CineSavant Column

Saturday January 13, 2024



Correspondent Michael McQuarrie comes through with yet another ‘drive through Los Angeles’ link from a site called Vivid History. The best of these look like 35mm background plates, used for rear-projection in movie scenes of people in taxicabs, etc. Part of this one has three passes on the same street, to make separate side-angle cuts to the driver and passenger.

It’s called Los Angeles 1960s, Hollywood and Downtown … and was possibly filmed in the Spring or Summer of 1961. I confess that I wanted to show it because it features some movie marquees and a stretch of Santa Monica Blvd. just north of CineSavant Central — but a full ten years before I came to ‘the big city.’

Following editorial habit, I made screening notes that may / may not be of interest. Just looking at the cars, the people and the incredible variety of businesses is interest enough for me:

00:00  Hollywood. Heading East on Santa Monica Blvd between Wilton and Van Ness.
00:45  Hollywood Forever Cemetery — before strip malls were added facing Santa Monica Blvd., the cemetery had a grass lawn extending all the way to Gower Street.
01:14  Gower Street — CineSavant Central is about ten blocks to the South.
02:05  Downtown Los Angeles. Heading North on Hill Street at 9th.
02:54  8th Street – William Castle’s Homicidal and Allan Dwan’s Most Dangerous Man Alive are playing at the Hill Street theater. It was demolished in 1965.
03:24  7th Street – Marlon Brando’s One-Eyed Jacks playing on the right at the Warner Downtown, at this time called the Warrens Theater.
03:46  6th street on the left, the Paramount theater is closed and boarded up pending demolition. Pershing Square is on the right.
04:10  Elizabeth Taylor’s Butterfield 8 is playing at the Town, with a second feature we can’t make out. In 1966 it became Dan Sonney and Dave Friedman’s first Pussycat Theater.
04:59  New angle Hill Street going North again raking Right, starting at 7th.
05:10  One-Eyed Jacks playing, again; 2nd feature is Young Jesse James.
05:33  Pershing Square begins at 6th.
06:36  New angle Hill Street going North again raking Left, starting at 7th.
07:38  Butterfield 8 playing at the Town.
07:50  Unidentified beach-side boulevard. It looks like Venice, but the roads may all have been redone — could be another beach town, too.



The best literature on Film Noir is readily available in the Film Noir Foundation’s magazine, Noir City.

The latest issue is out, Number 39, and once again the level of writing, research and style is unsurpassed. Editor in Chief Imogen Sara Smith oversees a sharp 60 pages of concentrated film history, for publisher Eddie Muller; we particularly like the layouts designed by Michael Kronenberg, that evoke the heyday of great film magazines of the past, almost all of them extinct.

Featured articles this month focus on Hit Men in movies, (Danilo Castro), a look at the career of Jean Hagen (Steve Kronenberg), the Crime Pictures of director Bob Rafelson (Peter Tonguette) and Nick Gomez (Rachel Walther) and Christmas-themed Noir (Jeremy Arnold). The reliable Sean Axmaker reviews some new Blu-ray releases.

The Noir City news page has the info to subscribe, and to see the new issue’s full contents page.



And Michael McQuarrie sends us yet another link we can’t pass up:

A tourist page touts a terrific stopover destination at the Schilthorn, in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland. A company advertises cablecar rides (four separate lifts?) to the summit of the Schilthorn, at 2,970 meters up.

The James Bond Connection is very much a part of the come-on, with a ‘James Bond Brunch’ and a ‘Piz Gloria afternoon platter.’ Yes, this mountaintop eyrie is the spectacular location for much of the 1969 Danjaq thriller On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, starring George Lazenby. It doesn’t look like the easiest place to film a one-man documentary, let alone a lavish epic with a big cast and crew.

The showoff web page is called Swiss Skyline.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson