Monday, August 31, 2020

Murphy Monday: The Finale!

“Just over the Castle wall is Fantasyland, son!” Today, in the last post of the series, Audie Murphy and his family visit the most fabled land at Disneyland. Youngest son, James Shannon, looks very excited and can’t wait to get out of that stroller.

Off to Neverland, in a magical flying ship, the Murphy sales into the Peter Pan dark ride:

Not sure a child sitting on Mama's lap would fly at Disneyland today, especially on a wild ride like Mr. Toad!

Exiting the castle, it appears Terrance picked up a Fireman's hat somewhere.

Did the Murphy family make it to Tomorrowland? Most likely yes, but I have not seen or been able to obtain any of those images.

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland Fantasyland photos at my main website.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Audie Murphy Goes To Disneyland, Pt. 5

I really wish the stagecoach was still at Disneyland. Lots of photos today showing Audie Murphy and his family getting ready to board one of those vehicles to tour Frontierland. P.S.: Don't mess with the angry gent on the left!

A closeup of the driver and his badge:

Is that Sheriff Lucky, making sure the Murphy family is able to board safely?

Vintage signage, bestill my heart!

See more vintage Disneyland Stagecoach photos at my main website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Shoot-out at The Golden Horseshoe, 1957

I’m keeping us in Frontierland for another day! Here are two shots from 1957 in front of Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Saloon, showing one of the shoot-outs that entertained guests back in the day. Sheriff Lucky is waiting for trouble, leaning against the saloon.

In the second shot, it looks like Wally Boag is getting it in this performance:

The closeup view; looks like the villain is sporting a jacket from the nearby Pendleton Shop.

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Saloon photos at my main website.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Rumplestiltskin and Raitt

A few behind-the-scenes shots (you know I dig those) for “Rumpelstiltskin,” the February 2, 1958 episode of “Shirley Temple’s Storybook.”  Shirley sips some coffee while chatting with associate producer Alvin Cooperman (also a producer for “The Untouchables”):

Did Cooperman REALLY think that Shirley wasn’t aware of the cropping of the frame in the television camera?!? Pshaw…Shirley knew it ALL! In all seriousness, he was a huge fan of Shirley’s:
Shirley learned her lines in two days and was ready for direction when she came down from Atherton for rehearsals. She had all the warmth and laughter in her voice that the series needed. She was the storyteller telling stories to her children. Nobody could be better. 

A few images showing her rehearsing the opening of the episode. As the hostess of the show, Shirley would sing the theme song and then tell the audience what fairy tale they would be enjoying that evening.

Oh, to know what she is whispering in this man’s ear!

Shirley chatting it up with John Raitt, who played the King.

Surely you all know that John is singer Bonnie Raitt’s father!

See more “Shirley Temple’s Storybook” photos at my main website.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Audie Murphy Goes To Disneyland, Pt. 4

And now we get to the meat and potatoes of this Audie Murphy series. An interior view of the Frontierland Shooting Gallery! Audie shows his son how to fire Betsy. Below is a closeup of the lady in the background holding her Disneyland Guide.

In the background, you'll note a bunch of stuff hanging on the wall.

Based on this other photo showing Audie with his wife, it would appear that the Frontierland Shooting Gallery was attached to a shopping area.

Only $8.95 for a hand-painted skirt. Heck, you probably couldn't get a hand-painted roll of toilet paper from Disney today!

The Murphy family is posing for a photo with the wax figures of Davy Crockett (Fess Parker) and George Russell (Buddy Ebsen) in the Frontier Arcade:

Here you can see a sample posted of what your money is buying:

I don't think I ever realized that the coon skin caps sold had branding on the top of them:

Have to get a closer look at the portrait as it's being shot. Say “cheese”!

This Murphy family shot is from the interior of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon; wonder if they got to meet Wally Boag, too?

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland Frontierland photos at my main website.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Double Indemnity at the Chateau Marmont

In my ritual of watching classic movies while eating dinner, I put “Double Indemnity” into the player. I’m one of those geeks that will watch the movie and listen to the commentary...and then obsess over the extra features on the disc. Longtime readers know I also obsess over figuring out where these vintage movies were shot. While most were shot on a soundstage, they still used actual building exteriors and outdoor locations for establishing shots. “Double Indemnity” used this home in the Hollywood Hills for the exterior shots of femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson’s (Barbara Stanwyck) residence:

How that same home looks today:

From the moment she appears at the top of the stairs clad in a towel…

Insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) is a goner.

And let's just get this over with…yes, I know Stanwyck’s wig is awful. That was a conscious decision on Billy Wilder’s part to make her look cheap. How about that curl on top?!?

It is amazing how much was conveyed at a time when censorship was at its peak. Although there was no nudity, you knew that from this shot of the two on the couch…

which then cuts back to Neff doing his narration…

and then cuts back to the two on the couch again...there was more than just hugging that went on during that cut. They have not only changed positions on the couch, but Neff is dreamily smoking the “after” cigarette and Phyllis is reapplying her lipstick. Wow.

Finally, to the point of this post. During one of the documentaries, it was mentioned that Wilder had the interior of Neff’s apartment modeled after a Chateau Marmont interior (recreated on soundstages 8 and 9 on the Paramount lot). Wilder had roomed with Peter Lorre at the Chateau Marmont in the 1930’s and it remained a favorite haunt of his. His quote about the hotel is often repeated in histories about the fabled landmark:

“I would rather sleep in a bathroom than in another hotel.”

Apparently during the 1935 holiday season the hotel was booked; he persuaded the staff to put him up in the vestibule outside the lobby ladies’ room.

“It was a small room, but it had six toilets.” 

I immediately watched the film again, fast forwarding to the scenes that occurred in Neff’s apartment. Sure enough, the layout looked familiar. Set design by Bertram Granger:

The room that seemed the closest at the actual hotel was room 25; other than the position of the entry door, it is very similar as far as the size of the living room, location of the windows, and where the dining room/kitchen are situated. Neff’s bedroom is never seen in the movie.

The view from a Chateau kitchen into the dining room:

How it looked in the movie:

Neff in the kitchen:

I would even go so far as to venture that whoever owner AndrĂ© Balazs hired to redecorate the guest rooms when he first bought the hotel looked closely at “Double Indemnity” for inspiration. Compare the furnishings, pillow, and lamps in this shot with the previous ones showing Neff and Phyllis making out on the couch:

Just one more reason that I like (and will miss) the Chateau Marmont hotel.

See more Chateau Marmont photos at my main website.