Golden Age of Hollywood Book Club discussion

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Hob Nob > location, location, location

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message 1: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Have you journeyed to (or visited in your hometown) any famous sites where a memorable film was shot?


message 2: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (last edited Mar 15, 2018 05:53PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
One of mine: I once visited the interior of the Hagia Sofia mosque where Sean Connery (James Bond) was stalked by Robert Shaw ('Red Grant') in 'From Russia With Love'. Later, I visited the underground Roman cistern/waterworks --where the Brits rowed themselves under the streets --to spy from below-ground, on the Russkie embassy (in the early part of that movie). Pretty thrilling.


message 3: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (last edited Apr 10, 2018 06:44PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
I work near Court St subway station in Brooklyn, where sequences of 'The Taking of Pelham123' were shot. May be my #1 favourite thriller of all time.

And I reside near where 'Saturday Night Fever' was filmed; and also where 'The French Connection' (train chase) was shot.


message 4: by Mollie (new)

Mollie Harrison Pennock | 91 comments I would love to see the Bradbury Building in LA which has been used in a number of movies.


message 5: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Ah yah. Definitely famous.


message 6: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1902 comments There certainly would seem to be more chances to visit locations nowadays than many films of the classic period when movies were made on the backlot of a studio. My question is about the 1933 King Kong, which must have been expenrsive in that time period of the Depression? Of course, I have visited the Empire State Building where the climactic action takes place. The tragedy is that the Twin Towers of the 1976 film are no longer there.

NYC has many locations such as the opening scenes of the 1947 'Miracle on 34th Street' on CPW. It brings back memories when I see that.


message 7: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
You're questioning the expense of what, specifically? Visiting the ESB was always cheap as far as I know. Of course the '33 movie wasn't filmed there lol lol

I kinda think it was easier in former decades to see charismatic film locations because they still existed and hadn't been developed over.


message 8: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
I've peeked in the Bottoms Up club in Hong Kong where Roger Moore as James Bond, swallows the gold bullet from the navel of the teaze dancer. It's just a tourist trap, though.


message 9: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1902 comments Feliks wrote: "You're questioning the expense of what, specifically? Visiting the ESB was always cheap as far as I know. Of course the '33 movie wasn't filmed there lol lol

I kinda think it was easier in former ..."


I was referring to the expense of making the movie during the Depression. I realize they didn't film at the ESB, but that scene certainly was a memorable one.


message 10: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
It's a good question to ask, how much the stop-motion animation cost the studio relative to how much the latest animation costs studios today. But I think because both the technology and the industry (as well as the American economy) are all so thoroughly different the comparison would truncate abruptly.

What I'm reminded of instead is the old debate about whether 'glamorous' Hollywood movies of the 1930s --set in penthouses and skyscrapers--were truly appropriate for the time. What else might Hollywood have done? The studio execs defended themselves by claiming they were raising people's hopes and boosting morale. I privately think --if it had happened in any other country-- it might have caused a revolt.


message 11: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments I used to live near Cape Fear, but I can't say that I ever sought out any particular places where the action took place. Pretty sure the DeNiro version was shot in Wilmington, so the exteriors were authentic. Not sure about the Mitchum version.


message 12: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Wilmington DE is a sad little town.


message 13: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments Wilmington NC! "The Hollywood of the South." At least until evangelical lunatics took over the government and drove everyone to Atlanta. Now they're ready to leave Georgia, too.


message 14: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments I was an extra in Southern Gothic, Andersonville, and Empire Records.


message 15: by Spencer (last edited Dec 29, 2019 03:06PM) (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments The Cape Fear River runs through Wilmington into the sound. You can take bridges across the sound to the southern outer banks towns of Carolina Beach (biker bars, tattoo parlors, aquamarine hotels, restaurants that specialize in fried shrimp and hushpuppies) and Wrightsville Beach (vacation land for upper middle class types--sea bass in cream sauce over angel hair). Assuming that you've not spent much time watching Matlock or Dawson's Creek, you should know that the entire area is well-represented. Blue Velvet was also filmed there.


message 16: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1902 comments Is that the Andersonville television film made in 1996? I didn't see it, but I did see the real thing on one of my many trips to ACW sites.


message 17: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
The source novel is one of the most tremendous reading experiences in American fiction. Well-deserving its Pulitzer. Could never be adequately realized on film not even by an Abel Gance.

So there's an Outer Banks town in North Carolina which is itself, named 'Carolina'? "Carolina, North Carolina"? Criminey...


message 18: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments Well, Carolina Beach, North Carolina, technically.

