Thursday, August 11, 2022

Melinda Goes To Disneyland, Pt. 3!

Melinda is back again with photos from Frontierland, taken during her family’s 1980 trip to Disneyland. As she recalls:

Most of our meals were eaten from the cooler in the back of the car. The show and meal at the Golden Horseshoe Revue (shown above) would have been a big splurge. I remember sitting close to the stage and being awed by the high kicks of the can-can dancers. My own daughters spent years taking dance classes and I have a huge appreciation for the skills the dancers show in the videos of the Golden Horseshoe Revue and the birthday parade when I see them now. 

The cast of the Golden Horseshoe Revue, circa 1979 (above). Back to Melinda’s collection with two images of the mighty Mark Twain riverboat at the dock:

The family leaning over the railing:

The Indian Settlement they saw during their journey on the Twain:

If this waterfall captured by Melinda’s family doesn’t look familiar, that’s because it’s no longer there. It was the once mighty Cascade Peak:

Which was still around in 1984 (shown below) but torn down in 1998:

This shot of Tom Sawyer’s Island was also taken from the Mark Twain:

We don’t have many pictures of our time on Tom Sawyer’s Island, but I do remember having lots of fun running around the island, climbing over, under, and through it all. It was a welcome break to standing still for a little while. I also loved the Swiss Family Treehouse as the movie was a favorite of mine and it was just like being there.

Melinda’s family captured this shot of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which was less than a year old:

Melinda only had this one photo from Adventureland, taken from the Jungle Cruise attraction:

I remember being on the side of the boat where the hippo jumps out and it startled me.

This 1978 image from my collection will have to suffice - I hope it doesn’t bring back painful memories, Melinda!

More Melinda at Disneyland to come! See more Disneyland photos at my main website.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Grease is the Word: R.I.P. Olivia Newton-John

I was saddened beyond belief on Monday to learn that Olivia Newton-John had passed away. The summer of 1978 will be emblazoned forever in my brain for two things: puberty and “Grease.” Countless times I sat in a darkened theatre and watched her and John Travolta make movie magic. I played the soundtrack over and over until I wore out the record. It’s the perfect movie with a perfect cast that re-frames high school as the way we wish it had been. For today’s post, I pay tribute to Olivia with all the film locations used in the movie that I have visited (so far!).

Venice High School was used for the exterior shots at the beginning of the film, when the T-Birds gather on the first day of school.

Yes, that’s me, filling in for Danny Zuko.

“Summer Nights” was filmed here, too. Remember the bleachers? Yes, me again.

“Summer lovin’, had me a blast…”

Venice High School was also the location of the track where Danny tells Sandy that she can dump her jock boyfriend and go with him to the prom instead.

Where Danny played basketball:

Why were multiple high schools (like Marshall) used? “I think we would have done a lot more at Venice High School, but the principal was not that cooperative. I’m trying to be politically correct,” says Alan B. Curtiss (location manager), laughing.

The John Marshall High School exterior has been seen in “Bachelor Party” (1984), “Pretty in Pink” (1986), and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992):

Note the name in all caps. You should NEVER use all caps with a Gothic font! That’s just poor typography.

What we care about for the purposes of this article. The field behind the high school was where the Rydell High Carnival was held (“You’re the One that I Want” and “We Go Together”). From LA Curbed:

Alumna Anne-Marie Johnson, who attended JMHS from 1975-78 before going on to star in such TV series as What Happens Now, In the Heat of the Night, and In Living Color, speaks enthusiastically about seeing the film’s cast milling around campus. “Those of us in the theater arts department were all very excited because Sid Caesar and Eve Arden and John Travolta and Olivia [Newton-John]—I mean, we were all just starstruck,” she says. “They were all on our campus for several days ... I just remember sitting in the bleachers watching them film the same scene over and over and over.” John Marshall High’s Grease connection runs even deeper: Annette Charles (née Annette Cardona), who played Cha Cha in the film, was an alumna. As noted by Joanna Erdos, a former student who taught at the school for over 30 years, the actress’s death in 2011 prompted the school to plant a tree in her honor.

Remember the sleepover at Frenchie’s house? Here’s the exterior, just a few minutes from Marshall High School:

The window from where Rizz “shinnied down the drainpipe.”

The Los Angeles river was used for the Thunder Road drag race/“Greased Lightning” reprise.

All that’s missing from these photos is Cha Cha!

If you tour the Paramount lot, you might spot some of the wardrobe used in the film.

Dinah Manoff’s Pink Ladies jacket from “Grease” (1978) designed by Albert Wolsky (above). Are you ready to audition for the Rydell High cheerleading squad? Here’s one of the original uniforms:

See more pop culture and travel photos at my main website.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Temple Tuesday: Shirley on Canvas

In the 1935 Shirley Temple star vehicle, “Curly Top,” she plays (surprise!) an orphan who charms a wealthy millionaire (another surprise!) played by John Boles. After meeting her, he can’t get the little girl out of his mind. One night in his lavish living room (set photo shown above), Mr. Moneybags plays the piano (he also happens to write songs!) and then imagines the talented moppet in a quartet of famous paintings that just happen to be hanging on his walls. The first one we see is called The Age of Innocence (1785), by Sir Joshua Reynolds. As seen in the movie:

The publicity still that was shot:

…and the Daveland version that melds that actual painting with the publicity shot of Shirley:

The second painting we see is Thomas Gainsborough’s famous Blue Boy (1770):

The publicity version (notice Shirley’s shorter hair):

The publicity shot was doctored for this April 27, 1935 magazine cover:

Expertly fixed by Shirley Temple aficionado Rita Dubas:

The real Blue Boy, which I saw at the Huntington Gallery in Pasadena:

Mr. Moneybags as he admires his painting, Her Second Sermon by Sir J. E. Millais:

A screenshot from the movie:

The Fox Studio publicity machine let the public know all the work that went into bringing these famous works of art to life with the blurb that accompanied the publicity still below:

Here is shown Shirley Temple, five-year-old Fox Film star, posed for a photographic replica of Sir J. E. Millais’ famous painting, “Her Second Sermon.” Every detail of this noted child study was reproduced with extreme care by the motion picture studio artists and attaches. The garments and various accoutrements all were made to order and the deep red and other coloring duplicated exactly. Even the stockings and shoes were especially made to have them correct. The original of this painting hangs in the Guildhall, in London. Sir J. E. Millais, Bart., P. R. A., was born at Southhampton, England, but his family came from the Island of Jersey. “Her Second Sermon,” and its companion piece, “Her First Sermon,” both were executed in 1863. The subject for the original was the artist’s little daughter, Effie, and the scene is an old church at Kingston-on-Thames.

The Daveland version:

Mr. Moneybags and The Helping Hand (1881) by Émile Renouf:

For Shirley’s version of The Helping Hand, actor Siegfried Rumann posed alongside Shirley in the rowboat as seen in this screenshot:

The publicity shot:

The Daveland version:

Here’s a YouTube clip of the sequence for your enjoyment!

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.