We’re Not in Westchester Anymore, Toto: X-Men Movie Confuses Westchester with England

X-Men: First Class takes place in Westchester County, New York. But you wouldn’t know it, based on the architecture



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X-Men: First Class debuted at No. 1 at the box office this weekend. Though it only grossed a little more than the first movie (and far less than the following ones), it inspired critics to write that it reclaimed “much of the pop-operatic grandeur and insouciant wit so evident in the series’ first two installments.”

I agree: It’s not so much a sequel or reboot as it is a “preboot,” going back to look at the beginnings of the Professor X/Magneto rivalry in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That means we get some new blood in the franchise (not that Hugh Jackman isn’t wonderful as Wolverine). You’ve got younger, groovier versions of Professor X and Magneto; cool ’60s touches, including the swingingest underwater submarine-lab-lair-shagpad outside of a James Bond movie; and even shout-outs to the other X-Men films. It’s basically everything you could want in a summer superhero-popcorn movie.

x-men professor x school for gifted x-mansionKnowing Westchester, we wonder what the taxes are like on this thing

With one big exception, if you’re a local.

The X-Men always held a special place in my heart because they live in Westchester. Professor X sets up the X-Men HQ, School for Gifted Youngsters, in his family home in “Salem,” Westchester.

In the new movie, when we first see a young Charles Xavier, a title card appears that says “Westchester: 1944.” Only what follows is not like any Westchester I’ve come to know...

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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY


Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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