Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sylvia (1965) - Film Locations


First, something a little off subject - on March 22, my wife gave birth to our daughter and future cinephile, Hazel! It was a really long day, beginning at 1:00am when my wife's waters broke and continuing with a long labor that didn't end until 7:02pm when Hazel finally arrived. My wife was a real pro. She had a completely natural birth with no drugs. The hospital kept pushing the epidural over and over again but my wife stuck to her original goal of having a natural birth without drugs. Even during the transition part of labor, the worst part of the process, my wife listened to her body's natural signs and worked through the pain. She was awesome and handled it well.

Now we have a beautiful little girl and although she has kept me from getting any sleep, she is just too precious to get upset at. I am very excited to be a dad and to begin teaching Hazel "Good Stuff" as Laura, from the blog Laura's Miscellaneous Musings commented, quoting a Cary Grant reference that he  used with his daughter Jennifer.  No doubt you will be hearing more about Hazel and other good stuff, but now onto another girl named Sylvia.

In the film Sylvia (1965) California millionaire Frederic Summers (Peter Lawford) is engaged to Sylvia (Carroll Baker), a beautiful, sophisticated and wealthy author of poetry, but before he marries, Summers hires private investigator Alan Macklin (George Maharis) to uncover Sylvia's past. There is something mysterious about Sylvia and Summers wants to be sure that she doesn't want to marry him just for his money. What Macklin discovers is a dark past filled with abuse, prostitution and blackmail but rather than share these details with Summers, he keeps this information to himself. That's because Macklin has also fallen in love with Sylvia.

Macklin's investigation begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the city where he learns that Sylvia grew up. In the screenshots below we see an aerial view of Pittsburgh and a shot of Macklin entering the city through the Fort Pitt Tunnel.

Aerial view of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as seen in Sylvia.

Contemporary view looking down at Pittsburgh
from Mount St. Mary's Church, 403 Grandview Ave

Macklin enters Pittsburgh through the Fort Pitt Tunnel

The Fort Pitt Tunnel

Crossing the Fort Pitt Bridge

Looking across the Fort Pitt Bridge

Below, Macklin visits a Pittsburgh church where he tries to dig up some information on Sylvia. In the background, in the red square we can see the historic Penn Sheraton hotel located at 530 William Penn Place and in the yellow circle the tower of the Allegheny Courthouse and Jail building located at 436 Grant Street. An interesting tidbit about the William Penn Hotel, according to Wikipedia, it was the site of Bob Hope's marriage proposal in 1934.

Macklin stands at church. Allegheny Courthouse and
Penn Sheraton hotel can be seen in background.

Looking down Centre Avenue towards the William Penn Hotel.

Bing Birds Eye view of Allegheny Courthouse 
and William Penn Hotel.

Later in the film, Macklin's investigation takes him back to California. Sylvia has left her dark past behind her and settled in sunny Los Angeles, where she is soon to be married to the millionaire Fredric Summers. Below, Macklin takes a cab from the LAX airport. In the background is the iconic and kitschy Encounter Restaurant and Bar, a building that looks like something straight out of The Jetsons cartoon series.

Macklin takes a cab from LAX airport. Encounter is on the right.

Outside LAX. Encounter can be seen in the red circle.

Macklin eventually finds Sylvia in a Brentwood bookstore called the Brentwood Book Shop, the now closed Dutton's Brentwood Books, located at 11975 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Macklin parked outside Brentwood Book Shop
at 11975 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Looking down San Vicente Boulevard today.

Macklin looks through the window of the Brentwood Book Shop.

The book store is now the site of Cisco Home, a 
sustainable living furniture store.

After Macklin meets Sylvia he spends the day with her at Kiddieland, a kiddie park that was once located where the Beverly Center mall now stands at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard. Kiddieland had pony rides and carnival like attractions. Does anyone have any memories of visiting Kiddieland before it closed?

Macklin (Maharis) and Sylvia (Carroll Baker) enter
Kiddieland park from Beverly Boulevard.

The Beverly Center mall now stands at the corner of
Beverly Blvd & La Cienega Blvd.

Macklin and Sylvia enter Kiddieland. In the background
looking across Beverly Blvd. up La Cienega Blvd.

Looking up La Cienega Blvd across from Beverly Blvd.

Maharis and Baker stroll through Kiddieland.

Sylvia is an entertaining drama that takes some risks and features some interesting filming locations. Surprisingly it hasn't been released on DVD but it is currently available as a Watch Instantly title on Netflix.

7 comments:

DKoren said...

Congratulations to you and your wife on your new daughter! How wonderful!

KC said...

Congratulations! I'm impressed that your wife did it without drugs. That's a lot of pain to work through. And Hazel is worth it all I'm sure!

I've been curious about this movie since I saw it on Instant Play. I think I'll finally check it out. Sounds different.

twbrxdx said...

Robby,

Congrats on the girl -- Hazel, not Sylvia. And on all the good stuff to come.

Laura said...

Congrats on the birth of your baby girl!

Laura said...

A big congrats on the arrival of your little girl, Robby! That's just wonderful news. And what fun you quoted my comment above. :)

My youngest child turned 14 the day before Hazel was born. It's a cliche for a reason that it really does go so quickly. Enjoy it all! The sleepless nights will soon be a distant memory. What an exciting time! My very best wishes to you, your wife, and little Hazel.

Best wishes,
Laura

Katie said...

Congreats!! (typo and it stays)

Awesome post as usual, thanks!

Zinnia Cress said...

Great post Cutie, when we were watching this, I wanted to slap the sister around too! :) and thanks for being such a great coach with me and our munchkin Hazel. ;) xoxo

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