Baltimore shines through in 'Tess'

Even Sherlock Holmes would have a tough time uncovering the local flavor in "Guarding Tess" -- although the lion's share of it was filmed in Maryland.

In addition to metropolitan Baltimore, which handles the role of "Summersville, Ohio" with considerable aplomb, the movie stars Shirley MacLaine and Nicolas Cage. And while the filmmakers used their best Hollywood magic to give Charm City a makeover, a few traces of Baltimore poke through.


The film opened here yesterday. Among the locale stars and when to look for them:

* The crown jewel of Hagerstown, the 2,500-seat Maryland Theater, plays a Columbus, Ohio, opera house at the movie's 26-minute mark.


* About an hour into the film, a clump of trees that looks suspiciously like those alongside Loch Raven Reservoir, just south of the Loch Raven Road bridge, plays host to a picnic featuring the film's two stars.

* Mount Carmel Road -- State Route 137 -- is one of the few local stars which appears sans disguise. You can see one of its road signs shortly after the picnic scene.

* Tess undergoes a brain scan at the local hospital, portrayed flawlessly by Baltimore's Kernan Hospital. When she later gets discharged, she refuses to use a wheelchair -- much to the bemusement of a gaggle of local extras.

* But the real locale star is the stately Laboreore, a 125-year old Mount Washington home that doubles as Tess' Summersville, Ohio, estate.

As if that weren't enough, about seven minutes into the movie, this newspaper's Accent section makes a cameo appearance.