Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Movie Locations

Author Tony Reeves’ “The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations” (A Cappella Books, Chicago, 2001) tell us that the lighthouse during the big gale in “Portrait of Jennie” (1948) which had tragic consequences for Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten was actually Graves End Light off Boston Harbor.

The book is filled with fascinating entries on the actual locations of movie shoots, though most movie buffs are aware that nearly all films in the Golden Age of Hollywood were shot right on the soundstage.

“Shadow of a Doubt” (1943) gives us a good hometown view of Santa Rosa, California where director Alfred Hitchcock used the train station, and an actual home on McDonald Avenue for the Newton residence.

“Stagecoach” (1939) gave us the first view in a western of the magnificent Monument Valley, which would figure in many westerns in years to come.

“Sunset Blvd.” (1950) of course gave us the glimpse of the iconic Paramount studio gates.

Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958) takes us to several spots around San Francisco, including Telegraph Hill, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Way Down East” (1920) D. W. Griffith makes famous Vermont’s White River Junction as the spot of the dangerous crossing on the ice floes.

Take a look at this book for more movie locations you can still visit, though most are from more modern films. The greatest fantasies of the Golden Age were the locations created purely from scratch. Those rain-washed city streets and quiet country lanes and fog enshrouded castles were all myth. They were believable only because we wanted to believe.

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