Saturday, July 17, 2010

Possessed (1947) - Film Locations

Joan Crawford in Possessed (1947)

Well, after a bit of summer traveling I'm ready to get back to blogging and what better way than to start with a film location post. I know the location posts are probably the most popular. To kick things off here are a few of the filming locations for the classic Joan Crawford noir, Possessed (1947).

In short, Possessed tells the story of a woman (Joan Crawford) who is obsessed with her ex-lover and over the course of the film loses her sanity. The movie opens with the credits coming up over a shot of 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles. If you look at the images below you can match. up the film shot with the present image by looking at the tall building in the far right.

7th Street, Los Angeles

7th Street, Los Angeles

As the credits continue to roll we see Joan Crawford walking aimlessly through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Below, she walks right past the Brack Shops building located on 7th Street near Grand Avenue. The Brack Shops awning is no longer but the building still stands and is known as "The Collection." There are metal markings in the sidewalk that read "Brack Shops" in front of the old store entrance.

Joan Crawford in front of Brack Shops, Los Angeles

"The Collection" formerly "Brack Shops"

Sidewalk in front of The Collection building
7th Street, Los Angeles

7th Street, Los Angeles

7th Street, Los Angeles

Joan Crawford walks down 7th Street

Looking down 7th Street, Los Angeles

As you can see above, the view down 7th Street has changed since the late 1940s when the film was made and how it appears today. There were no trees growing from the sidewalks and one of the buildings on the left is now gone, but a lot still remains the same. I was able to find this location by matching up the windows and stairwells of the tall building on the left.

Once the camera finally does a close-up on Joan Crawford we see her heading "across the street" towards a church. There is no church across the street and the one in the film does not look familiar to me. I'm guessing the church was built on a soundstage at Warner Bros. If anyone knows if the church is real leave a message!

After wandering the streets Joan Crawford is picked up and rushed to a hospital in an ambulance. The hospital used was the historic Los Angeles County hospital located in the east LA neighborhood of Boyle Heights. The hospital is an amazing looking building that is a towering landmark in the neighborhood.

Looking down Zonal Ave as seen in Possessed

Looking down Zonal Ave in front of hospital

Ambulance rushes Crawford to hospital.

Entrance to hospital.

Hospital entrance as seen in film Possessed.

Los Angeles County Hospital

Possessed was originally going to be a film vehicle for the actress Bette Davis, however, Davis was pregnant and needed to go on maternity. Joan Crawford, who got her start at MGM was enjoying a second career as a star at Warner Bros. during this time and so the film went to Crawford.


Daveland said...

I really dig this stuff; your detective work is phenomenal!

Matthew Coniam said...

Fantastic research - love it!

Zinnia Cress said...

it's great that they still have teh brack shops on the sidewalk! great post! :)

Lolita of the Classics said...

These posts of yours are so entertaining! I was just watching some scenes from Possessed the other night, interesting. I haven't seen the entire film, but I hear it is considered one of Joan's best performances, so I guess I'll have to get around to it sooner or later!

Anonymous said...

Terrific post! Possessed is such a juicy little noir--gotta love Crawford when she plays crazy. Next time I'm in that neighborhood I'm gonna search out that sidewalk nod to "bracks shops"

Bryan said...

Love this movie, love your blog...since living in L.A., I've wondered where these shots of Joan were filmed. Keep up the fantastic work!

Clara Fercovic said...

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Unknown said...

Very cool! Does anyone know if scenes from Autumn Leaves had been filmed in DTLA? When she goes the theater and restaurant.


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