Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Rockford Files - Film Locations - Riverside at Maple

The Rockford Files: Season 1, Episode 4, "Exit Prentiss Carr" (1974)

During the episode "Exit Prentiss Carr," Jim Rockford (James Garner) takes a case in the fictional town of Bay City. One of the scenes that is supposed to take place in the small town of Bay City was actually filmed on Riverside Drive in Burbank. In the now and then comparisons below we see Garner turning right from Maple Street on to Riverside Drive heading east. He eventually pulls over a couple blocks down near the intersection of Riverside and Screenland Drive.

Click images to see larger.

Garner turns from Maple St. on to Riverside Drive.

Riverside at Maple, in Burbank, CA.

I recognized this spot immediately. I walk down this stretch of street regularly to pick up lunch. During the evenings this area is quiet, but with Warner Bros. only two blocks away, Disney, NBC, Universal, and other entertainment companies with offices nearby, this area gets pretty busy during the lunch hour. A lot is the same and a lot has changed. The chiropractor business building is still there but the practice is gone. The travel business is now a Subway. And the next building over is now a pizza restaurant and a Chipotle. I can't make out what used to be where the Chipotle now stands.

The Tolucan Motel on Riverside Drive, Burbank

The Tolucan Motel site is now a Best Western.

As Garner drives down Riverside Drive we see a motel called "The Tolucan Motel," which is now gone. On the site today is a Best Western motel.

Garner crosses Kenwood at Riverside.

Corner of Kenwood St. at Riverside Drive.

As Garner continues down Riverside he passes a laundry business at the corner of Kenwood Street. The building is still standing and until recently, was a restaurant called Salerno's. Things have changed again since the "now" image. The green shrubs have all been torn out. The building is still standing but being completely remodeled.

Looking west down Riverside Drive from Kenwood.

Looking down Riverside Drive from Kenwood.

In the comparison above, Garner looks in his rearview mirror and he sees the police getting ready to pull him over. We get a view looking West down Riverside from Kenwood. One noticeable thing that hasn't changed is the bright yellow liquor sign that is still standing tall.

Garner passes a motel on Riverside Dr. Burbank.

Garner passes another motel on Riverside Drive, this one across the street from the Tolucan Motel/Best Western. I can't tell what this motel used to be called, but it was remodeled in the last couple years and turned into what today is the Tangerine Hotel

3820 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank as seen in The Rockford Files.

3820 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank

In the above clip Garner begins to pull over to the side of the street. The building seen on the corner is no longer standing. In the last few years an AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union building was erected on the site.

The "Bay City" police pull Garner over on Riverside Dr.

3808 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA

In the last comparison the "Bay City" police pull Garner over at 3808 Riverside Drive. This building has for a long time been the home to some medical offices. There has been some very recent changes to this building. In the last few weeks a Bank of the West has since moved in, at least on the ground floor, and painted the exterior a shade of white.

This is my first entry in my 1970s television flashback. I'll be back with some more The Rockford Files locations as well as Quincy M.E. and Columbo.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Careless Years (1957) - Film Locations

Dean Stockwell in the The Careless Years

I recently streamed the film, The Careless Years (1957) on Netflix and discovered three things:
  1. Santa Monica High School is used as the high school in the story. Cool!
  2. The version of the film on Netflix - the last 30 minutes of the movie is from a completely different film! About three quarters of the way into the movie, a scene fades to black and then the ending of a whole different movie fades in - so I didn't even get to see the real ending. Not cool!
  3. Third, Dean Stockwell had a striking resemblance to James Dean as a teenager.
The film centers around a couple of high school students. Dean Stockwell plays Jerry, a boy from a poor family who falls in love with Emily (Natalie Trundy), a girl from a wealthy family. Jerry can't control his hormones and wants to make love to Emily, but she isn't ready to go all the way. Jerry proposes to Emily, but it seems more like a proposition to get under Emily's skirt than for sincere marriage reasons. This is a 1950s film, so all the action is very PG, Leave it to Beaver fashion. In fact, the mother of Emily is even played by Barbara Billingsley, the mother from Leave it to Beaver! That's the gist of the film and again, I was unable to see the ending.

Here are some comparisons of Santa Monica High School as featured in the film compared to how it appears today.

Santa Monica High School as seen in The Careless Years (1957)

Santa Monica High School. Photo (c) Tony Hoffarth

Natalie Trundy in front of Santa Monica High School

Dean Stockwell in front of Santa Monica High School

Entrance to Santa Monica High School. Photo (c) Tony Hoffarth

The courtyard in front of Santa Monica High School.

Aerial view of Santa Monica High School.

Dean Stockwell and James Dean.

Dean Stockwell and James Dean not only share the name "Dean" but they also share a striking similarity in appearance. In the photo above Dean Stockwell is seen as he appears in The Careless Years and on the right is an image of James Dean from the time of Rebel Without a Cause. I can't get over how much they look a like - the hair and hairline, squinty eyes, eyebrows, and overall facial features. Then when you see them both in blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt, they look like they could be brothers. What do you think? A bit of trivia: James Dean also filmed scenes in front of Santa Monica High School. In the film Rebel Without a Cause Santa Monica High School stood in for Dawson High School.

The contemporary images of Santa Monica High School I found from a Flickr page by Tony Hoffarth. He's got many great photos of Los Angeles area locations. You can visit his page by clicking here.


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