Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Chaplin Studios’

Charlie Chaplin Studios: Then & Now

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

HOLLYWOOD: THEN & NOW

Charlie Chaplin Studios

 

 

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Charlie Chaplin standing in front of his studios at

1416 N. La Brea Avenue in Hollywood, circa 1920

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The same spot as it looks today

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Review of ‘Hollywood Story’

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

FILM REVIEWS

The true ‘Hollywood Story’ is solved 

 Hollywood Story poster

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
 

Recently I had the pleasure to watch the rare film, Hollywood Story (1951), starring Richard Conte, Richard Egan, Henry HullFred Clark and in one of her early film appearances, Julie Adams (billed as Julia Adams).

 

The film was obviously inspired by the unsolved William Desmond Taylor murder that occurred barely 30 years earlier — a famous Hollywood director (named Franklin Ferrara in the film) is found shot and dead in his bungalow. The case goes unsolved and ruins several Hollywood careers including one of the directors leading ladies, an actor who is rumored to have murdered him and a screen writer who becomes a destitute beachcomber.  

 

Helen Gibson, William Farnum and Francis X. Bushman being greeted by the studio guard at the entrance of the former Chaplin Studios

 

Besides the cast mentioned earlier, there are cameos by former silent film favorites, Francis X. Bushman, William Farnum and Helen Gibson and an appearance by Joel McCrea who plays himself. But the real star of the film, in my opinion, are the scenes of old Hollywood. The film opens with a shot of Hollywood Boulevard looking west from Vine Street with the Broadway Department Store entrance and the Warner Theater clearly visible.

 

Other scenes include the NBC Studios (now demolished) on Sunset and Vine and shots of the Hollywood Christmas Parade as it passes Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The swimming pool of the Roosevelt Hotel makes an appearance as does portions of the famed Sunset Strip.

 

Richard Conte and Julie Adams near poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel in The Hollywood Story

 

The plot of the film revolves around Larry O’Brien (Richard Conte) a Broadway producer who arrives in Hollywood to try his hand at filmmaking. Based on facts presented to him, he decides to make a film about the Franklin Ferrara murder. His friend and now-agent (played by Jim Backus), finds him an old abandoned studio that just happens to be where Ferrara was found murdered. This begins the chain of events for his plans to make a movie about Ferrara — investigating the facts himself and getting in trouble in the process.

 

While the film is produced by Universal (the old entrance to the studio also has a cameo), they rented the Charlie Chaplin Studios on La Brea just south of Sunset as the stand-in for the studio where Ferrara was murdered and where O’Brien will now make his film. A long shot of the bungalow clearly shows the neon sign atop the Roosevelt Hotel (and is still visible today) in the background and the distinctive brick gate entrance to the studio can be seen from inside the lot. It is at this front gate that Conte greets silent film stars, Bushman, Farnum and Gibson. In another scene Conte runs outside the gate onto the sidewalk just as he sees Julie Adams and Paul Cavanaugh make an escape up La Brea and around the corner at Sunset.

 

I don’t believe Hollywood Story was ever released on video or DVD, but it should be. If you ever have the opportunity to see this film and old Hollywood is one of your interests, I highly recommend it.

 

 

 The studio guard, Richard Conte and Jim Backus walking onto the Chaplin lot. Notice the ornate tower in the background which is the entrance to the studio. That same tower is below.

 

 

 

 The studio guard greeting Francis X. Bushman at the entrance of the former Chaplin Studios in The Hollywood Story. Below is the same spot as it looks today.

 

 

 

 Richard Conte stands on the sidewalk outside the entrance to the former Chaplin Studios looking north toward Sunset. Below is the same spot as it looks today.

 

 

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Old Chaplin Studios get a drenching

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

TODAY IN HOLLYWOOD

Car accident at old Chaplin Studios (now Henson) creates huge waterspout

 

(PHOTOS: Allan R. Ellenberger

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
March 20, 2010

 

Today, around 2 p.m. Hollywood time, a two car accident in front of the old Chaplin Studios (now Jim Henson Studios), sheared off a fire hydrant sending a massive spray of water more than 100 feet into the air above the studio.

 

 

Above is one of the cars that landed across La Brea at De Longpre Avenue in front of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Students from the school were out with film cameras documenting the accident.

 

 

 

Firemen arrive to fix the broken hydrant. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt and it seems that only shaken nerves were at risk.

 

 

Fireman attempt to turn off the water spout but it takes nearly 30 minutes to bring it under control.

 

 

Finally the spout begins to diminish and within minutes it is just a trickle. The water spout was located in front of what used to be Charlie Chaplins personal office.

 

 

Just a half-block north on La Brea, traffic is bumper-to-bumper and pedestrians are on the street taking photos and just trying to maneuver through the streets.

 

 

 

Just a few more turns…

 

 

… and everything is back to normal. At the left you can see the car that snapped off the hydrant and its alleged owner, covered by a towel, looks through the trunks contents. The drivers side window was broken out so water filled the inside of the car.

 

Thanks again to the LAFD and LAPD

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Kermit Gets De-bugged?

Friday, October 16th, 2009

TODAY IN HOLLYWOOD

Does Kermie have fleas?

 

Henson Studios fumigated

 (Photos: Allan R. Ellenberger)

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Oh no, does Kermit the Frog have fleas? Possibly, but just to be safe they’re fumigating his entire lily pad. As seen today in Hollywood, the old Charlie Chaplin Studios on La Brea – now home of the Jim Henson Company – was being tented for fumigation. What must Miss Piggy think?

 

Henson/Chaplin Studios

The old Charlie Chaplin Studios under a tent

 

 

Kermit the Frog

 Kermit, dressed as his predecessor Charlie Chaplin, gets ready to have his pedestal cloaked

 

 

Chaplin-Henson Studios

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