vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

  • Mood:

Tarantino makes Paramount pinch-hit for Columbia

Carole Lombard probably enjoyed plenty of things about her several loan-outs to Columbia Pictures from her home base of Paramount (such as for 1932's "Virtue," above). For one thing, Columbia and Harry Cohn generally gave Lombard better material than she got at Paramount, where she was interchangeable with many other stablemates.

And for another, it was an easy commute. Paramount was on Melrose Avenue, near the corner of Gower. Go north on Gower, up to Sunset, and there was Columbia.

Much has changed in ensuing years. In 1972, Columbia abandoned the Sunset & Gower lot and moved operations to Burbank with Warners. More than a decade later, Sony bought Columbia and shifted it to the old MGM lot in Culver City. So Cohn's beloved studio shared a lot with Jack Warner, then took over Louis B. Mayer's facility. Got that?

The old Columbia lot still is used for independent production -- but it's now known as Sunset Gower Studios and looks far different than it did half a century ago, when it was employed for both movies and TV series. That's a problem facing filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, whose intent for his latest film "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood," set in 1969, is for as much period verisimilitude as possible.

A few weeks back, Tarantino temporarily transformed parts of Hollywood Boulevard and the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard into their '69 selves to shoot scenes for the movie (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/923531.html).

Now, he's taking his penchant for detail to replicate Columbia circa 1969 by using Paramount, at least the Melrose and Gower portion of it. (That part of the lot for a time was RKO, where Lombard made films in 1939 and 1940.) So drivers going through that part of town must've been startled when they saw filmic billboards from nearly 50 years ago, such as "Oliver!" and "Pendulum"...

..."The Wrecking Crew" and "Mackenna's Gold" (featuring Facebook friend Julie Newmar)...

...and "Funny Girl":

("The Wrecking Crew" was the last of Dean Martin's Matt Helm films, and third-billed was Sharon Tate, whose murder in August 1969 is a peripheral part of Tarantino's movie.)

Note the 2018 ads on the bus seating at the bottom of the first photo. One senses Tarantino will crop them from the finished product, since he reproduced 1969-style ads at the bus stops on Hollywood Boulevard when filming there. The Paramount logo at the bottom of the middle photo won't make the cut, either.

Great "advertising" for the film, and lots of fascinating fun for those of us obsessed with Hollywood history.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.