In the movie, it was called the Fells Point Diner, but when production ended, the structure was returned to New Jersey. After the movie came out, the local radio station started a successful campaign to bring the diner back to Baltimore. Today, it sits behind city hall. Condominiums later were built on the filming location".
At times during filming when friction between actors got out of hand, director Barry Levinson ushered them into a small trailer that the cast nicknamed "The Comaraderie Camper". |