In an effort to clean up decks, or at least part of my office, here are a few items searched for earlier this year that have never been fully completed until now, all involving movies or television. To show my true inclinations, let me start with the Marx Brothers. (Harpo, enthusiastically: “Honk! Honk! Honk!”)
Marxer the place
In the first few weeks of the coronavirus, I watched the brothers’ first five movies on Blu-ray: âThe Cocoanuts,â âAnimal Crackers,â âMonkey Business,â âHorse Feathers,â and âDuck Soup,â which part of my absolute favorites. , although anything Marxist is fine with me.
“Horse Feathers” of 1932, set at the fictional Huxley College, ends with a match in a football stadium, the actual location of which is sometimes attributed to Pomona College in Claremont. I remember that the tradition was previously quoted in a magazine article by alumni on campus filming locations.
But Occidental College at Eagle Rock is the real site.
An article on Oxy’s website reads: âFive years after the dawn of talk movies, the Marx Brothers descended on Patterson Field in a horse-drawn garbage wagon in ‘Horse Feathers’. Oxy doubled as a framework for real (Stanford, Princeton, Texas State University) and fictitious (Southern Ohio University) colleges. We were even the planet Vulcan (in ‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’).
In other words, Oxy says of Pomona College’s claim: “Horse feathers”.
As I will never have the opportunity to use this anecdote again, let me repeat a little story about the set that I read in Roy Blount Jr.’s book on the brothers, “Hail, Hail, Euphoria ! From the third or fourth take of one of the football scenes, the crowd of extras in the stands found it difficult to simulate the necessary enthusiasm.
“Harpo said he would take care of it,” Blount said. “He circled the pitch bare and honked, and the fans went wild.”
Pomona College was, however, the site of another football movie: âA Minute to Playâ from 1926, starring grill star Harold âRedâ Grange in his first movie role.
The filmmakers encouraged 5,000 extras to come to Alumni Field for the June 1926 shoot, Pomona Progress wrote, with one caveat: “The only restriction is on Straw Hats, which are banned as unsuitable for the film. football season. “
Allan Lagumbay of the Pomona Public Library found this and other article while researching newspaper microfilm for Chris Willis, whose Grange biography was published in 2017.
Grange, nicknamed the Galloping Ghost, did not embrace the rushed and expected style of the movies.
“That’s the one thing I don’t like about this movie business,” Grange grumbled to a Progress correspondent who was on the scene in Claremont. âIt’s the hellish way they fit in here on location and in Hollywood studios as well. I feel like I spend nine-tenths of my time waiting for something to happen.
Cinema is not done at a gallop.
Immortalized in pixels
Grauman’s Chinese Theater fan Kurt Wahlner was featured in 2018 on his website, graumanschinese.org, which has a plethora of photos and facts about iconic Hollywood theater. These include a list of every movie ever screened there, which Wahlner researched as he scrolled through decades of newspaper microfilm at the Pomona Public Library to watch the weekly commercial for the theater.
Wahlner let me know in May that he had added a section on the forecourt, writing the biographies of the 300 personalities who put their hands or their feet in the cement. They include actors, directors, producers, film directors, a mayor, an honorary mayor, an animated duck, a lion and three horses. Wahlner even found some details about the âmystery masonsâ who did the cement work.
âSince the real Forecourt is on lockdown these days,â Wahlner said, âI guess it comes at an appropriate time.â
‘One more thing’
One topic in January was the filming in the 1960s and 1970s at the ruins of the old Virginia Dare Vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga for “Fight!” “,” The Invaders “,” Rat Patrol “,” The Magician “,” Mannix “and” Cannon “, and maybe other TV series as well.
But the Brookside Winery, then operating in Guasti, now part of Ontario, was also popular for filming when a working cellar was in demand.
A 1973 episode of “Columbo”, titled “Any Old Port in a Storm” and starring Donald Pleasence as a wine lover who kills his brother to prevent him from selling their vineyard, had scenes outside Brookside. , starting with the opening credits. A blog called Vagebond’s Columbo Screenshots has photos.
âIMDB says it’s a winery in the north, but I compared screenshots with our photos of the building,â Kelly Zackmann of the Model Colony’s History Room once told me. Library of Ontario by email, âand there is no doubt that this is one of the stone buildings in Guasti. . “
He was a good detective.
Hey, partners (part 2)
To update an article in Sunday’s column, my former GP at Upland gave me a final account of his investigation of John Wayne, while reminding me that he had only interviewed patients aged 25 or over. less.
Of 109 patients, only nine were able to identify Wayne as an actor. “It was actually eight years plus a sister,” the doc clarified, “both of whom said, ‘Our dad made us watch these movies!'”
From there, the doc proceeded to survey the same demographic to ask them if they recognized Elton John’s name. He halted his research when the publicity for the biopic âRocket Manâ began, but before that he had asked seven patients, and only one knew that Elton John was a singer – despite the fact that unlike John Wayne, Elton died in 1979, not only alive, but on tour.
One patient, a 22 year old student, said, âIsn’t he into music or something? Was he in the Eagles?
David Allen writes Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, more to roll his eyes. Email [email protected], phone 909-483-9339, visit insidesocal.com/davidallen, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook, and follow @ davidallen909 on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: This column has been updated to correct the location of Occidental College.