When the filmmakers of “Marshall” were scouting locations to shoot scenes in the Buffalo area, they came upon Daemen House. Daemen College’s presidential residence had the ideal historic look and architecture to fit the motion picture set in the 1940s.
In the end, it was a Hollywood moment for the college. Production crews moved in period furniture and made other early 1940s era modifications to temporarily transform the first and second floors of the presidential residence to film interior scenes for the new movie.
Daemen House was among the locations chosen for filming that took place this summer throughout the Buffalo Niagara region for “Marshall,” a legal thriller starring Chadwick Boseman as a young Thurgood Marshall, a future Supreme Court justice. Cast and crew members were on location at Daemen House to film scenes for the residence of wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing, being played by star Kate Hudson. Scenes were filmed with Hudson and Sterling K. Brown, who recently starred in the series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
“We were thrilled and honored to have Daemen House selected as a location for a major motion picture that will bring national attention to the Western New York region,” said President Gary A. Olson. “To be a part of a production of this magnitude was a unique opportunity to showcase the college.”
The movie was inspired by a notorious trial early in the career of Thurgood Marshall. As a brilliant young attorney for the NAACP, Marshall traveled across the nation defending black men unjustly accused of crimes. In 1940, on the eve of World War II, Marshall partnered with Sam Friedman, a Jewish lawyer from Bridgeport, Conn., to defend Joseph Spell, a black chauffeur accused of sexually assaulting his employer, socialite Eleanor Strubing. Marshall later became the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Daemen House was chosen as the Strubing residence for its historical look and feel that reflects the film’s period, explained Tim Clark, film commissioner of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission.
“The beautiful architecture and other details in Daemen House brought a historical authenticity to the scenes that were filmed there,” said Clark. “When production designer Richard Hoover first saw the residence, he was very impressed with it and knew the location would fit perfectly with the period continuity needed in the movie.”
While most filming was done inside the residence, the home’s exterior was also captured in an important scene of the film. Crews were in the Buffalo area through July.
“Vintage elements are critical to a period movie like this so having access to Daemen House was helpful to enhancing the film’s historical setting,” said Clark.
Editor’s Note: The release date for “Marshall” was not yet scheduled at the time of production for this issue of Daemen Today.