This post comes with a shout-out to Christina Rice, Senior Librarian overseeing the invaluable Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection, and author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel, the wonderful biography about the spirited actress who played many standout roles during the early 30s at Warner Bros. Although Ann does not grace any of the locations revealed here with her presence, her sympathetic portrayal of doomed characters in Three On A Match and ‘G’ Men provides the dramatic focus for both films. For more information about Ann visit Christina’s site http://www.anndvorak.com/.
Ann’s character in Three On A Match abandons her son and husband for a wild life of booze and drugs with a petty gambler. Ann’s friend, played by Bette Davis, take Ann’s son to the park, where Ann’s boyfriend kidnaps the child hoping to raise emergency cash to pay off his gambling debts. The harrowing scene was filmed at Hollenbeck Park, where many classic comedy films were staged, including Harold Lloyd’s Haunted Spooks and Girl Shy, Snub Pollard’s It’s A Gift, and the Laurel and Hardy favorite Men O’ War. Years later, the park hosted an elaborate song and dance number for the 1957 Doris Day musical The Pajama Game.
I’ve already covered many film connections between Ann’s next film ‘G’ Men and Buster Keaton’s One Week (see post describing the machine gun car chases staged in Inglewood HERE). But ‘G’ Men contains several other classic locations as well.
During ‘G’ Men thugs rescue gangster Danny Leggett (portrayed by Edward Pawley) by staging a dramatic nighttime gun battle with the authorities in front of the former Southern Pacific depot. (A prior post devoted solely to the depot shows how Douglas Fairbanks, Harold Lloyd, and Stan Laurel all filmed early silent comedies at this spot.)
This view below shows Edward Pawley’s train arriving at the back of the Southern Pacific Depot. The many awnings depicted here obstruct the view – so some films, such as Harold Lloyd’s Girl Shy, would show trains arriving behind the Santa Fe depot, and yet show the passengers leaving from the front of the Southern Pacific depot a few blocks away!
Later in ‘G’ Men, Edward Pawley is led out from the south entrance to the Hall of Justice, providing a remarkable vintage view of the one-time downtown cityscape. To the left stands the former Federal Building and Post Office (P) at Temple and Main, while the right reveals the side of the former International Bank Building (B).
Below, another view showing where Edward Pawley is led from the Hall of Justice during ‘G’ Men.
Three On A Match and ‘G’ Men copyright Warner Bros.
The restored and recently re-opened Hall of Justice.