Suburbs stand in for gangster Looney's turf in 'Road to Perdition'

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 4/11/2018 3:51 PM
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  • Tom Hanks stands in downtown Geneva during the filming of "Road to Perdition" in 2001. Filming took place at several other suburban locations, including West Dundee, Barrington Hills and Yorkville.

    Tom Hanks stands in downtown Geneva during the filming of "Road to Perdition" in 2001. Filming took place at several other suburban locations, including West Dundee, Barrington Hills and Yorkville. Photo by Dan Elliot

  • Paul Newman played the character based on gangster John Looney in "Road to Perdition."

    Paul Newman played the character based on gangster John Looney in "Road to Perdition."

Gangster John Looney got a new name and a new look -- the John Rooney character based on him was played by Paul Newman -- in the 2002 movie "Road to Perdition," filmed partly at sites across the suburbs.

Downtown Geneva and West Dundee, plus locations in Barrington Hills, Yorkville, Evanston, Lansing, Glenwood, Momence and Peotone, turn up in the movie after being temporarily made over to fit a 1930s theme. Filming took place locally for several months in the winter and spring of 2001, with Tom Hanks playing Rooney henchman Michael Sullivan, who's on the run and in search of revenge after his wife and child are killed by Rooney's son.

That plot point appears to be fiction, but both real life and the film feature Looney's/Rooney's son Connor, portrayed by Daniel Craig in the film, as a pivotal player.

The film's Peerless Pharmacy was created on West Dundee's Main Street, the Sullivans' house is on Old Sutton Road in Barrington Hills and the Rooney family's home is the historic Charles Gates Dawes House in Evanston. A storefront at West State and Third streets in Geneva was labeled the Geneva Hotel, site of a movie shootout where Michael Sullivan is wounded.

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