Silent Comedy’s Bridges of Hollenbeck Park
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
3w ago
The graceful arch bridge that once spanned the narrow lake in Hollenbeck Park has appeared in numerous silent films. USC Digital Library. Perhaps its most celebrated appearance is with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy during their early talkie short Men ‘O War (1929), when the bridge appears at back while they flirt with Gloria Greer and Anne Cornwall. Years earlier, in 1920 Harold Lloyd attempted to end it all by leaping from the bridge during Haunted Spooks (above left, looking north), and returned in 1924 to film this scene from Girl Shy (above right), looking south toward the bridge. Harol ..read more
Visit website
Harold Lloyd, Dorothy Devore, Movie Pilot Frank Clarke – Stunt Birds of a Feather
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
2M ago
Here’s more Hollywood history appearing in another little-known film, this time from a Columbia Studios Screen Snapshots newsreel. Above, Screen Snapshots captured pioneer Hollywood stunt pilot/actor Frank Clarke flying an airplane from the roof of the Los Angeles Railroad Building downtown, beginning at 01:35 on YouTube HERE. Seen here under construction, before a later building would block the full view, it still stands at 1060 S Broadway at the NE corner of Broadway and 11th. Looking north up Broadway, if the Blackstone Building at back seems familiar, it’s because it appears behind Ha ..read more
Visit website
Historic Hollywood Relics Found In “Lost” Films
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
3M ago
This post presents bits and pieces of Hollywood history appearing in an assortment of little-known films, many unavailable for decades. I closely follow Dave Glass’s invaluable YouTube channel. You never know what brief scene from an obscure film will reveal more Hollywood history. To begin, check out these scenes from the 1924 Billy Bevan comedy Bright Lights, starting at 05:25 HERE and again at 06:05 HERE.  Do they look familiar? That’s right – it’s the back end of the Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Alley, where Harold Lloyd filmed many scenes from Safety Last! (1923). Check out my YouTube v ..read more
Visit website
Solved! – Buster Keaton’s 100 Year Old Three Ages Bungalow
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
4M ago
Love triumphs over all. Buster Keaton’s first feature comedy Three Ages (1923) tells three tales of love, set in the Stone Age, the Roman Age, and the Present Age (i.e. 1923), where against all odds underdog Buster wins the girl played by Margaret Leahy by defeating villainous Wallace Beery. The movie ends with brief postscript finales – caveman Buster and wife, and their 10 caveman kids exit their cave one-by-one. Next, elegant Roman Age Buster and wife and 5 children, all wearing graceful togas, exit their formal columned home. For the final shot in the movie, Present Age Buster and wife exi ..read more
Visit website
Buster Keaton’s San Francisco footsteps
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
5M ago
Buster filmed scenes from Day Dreams (1922) and The Navigator (1924) across San Francisco. Most locations look remarkably unchanged a century later. My latest YouTube video reveals every SF locale with then and now views, intercut with scenes where sneaky Buster actually filmed in Hollywood and Oakland instead. The video quickly identifies every scene (as does this printed PDF tour you can download), and highlights a fun fact – Buster filmed near three famous SF landmarks BEFORE they were built. This post highlights these “prenatal” landmarks by diving deep into vintage aerial photos. Click t ..read more
Visit website
Stan Laurel and W.C. Fields Crossed Paths Near the Keaton and Metro Studios
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
5M ago
Expanding on the previous post, Stan Laurel also crossed paths with W.C. Fields, at the Metro Studios south of Buster Keaton’s studio, with the same landmark storage building still standing appearing at back. The scenes further below appear in Stan’s 1925 film Twins, made with producer Joe Rock after Stan was dropped by the Hal Roach Studio as a solo performer. The same storage building appears in The Balloonatic, Twins, and If I Had A Million Stan’s lesser known film Twins was kindly brought to my attention by Dave Heath, who runs the vast and wonderfully encyclopedic Hal Roach Studio films ..read more
Visit website
Keaton and W.C. Fields Cross Paths Again Near Buster’s Studio
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
7M ago
Buster Keaton filmed The Chemist (1936) and W.C. Fields filmed Running Wild (1927) beside the same apartment building still standing across the street from the Astoria studios where both movies were made in Queens, New York. (Links to detailed posts HERE and HERE). Click to enlarge – Keaton – The Chemist and Fields – Running Wild beside the SW corner of 35th Ave. and 35th St. in Queens. The Astoria studios where they both worked stands across the street. Yet another landmark building, still standing in Hollywood, also appears in their films. Further, these movies shed light on the history of ..read more
Visit website
Chaplin, Keaton, and Coogan on Sanchez Street – Three Films Revealed in a Brief Glimpse during The Kid
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
7M ago
Accolades aside, Chaplin’s masterpiece The Kid preserves a treasure trove of visual history, including Olvera Street near the Plaza de Los Angeles, and the Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Alley in Hollywood. It’s complicated (more below), but The Kid also captures the precise spot where Chaplin filmed scenes from Police (1916), Buster Keaton filmed scenes from Neighbors (1920), and Jackie Coogan filmed scenes from My Boy (1921), all south of the Plaza along Sanchez Street behind the Garnier Building. As explained in my Chaplin book Silent Traces, in other posts on this blog, and in my new YouTube video T ..read more
Visit website
How Laurel & Hardy Filmed Duck Soup – Flicker Alley Year One Blu-ray Release
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
9M ago
Hooray for Flicker Alley releasing Laurel & Hardy: Year One, a beautifully presented 2-disc Blu-ray set of Stan and Ollie’s 1927 films. The all-new restorations look stunning, meticulously assembled from the best available materials contributed by archives and collectors around the world. I was honored to present a bonus video essay providing an overview of the locations appearing in several films, showing how Stan and Ollie made humble Main Street in Culver City their cinematic home. As fully explained in this post below, many Duck Soup locales require more diagrams and explanation than p ..read more
Visit website
How Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan Made The Kid at the Plaza de Los Angeles
Silent Locations Blog
by John Bengtson
10M ago
Time travel back over a century ago, as Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan lead a personal tour around the Plaza de Los Angeles while making The Kid (1921) and other early films. Charlie and Jackie famously reunite on Olvera Street, you can still visit today, but their movies provide dozens of fascinating glimpses of weary, working-class districts downtown, mostly demolished decades ago. One tantalyzing discovery, a scene from Buster Keaton’s Cops (1922) reveals the building where Charlie filmed the rooftop chase and rescue of Jackie during The Kid. On August 27, 2023, the Academy of Motion Pi ..read more
Visit website

Follow Silent Locations Blog on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR