Archive for October, 2020

“The Scarlet Hour,” featuring Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

To fill the demand by film exhibitors for new movie faces, Paramount produced The Scarlett Hour which opened on April 19, 1956 at the downtown RKO Pantages Theater. This routine thriller presented in leading roles three newcomers: Carol Ohmart, Tom Tryon and Jody Lawrance, who strove under Michael Curtiz’s direction with mixed reviews.

The Scarlet Hour was a test case as to whether untried players should be placed in a production that get top spot on theater programs.

The Scarlet Hour offers a familiar story. Ohmart plots to hijack some jewelry, using Tryon’s infatuation for her as a springboard. James Gregory, playing her husband, is killed accidentally in the fracas. It is at his funeral where this story finds its interest. It was filmed at Paramount’s next door neighbor, Hollywood Cemetery, where we will take a look, then-and-now.

This is the opening scene for the funeral filmed at what was then called Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery.
In this close-up scene Tom Tryon and Carol Ohmart are exchanging guilty looks. Behind them, the white arrow is pointing to the obelisk for the Los Angeles Times founder, Harrison Gray Otis.
A close up of the service, in the upper left and between the trees, you can see the cemetery office building.
The road where the cars are parked was filled in years ago and there is now a meandering walkway with a fountain midway where cremations are interred. The white arrow is once again the Otis obelisk.
This is a longshot of the service, with the now-filled-in roadway on the left. The cross in the lower left corner is a movie prop. The palm tree pointed out by the white arrow is still standing today, and can be seen in the next photo.
The white arrow points to the same tree, though much taller, sixty-four years later.
This is a scene of one of the detectives standing in the roadway watching for suspicious behavior at the funeral. Please note the white arrow pointing to the concrete bench.
Note the same bench today with the same foliage covered wall, trees and grave markers.
At the funeral service. Note the cemetery office building pointed out by the black arrow.
Photo taken from the same spot present day. The thin tall palm trees on the right are still standing.
Tryon and Ohmart leaving the service and entering a car on the now filled-in road. Please note the row of grave markers on the right that were on the edge of the road.
The spot today with the same grave markers, but no longer on the edge of the road. Our friend the palm tree is still standing to the right.
People leaving the service. Please note the white arrow pointing to the standing grave marker with an opening in the center, standing between the actors.
This photo taken from the same spot showing the same distinguishable grave marker and once again our friendly palm tree on the left.
The white arrow points out the location in the cemetery where the scene was filmed.

The film received mixed reviews from critics. The Times wrote, “It is a very drab hour and a half, in the company of actors who have not yet established their reputations and are unlikely to achieve them as a result of this movie. The story combines a rather unsavory triangle with a jewel robbery and the director Mr. Curtiz has achieved a certain amount of suspense but little else.”

David Bongard of the Herald Express wrote that “Carol Ohmart is the sultry boss’s wife. She has an amazing physical resemblance, in some angles, to Barbara Stanwyck. Obviously, she’s Curtiz’s Galatea in the acting field. If the material were not so childish and over-dramatic, she might have made a bull’s-eye with this. She soon might be capable of the stuff of a Stanwyck or a Bette Davis.”

If you are interested in watching the film, please CLICK HERE