“The Town” is arguably the greatest Boston movie ever made. It’s certainly one of the most purely Boston movies, what with its accents, various filming locations around the city, and of course the famous climactic heist that takes place at Fenway Park.
A great new oral history from The Ringer looks back at “The Town” 10 years after its release and takes viewers behind the scenes of its making and some of its most famous scenes, including the Fenway heist.
“The Red Sox were really smart and understood how vital and central their organization was and is to the city, and they loved the idea of it,” said Ben Affleck, who wrote, directed and starred in the movie. “And Major League Baseball was open to it—that was what I was really afraid of. But the Red Sox were definitely in the spirit of, ‘This is gonna be fun. It’s a fun heist movie.’ John Henry visited the set. Tom Werner’s a friend of mine. They were excited.”
While the Red Sox were very accommodating of Affleck and Co., the Cambridge native revealed that another Boston team wasn’t so easy to work with.
Given that Affleck’s character and his friends are from Charlestown, and that hockey is big in Charlestown, Affleck felt some Bruins apparel was needed.
The Bruins, however, had a policy at the time (and may still now) that their logo and team apparel wouldn’t be associated with anything that contained lots of violence or swearing. Spoiler alert: “The Town” has a lot of both.
Affleck decided that wasn’t going to deter him, though, leading to a scene in which his character wears what appears to be a vintage Bruins jacket. In reality, though, the logo on the jacket was actually changed just enough to not be a Bruins logo.
From The Ringer’s oral history:
Susan Matheson (costume designer): Ben at one point wears a zip-up track jacket that looks like a Bruins jacket. But it isn’t. We did not have legal clearance to use the logo.
Affleck: The Bruins have been extremely shortsighted and wrong with their policy, where if there’s swearing or violence, you can’t use their logo.
Matheson: I will never forget sitting there with some felt and scissors at 3 or 4 in the morning. I was cutting out pieces of felt while Gina (Rhodes) was stitching them—making, by hand, the fake Bruins logo. It had to feel like Bruins. But it couldn’t be Bruins.
Affleck: I’m like, “Why the (expletive) do you think people go to hockey games?” Swearing and fighting. It’s like 50 percent of why people buy tickets.
So there you have it. Now the next time you watch “The Town,” you have some fun trivia to share.