I think I posted this once on the old AOL CHFB, but not over here. I'm certain I do not list all the movies shot at the caverns--there are undoubtedly dozens if not hundreds of B Westerns of the 30s and 40s not listed here. If you know any others, please post the titles in this topic. Thanks.
THE FILMS OF BRONSON CAVERNS
I've tried to list here ALL the films I know of that were shot up there, except B Westerns. If you can add any, PARTICULARLY SF & horror movies, please, please do so. I'd like to try to make a complete list of movie shot there, EXCEPT FOR B Westerns; any A Westerns would be useful additions. I also want to list serials. Obviously, this is a preliminary list only.
ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN (F. March)
ARMY OF DARKNESS (foreign version only)
ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS
BATMAN (TV series & A. West feature) (original)
BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS
CONDEMNED TO LIVE
DAY THE WORLD ENDED
DINOSAUR VALLEY GIRLS
EARTH VS. THE SPIDER
END OF VIOLENCE
THE FLAME BARRIER
GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS #1
IT CONQUERED THE WORLD
KILLERS FROM SPACE
LOBSTER MAN FROM MARS
LOST HORIZON (original)
LOST HORIZON (remake)
THE LOVED ONE
THE MAGIC SWORD
MEN IN WAR
MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL
NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST
PHANTOM EMPIRE (original)
PHANTOM EMPIRE (new one)
PRECIOUS FIND (1996)
RAISE THE TITANIC
RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
THE SAGA OF THE VIKING WOMEN
AND THEIR VOYAGE TO THE WATERS OF THE GREAT SEA SERPENT
SAGEBRUSH TRAIL (1933)
SNOW CREATURE, THE (1954)
STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
TEENAGE CAVE MAN
TEN TALL MEN
THE VAMPIRE BAT
THE WASP WOMAN (1995)
THE WHITE BUFFALO
HAVE ROCKET WILL TRAVEL
THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES
Silent serial LIGHTNING BRYCE has two chapters set at Bronson, including when the quarry is at full swing -- full of machinery. this is at Eddie Brandts. 1919 -- fantasy -- on Walt's List. Like a zombie drug, woman's touch cures this. Crystal ball, etc. Could this be first use in a genre film?
[The following is a very preliminary start to an article on the Caverns]
(2) Though the quote has been ascribed to many, it was minor movie mogul Abe Stern who once said "A tree is a tree, a rock is a rock, shoot it in Griffith Park." He may have had in mind the area of Griffith known variously as Bronson Canyon and Bronson Caverns. This former quarry seems to be the most heavily-used film location in the entire world. An article on the background of the area, with quotes from park officials and movie makers, would accompany an annotated list of some of the movies that have been shot there. (Avoiding TV shows; since every dramatic show seems sooner or later to shoot something there, that way madness lies. But we should note that it was Adam West's Batcave.)
Use of the canyon began as far back as the silent era. Among the films shot partly in the area: THE SEARCHERS, JULIUS CAESAR (with Brando), INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS #1, RAISE THE TITANIC, DELUGE, SILVER CITY, BARRICADE, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, TEENAGE CAVE MAN, IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST, INVISIBLE INVADERS, KILLERS FROM SPACE, VIKING WOMEN & SEA SERPENT, EARTH VS. THE SPIDER, THE CYCLOPS, THE MAGIC SWORD, KING DINOSAUR, EQUINOX, DIMENSION 5, CYBORG 2087, SCREAMERS, MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL, UNKNOWN WORLD, METALSTORM and on and on. Science fiction films in general and of the 1950s in particular seem to have found a congenial home in the area.
DATE: SATURDAY October 28, 1989
SOURCE: JOHN McKINNEY
McKinney is the author of hiking books and a regular
contributor to The Times.
A SHORT STROLL TO NOSTALGIA ON THE BUSH CANYON TRAIL
''To the Bat Cave, Robin.''
With that cry, Batman and Robin of TV fame hopped into the Batmobile and sped off to their hideaway. This dynamic duo's underground lair was not, as you might guess, a movie set built on a studio back lot, but a real cave in the southwest corner of*Griffith*Park.*The little gremlins and goblins--and their nostalgic baby boom parents--will particularly enjoy the short walk to the Bat Cave, one of the few caves in the*park.*
''Batman'' was not the only TV show to make use of the area known as the Bronson Caves. About every Western from ''Gunsmoke'' to ''Bonanza'' used the caves as a hide-out for desperadoes. ''Star Trek,'' ''Mission Impossible'' and many more shows filmed here.
Long before movie makers discovered the caves, the rocky walls of the canyon were quarried by the Los Angeles Stone Co. During the early years of this century, the crushed rock from this*quarry*formed the railbed for the Pacific Electric Transit System. By 1915, the famous Red Car trolleys traveled from downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Bay beach communities, to Orange County and San Bernardino.
