Culture

Was Michael Jackson's Thriller Actually Shot in Coconut Grove?

Apparently there's been a rumor going around that the graveyard portions of Michael Jackson's Thriller (aka the best music video ever) were shot at the Charlotte Jane Cemetery in Coconut Grove. The Herald, CBS4, and various blogs have all mentioned it. Never having heard that before, we had to know if it was true or not. 


Well, apparently it's wasn't. In a 2007 interview with The British Telegraph director John Landis recalls the filming: 

My favourite moment during the making of Thriller, and one of the few times in my life I've ever been speechless, was when we were shooting the graveyard set in a meatpacking plant in East LA, a dodgy neighbourhood, by a freightyard. And we're shooting away and Michael's assistant comes to me and he says, 'Michael would like to see you in his trailer.' And I was like, 'OK, I'll be out in 20 minutes.' 

So I go out - and it's like 3.30 in the morning - and there's a Winnebago out there and there's loads of security there, so I step up and I knock, and Michael's like, 'John, do you know Mrs Onassis?' and it was Jackie Kennedy...

Ah, the magic of Michael. 


We suppose its possible that there's some B-role of the cemetery spliced in somewhere, or more possible that Landis and Jackson used pictures of the Grove cemetery as the basis for their set, but as far as we can tell it doesn't seem like there was actual dancing going on there. 

Watch the video and judge for yourself. 

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Kyle Munzenrieder