Movie production may be a normal occurrence around Hollywood, but not in the small Boston suburb of Natick, Mass., where traffic was very slow along Route 135 today. Scenes of the new David O. Russel movie chronicling the ABSCAM FBI sting operation of the 1970s were being shot by White Dog Productions, LLC at Reliable Cleaners, across the street from Planet Fitness.
The film stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and also includes fellow actors Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Louis C.K. The movie currently is untitled, but at one point was titled “American Bullshit”. Several automobiles from the time period were parked on and around the set at Reliable Cleaners, while “Base Camp” was just a few blocks away in the parking lot of the Natick Elks Club.
According to another recent notice, scenes for the movie were also shot in Brookline on March 15 in and around Monmouth Street and St. Mary’s Street.
ABSCAM was an FBI sting operation in the late 1970s targeting over 30 public officials and using a fictitious company to investigate trafficking of stolen property. It later morphed into public corruption investigation, resulting in the conviction of one United States Senator, five members of the United States House of Representatives and others.
The term ABSCAM was derived from the fictitious front company Abdul Enterprises, Ltd., a business owned by a fictitious Arab sheik, thus AB(dul)SCAM. FBI agents met with the public officials and offered them money and other considerations in exchange for special favors including approval of government contracts.
Russel’s movie is scheduled for limited release on December 13, 2013 and full released by Sony on Christmas Day.