It was rightly characterized as the most comprehensive system of urban and suburban transportation in the world. Now that's something to be nostalgic about. In later years, the crushed stone from the*quarry*was used to pave such thoroughfares as Sunset and Wilshire boulevards.
For the urban mountaineer wishing to escape to the wilds of*Griffith*Park,* Brush Canyon Trail offers not only the short stroll to the Bat Cave but a moderate workout to many of the*park's*most popular destinations--Captain's Roost, Dante's View and Mt. Hollywood. Brush Canyon Trail is much less traveled than other routes to Mt. Hollywood and offers the same great clear- day views of the metropolis.
Directions to trailhead: Your task is to enter*Griffith*Park*from the south. The basic idea is to get to Franklin Avenue in Hollywood and travel to a point midway between Vine and Western. You can exit the Hollywood Freeway (U.S. 101) in Hollywood on Gower Street, cut over to Franklin Avenue and travel east to this point, or exit the Santa Monica Freeway on Western Avenue and travel north all the way across town to Franklin, then turn west. From Franklin Avenue, turn north on Bronson Avenue or Canyon Drive (the streets soon join and continue as Canyon). Follow Canyon Drive a winding mile through the Hollywood Hills into*Griffith*Park.*You can*park*alongside the road near a picnic area or in a small parking lot by the trailhead at road's end.
The Hike: Those heading directly for the Bat Cave will look to the right (east) side of Canyon Drive for a red wall, a white pipe gate and a*Griffith*Park*locater sign that reads ''49.'' You'll join a fire road and head south a short distance to the Bronson Caves. Heed the ''No Climbing'' signs on the steep canyon walls above the caves.
Those hikers bound for Mt. Hollywood will join the unsigned fire road (Brush Canyon Trail) at the end of Canyon Drive. The lower stretch of this trail is popular with local dogs and dog walkers. During the 1940s, Dog World magazine proclaimed Hollywood ''the doggiest area in California.'' Judging by the number of exercising canines and owners on this trail, perhaps it still is.
The trail passes some handsome sycamores that line the canyon bottom. The sycamores, cloaked in yellow, brown and rust-colored leaves, provide a welcome burst of autumn color. Who says you can't detect the change of the seasons in Southern California?
However, once the trail begins climbing northeast out of the canyon bottom and leaves the trees behind, Brush Canyon begins to live up to its name. The sweet licorice smell of fennel perfumes the air, and the toyon (Christmas berry) is already starting to display its red berries. This festive plant is also known as California holly; some believe that masses of this native shrub growing on the hills above Hollywood gave the community its name.
A mile's walk from the trailhead brings you to an unsigned junction with Mulholland Trail. Head right and ascend to a turnout alongside Mt. Hollywood Drive. Turn left, walk a short distance along Mt. Hollywood Drive and rejoin Mulholland Trail on your right.
After a short ascent up Mt. Bell, Mulholland Trail will continue east around the mountain, but you'll bear right on a narrower trail. From graffiti- splattered Water Tower No. 52, you'll join a narrow footpath and descend first moderately, then steeply, to a junction with Mt. Hollywood.
Junctions with various fire roads let you head toward Dante's View or Captain's Roost, but Mt. Hollywood-bound hikers will head straight for the picnic tables atop the 1,625-foot peak. Wonderful sunrises and sunsets can be observed from the*park's*highest peak, and on clear days the entire basin is spread out before you, from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Most hikers will want to return the same way. The very experienced, armed with a good*park*map, can use Mt. Hollywood Trail and the extremely steep and washed-out trail dropping southwest off Mt. Hollywood Drive to make a loop trip back down to the caves and Canyon Drive.
Bush Canyon Trail
Canyon Drive to Bat Cave, half-mile round trip . Canyon Drive to Mt. Hollywood, 4 1/2 miles round trip; 800-foot elevation gain
PHOTOGRAPHER: JOHN SNYDER / Los Angeles Times
MAP: Bush Canyon Trail
THE DAILY NEWS OF LOS ANGELES
DATE: SUNDAY December 11, 1988
EDITION: Valley SECTION: L.A. LIFE ZONE: rop PAGE: L17 LENGTH: LONG
ILLUSTRATION: 7 photos
SOURCE: By JODY LEADER Daily News Staff Writer
MEMO: main story: Hollywood's Recycled Settings
DETECTIVE WORK LEADS TO SOURCES OF FILM, TV NOSTALGIA
Leon Smith pointed to the shabby Van Nuys airplane hangar, his face glowing with excitement. ''The car carrying Conrad Veidt, the German officer, came around there and stopped,'' he said, breathlessly. ''Bogart was standing over there with Claude Rains, and the car was sitting here. You can see the control tower just in the distance, it's right through at the end of the fence.''
