Tag Archives: Hollywood

Buster, Harold, Mabel, and Doug, and the murder of Wm. Desmond Taylor!

This post contains a variety of odds and ends. To begin, thanks to Tommy Dangcil we can see exactly where Buster Keaton staged a scene from Cops (1922) in front of the grand stairway leading to the former First Baptist … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Doug MacLean, Harold Lloyd, Mabel Normand | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Time Travel to 1919 Hollywood

Imagine when Hollywood was still a town, with stately homes, dirt roads, orchards, and scores of vacant lots. Vintage photos are compelling, but silent films are true time machines, placing you at the spot to see and breathe a slice … Continue reading

Posted in Chaplin - Keaton - Lloyd Alley, Hollywood History, Lyons and Moran | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Silent Hollywood’s Japanese Enclave

The great silent film comedians Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd filmed more frequently on the 1600 block of Cahuenga south of Hollywood Boulevard than at any other street in town. Keaton alone filmed scenes for eight different movies … Continue reading

Posted in Hollywood History, Hollywood Tour, The Goat | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Schindler

Several years ago, following my introduction of Sherlock Jr. at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles architect John Trautmann approached me to ask if I had noticed the famous Schindler house which appears in the background as Buster speeds … Continue reading

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Hollywood Snapshots – a 1922 Time Machine

Facing a public relations nightmare in 1922 over recent scandals, the film community produced Hollywood Snapshots, a promotional film portraying screen folk as wholesome to middle America. Presented online by the National Film Preservation Foundation, Snapshots captures remarkable images of … Continue reading

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Oliver Hardy at the Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Alley

The block of Cahuenga south of Hollywood Boulevard was the most popular spot in town to film silent movies. As I’ve written in numerous tours and posts, everyone filmed there, from Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, to Charlie Chaplin, Buster … Continue reading

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Keaton’s Seven Chances – On The Clock

Late for church, during Seven Chances (1925) Buster Keaton must marry by 7:00 p.m. that evening in order to inherit a fortune. But what time is it? Having just lost his pocket watch down a sewer drain, Buster stops in … Continue reading

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Chaplin’s The Great Dictator – Author Presentation at the Alex

Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant and courageous challenge to tyranny, The Great Dictator (1940), remains sharply relevant today. I will be introducing this classic film at the beautiful Alex Theater in Glendale on Thursday, April 19, 2018, and signing copies of my … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Chaplin – Pavlova – Lois Weber – at the Castle Sans Souci

One highlight of the recently concluded San Francisco Silent Film Festival was the Library of Congress restored presentation of pioneering director Lois Weber’s powerful historic epic The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), starring world-acclaimed ballet dancer Anna Pavlova in her … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Lois Weber, Tillie's Punctured Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hollywood’s Silent Echoes – 2017 FIAF/FLC Tour

[Tour download] Late in 1921 a mob of angry police chased Buster Keaton down a narrow Hollywood alley towards Cahuenga Boulevard. Entering the street Buster saw to his right a corner where “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford filmed a scene in … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Hollywood Tour | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Keaton’s The Goat – the geography of a gag

Particular yet pragmatic, Buster Keaton would travel hundreds of miles to find just the right setting for a joke, while also filming dozens of mundane locations within steps of his small studio in Hollywood. This post breaks down the geography … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Keaton Studio, The Goat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Chaplin – Keaton – Lloyd Hollywood Alley

Three of the greatest comedies of all time, Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921), Buster Keaton’s Cops (1922), and Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! (1923), were filmed in the heart of Hollywood at the unnamed alley running just south of Hollywood Boulevard … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Chaplin - Keaton - Lloyd Alley, Charlie Chaplin, Cops, Harold Lloyd, Hollywood Tour, Safety Last!, The Kid | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Mostly Lost – Keaton Found (Stan Laurel too) at Hollywood and Western

This fun discovery from Buster Keaton’s The Goat (1921) was made possible thanks to Mostly Lost, the Library of Congress crowd-sourcing workshop to screen and identify orphan silent and early sound films, held at the Packard Campus in Culpeper Virginia. … Continue reading

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Houdini – The Grim Game – More Hollywood Connections

The climax to Harry Houdini’s debut feature film The Grim Game (1919) involved the real-life mid-air collision of two airplanes captured on film (discussed in my prior post HERE).  The extraordinary footage was worked into the story by filming the … Continue reading

Posted in Cops, Harry Houdini, The Grim Game | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Artist and its Amazing Ties to Chaplin, Pickford, Keaton and Lloyd

Tonight marks the Turner Classic Movie Channel premiere of the 2011 multi-Oscar-winning Best Picture The Artist. Depicting the silent movie era, and filmed on location in Hollywood, the movie has many amazing connections to early Hollywood history and its biggest … Continue reading

Posted in Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford, The Artist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Charlie Chaplin Filmed The Bank

Charlie Chaplin’s Essanay comedy The Bank (1915) marks his final cinematic footsteps in downtown Los Angeles.  While Broadway, and other nearby Historic Core streets appear in several of his early Keystone films, including Making A Living, His Favorite Pastime, The … Continue reading

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Los Angeles Historic Core | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How James Cagney Filmed Lady Killer

Eight downtown Los Angeles landmarks appear behind James Cagney during the opening scenes of Lady Killer (1933), yet only three survive to tell their tale. In this delightful pre-Code comedy/drama, Cagney plays Dan Quigley, a wise-cracking New York movie theater … Continue reading

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How Charlie Chaplin Filmed The Adventurer

Decades before Bugs Bunny delighted audiences by tunneling into madcap predicaments, escaped convict Charlie Chaplin tunneled to freedom in The Adventurer (1917) on a Malibu beach within the shadow of Castle Rock and Haystack Rock, prominent coastal landmarks that stood … Continue reading

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Silent Era Hollywood Tour – Cinecon 50 – Author Presentation

Attached to this post is a self-guided written tour to Hollywood silent film locations and studios that I have prepared in connection with the “Hollywood’s Silent Echoes” presentation I will be giving Friday, August 29, 2014, at 10:55 a.m. at … Continue reading

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Max Linder Shines Again in Seven Years Bad Luck

Dapper Max Linder, the pioneering French silent film comedian affectionately dubbed “The Professor” by Charlie Chaplin, will be taking the spotlight soon. Max’s 1921 feature comedy Seven Years Bad Luck will be screened at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, … Continue reading

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