As discussed in prior posts, Buster Keaton and the Three Stooges nearly crossed paths in Cops (1922) and Soup To Nuts (1930) (see HERE), and did cross paths in Neighbors (1920) and Soup To Nuts (see HERE), before filming their respective Columbia short subjects General Nuisance (1941) and Boobs in Arms (1940) on the same back lot called the Columbia Ranch located in Burbank at the corner of Oak Street and Hollywood Way (see Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE). Concluding this series, we’ll look at where Buster filmed scenes on Kenwood Street just south of the Columbia Ranch, known today as the Warner Brothers Ranch.
In General Nuisance Buster portrays an effete millionaire who enlists in the army to impress a woman who prefers a man in uniform. Buster’s scenes were filmed along Oak Street and Kenwood Street, adjacent to the Columbia Ranch.
Above, Buster hitches a ride south down Kenwood with some diplomats after his car breaks down. The three extant homes visible above were then the only homes on the block. The prominently exposed front home (330) now has a towering pine tree on its once bare lawn. Earlier, Buster meets two women parked along Oak Street (left), as the same home at 330 Kenwood appears in the background. The detached garage for 330 Kenwood (open door at left) has been replaced with a two-story mother-in-law unit.
Above right, Buster’s car breaks down on Oak Street, looking east along the south border of the Columbia Ranch. In the back you can see a pair of twin bungalows on the studio property that appear prominently later in Buster’s film and, as explained in my prior posts, during the Stooges’ Boobs In Arms, appearing above left. The western-most of the two bungalows, marked with an oval above, was replaced by a large structure, but its twin to the east remains standing near the Oak/Hollywood Way corner entrance to the Warner Brothers Ranch.
You can get a sense of how bare suburban development was here in the early 1940s by comparing these images above from the two movies. Each image shows the north face of the bungalow that once stood at 335 Screenland Drive – at the time the only home on the block. Today large apartment blocks squat along both sides of Screenland Drive. The map at the left looks south, and shows the point of view from the Stooges’ movie (left arrow) and from Buster’s movie (right arrow) towards the home at 335 Screenland. Only four homes (and three detached garages) stood on the bare land south of the Columbia Ranch during the time of filming.
During the Stooges’ drill practice scene from Boobs In Arms, shown above, you can also look south from the studio and see the north face of the extant bungalow at 224 Kenwood, marked with a yellow box. To the right of the yellow box in the Stooges frame is the north side of 330 Kenwood, the home discussed above. The matching modern aerial view, shown above, looks south from what is now the Warner Brothers Ranch toward 224 Kenwood. The red oval above marks the surviving of the twin bungalows mentioned previously. I explain other features visible in this aerial view in my prior posts.
For information on the Columbia Ranch, I highly recommend the unofficial ranch website here.
Jim Pauley’s new book The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations has dozens and dozens of photos of the Columbia Ranch backlot and the various sets.
The Mike McDaniel and Wes Clark Burbank history website Burbankia can be found here.
Movie frame images copyright Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Aerial view (C) 2012 Microsoft Corporation – Pictometry Bird’s Eye (C) 2012 Pictometry International Corp.