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carole lombard 02

Tarantino turns the Boulevard back to 1969

Posted by vp19 on 2018.07.24 at 11:11
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic


Carole Lombard loved Hollywood Boulevard -- heck, she even lived on the street for several years (the photo above was taken in the house she called home in the mid-1930s). So I have a feeling she'd appreciate the work being done to recapture the spirit of the street by this man...



...Quentin Tarantino.

The filmmaker is reviving Hollywood's past -- not to a time Lombard would have known, but to one he did: The summer of 1969, when he was seven. (I turned 14 that year, but wouldn't visit Hollywood for another two decades.)

The film is called "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood," and leading its star-filled cast are Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio:



They play a local TV star and his pal who head to Hollywood seeking fame in the film biz...only to discover that Hollywood was rapidly fading away. As a backdrop: The Charles Manson murders in the Hollywood Hills, whose victims included up-and-coming star Sharon Tate.

According to Tarantino, "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" is not expressly about the murders -- although Sony initially scheduled its release for Aug. 9, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the killings. (It has since been moved up two weeks, to July 26.)

For verisimilitude, Tarantino and crew transformed part of the Boulevard into the way it appeared nearly half a century ago. Here's the director consulting with the stars:



Wonder if Tarantino will pipe in an aircheck of legendary Top 40 station 93 KHJ on their car radio? Here's their survey from that July 2:




Some great songs that I recall hearing on WOLF in Syracuse on that list -- "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)," "Put A Little Love In Your Heart," "My Pledge Of Love," with "Honky Tonk Women" as a "hitbound."

Visually, Tarantino strayed from Hollywood Boulevard to transform the Cinerama Dome a few blocks down on Sunset Boulevard into its 1969 self, showing "Krakatoa: East Of Java." (The volcano epic premiered in the U.S. that May.)




The Larry Edmunds Bookshop has been a Hollywood Boulevard favorite for decades, but it was in a different location than it is now. No matter -- Tarantino simply re-created the '69 facade:



The Vogue Theater has long been closed, but Tarantino "brought it back," showing "The Night They Raided Minsky's" on the marquee:



Note the variety of cars on the street, dating back to the '50s, just as they would have been at that time.

Storefront windows also got the '69 treatment. That pocket radio sold for a few bucks might feature only the AM band, and probably used a 9-volt battery:



For Hollywood history buffs such as myself, this promises to be fascinating. Maybe someday, the Boulevard of Lombard's time can be remade.

To close, perhaps my favorite record from that KHJ survey, though it's at the bottom: "Soul Deep," the last hit for the blue-eyed Memphis soul group the Box Tops. Simply a great song, with Alex Chilton at his best.


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