The Andersonville story is kind of funny. Most of it was shot in Hollywood or possibly some exteriors in New York. Somebody who was supposed to transport the masters apparently lost some reels. Hiring tons of extras would have been prohibitively expensive in a union state, so Frankenheimer came to Wilmington to shoot a few reels. The scene was supposed to be winter, so there's fires burning and we're all wearing wool union soldier uniforms. It's actually middle of Summer, about 90 degrees and dizzying humidity. But it paid well for a North Carolina job and the catering was good. Plus, Frankenheimer. Though I hadn't seen The Manchurian Candidate at the time. I think it had been available again for a few years after about two decades of Francis pulling it off the shelves.


message 19: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1902 comments I would imagine whoever lost those reels was in trouble?

Considering the real soldiers would have had to wear wool in summertime, it's kind of ironic.


message 20: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (last edited Dec 29, 2019 07:16PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
They didn't wear anything but rags in the actual prison; southern winters aren't severe


message 21: by Spencer (last edited Dec 29, 2019 07:52PM) (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments I would guess that whoever lost those reels lost a job. Though the whole ordeal may have been an elaborate publicity scheme.


message 22: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments To be fair, North and South Carolina winters are no joke. Though lately, they are. But 20 degrees with fog and snow can be pretty unpleasant when you're a prisoner. I have even seen temps go to zero. But I have been visiting family, and even in Asheville, which is in the mountains, it's been in the 60's the whole holiday season.


message 23: by Doubledf99.99 (new)

Doubledf99.99 | 251 comments Spencer wrote: "To be fair, North and South Carolina winters are no joke. Though lately, they are. But 20 degrees with fog and snow can be pretty unpleasant when you're a prisoner. I have even seen temps go to zer..."

Wet cold in the 20's to 50's along with being malnourished, good way to come down with hypothermia.


message 24: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
It was only erected during the final 14 months of the war, so winters probably weren't a factor. I don't recall it featured in the story at all. Instead, since most of the POWs didn't make it through a full year, (rather like Madame Guillotine constantly being fed anew) it was a myriad of other ailments. A stern cold spell might have actually helped to keep disease down.

Anyway, eh. My impression was that mild, year-round temperatures was why films are shot in NC in the first place...


message 25: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 755 comments Nah, it was shot in NC to avoid paying union wages, without a doubt. In NC, you only had to join the union extras guild if you spoke a line. Hundreds of people getting less than 10 bucks an hour. But anything over 7.50 an hour seemed like gold in NC in the mid-90's.


message 26: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Sandy Dennis and Jack Lemmon (dang, how many fab flicks did Lemmon star in, anyway???) appear in perhaps the best Big Apple movie: 'The Out-of-Towners'. Another smash script by Neil Simon as well.

My god, what have we got today, to compare.


message 27: by Doubledf99.99 (new)

Doubledf99.99 | 251 comments Feliks wrote: "The source novel is one of the most tremendous reading experiences in American fiction. Well-deserving its Pulitzer. Could never be adequately realized on film not even by an Abel Gance.

So there'..."


Read your review which is a great write up, next time I get a amazon gift card, I'm going to buy it. Or just maybe just shell out the bucks for a hardback edition.


message 28: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Thanks! Yes you can see how overwhelmed I was in the immediate aftermath of that read. It makes my fondness for F Scott Fitzgerald look merely sentimental. As far as best American novel of the century I'm now inclined to nominate 'Andersonville'. I'd like to somehow include Pynchon's "V" but that pyrotechnic read is really more about non-American topics such as European history and ancient mysticism. Of course, Scott has that biting satire and irony but no one can truly match Kantor's fact-based descriptive power.


message 29: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1902 comments They weren't in rags their entire imprisonment, and also the Confederate soldiers were in wool uniforms too. The irony is that many of those who survived Andersonville were lost in the Sultana disaster of 1865. What most people forget was that Union prisons in the North were horrible too, and that the Confederates weren't used to the cold. Being a POW was a horror whichever side you were on, especially once the exchange of prisoners stopped.


message 30: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Sure, but every new batch of prisoners had their clothes practically stripped from them by the big gangs as soon as they entered. My point is, although there was plenty of discomfort, freezing wasn't the most feared. Your other remarks are well-spoken; and I'd agree that prison miseries can never be faithfully conveyed. There's some filthy confinement scenes here-or-there, in this-classic-movie or that-classic-movie; but it's not really a thing anyone can grasp via imagery. Audiences are hardly even historic-minded anymore.


message 31: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
It's rather like when they make zombie movies and all the zombie figures in the background are clearly, well-fed and physically fit.


message 32: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2085 comments My favorite location visit was Angel's Flight in Los Angeles....it was the site of many 40-50's noir films and it has recently been renovated. I also saw the building where Mike Hammer had his office/apartment in the classic noir film Kiss Me Deadly. So many of the buildings in that era of noir film are no longer standing which is really a shame.


message 33: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
That's some good bragging rights.


message 34: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2085 comments My cousin (who works for AFI) lives there and he is a great guide.


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