Smith paused to catch his breath, the last scenes of ''Casablanca'' reeling through his mind as he spoke. ''The airplane is sitting there with the motors running - this is the runway here where we're at - and the fog is all in, and (Rains) says to Bogart, ''You gotta go . . .''
''It all took place right here.''
It is an obsession that attracts many of the nearly 30 million visitors who come to Los Angeles every year. The airplane hangar used in the final scenes of ''Casablanca'' (on Waterman Drive off of Woodley in Van Nuys), the stairs that Laurel and Hardy pushed the piano up in the 1932 feature ''The Music Box'' (between 923 and 935 Vendome St., Los Angeles), the Bat Cave from ''Batman'' (in*Bronson*Canyon near the north end of Canyon Drive in Griffith Park), the ''Daily Planet'' building from ''Superman'' (Los Angeles City Hall at 200 N. Spring St.) - historic movie and television locations give film and TV buffs a vicarious thrill that rivals the Star Tours ride at Disneyland.
''The fascination is to stand in the spot where the greats of the industry stood,'' said Smith, who recently granted a private tour of his favorite location sites to promote his books ''Hollywood Goes on Location'' and ''Following the Comedy Trail'' (Pomegranate Press). ''The visitors who come to the L.A. area each year . . . absolutely want to go to these places.''
Smith, a 30-year-old veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, has been a Laurel and Hardy fan since the Depression, when, as a young boy in Kansas City, Mo., he would collect soda pop bottles to earn money for movie fare. He used to fantasize about coming to L.A. and finding the places where ''Hats Off'' (1927) and ''Big Business'' (1929) were filmed.
Nowadays, when he's not supervising the juvenile courts from his office downtown, he's winding through the streets of the greater Los Angeles area, scanning sidewalks and canyons for historic movie and television locations. Smith is meticulous in his research: He routinely scours *****s and other written material at the Academy of Motion Picture Science's Library and seeks out other film buffs to get tips on possible locations.
Because locations used in old films are often never mentioned in the *****s or in the credits, Smith regularly has to resort to freeze-framing a copy of the film on his video editor, sketching the environs featured in the frame and driving around Los Angeles to try to find the locale that matches the shots.
It's difficult, time-consuming detective work. (Smith worked as a detective for 12 years before assuming his current administrative position.) Sometimes he gets down on his hands and knees to measure railings, count steps and check the alignment of trees. Then he'll take pictures of the site, develop the photos and bring them home to compare them to his freeze-frames.
That's how he came upon the staircase used in the final scenes of ''Invasion of the Body Snatchers'' (1956). ''I went through the *****s and every bit of written material I could get, and no locations were given,'' he said. ''They just didn't consider it important.''
By chance, Smith caught a remark on a television talk show by an actor in the film, which led him to a residential neighborhood the Hollywood Hills. He drove up and down the streets near*Bronson*Canyon for hours before he spotted a long stairway pinched between two houses (2744 and 2748) on Westshire Drive.
''The sad thing about downtown L.A., where a lot of these sites are, is that history is being destroyed because of the massive building going on,'' said Smith. ''Darn few sites or buildings are preserved with any kind of a plaque.''
Smith's books are exhaustive guides to movie and television locations in and around Los Angeles. Maps, Smith's own photographs, detailed de*****ions and commentary on each site are provided; each entry is arranged in alphabetical order according to the film or television show's title.
''Following the Comedy Trail'' begins with ''Big Business'' (Laurel and Hardy try to sell Christmas trees in July in this 1929 release) and directions to get to the house of their first ''customer'' (3404-3406 Caroline Ave., Culver City). Toluca Lake (4500 Lakeside Drive, Burbank) turns out to be the site of ''Three Men in a Tub,'' the 1938 ''Our Gang'' film that finds Alfalfa, Waldo, Darla, Buckwheat and Spanky toodling around in a new motorboat. The book also includes directions to the former homes of Stanley Laurel and Oliver Hardy (718 N. Bedford Drive and 621 Alta Drive, Beverly Hills, respectively).
Locations from nearly 200 feature films and 64 television shows are meticulously described in ''Hollywood Goes on Location.'' The dam that threatened the city of Los Angeles in ''Earthquake'' (1974) (part of the Hollywood Reservoir), Barbara Stanwyck's character's home in ''Double Indemnity'' (1944) (6301 Quebec Drive, Hollywood), the ornate cottage used in the opening credits of ''Fantasy Island'' (the Queen Anne cottage at the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia), Torchy's Bar as seen in ''48 Hrs.'' (1982) (218-1/2 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles), the dance-floor-turned-swimming-pool in ''It's a Wonderful Life'' (1946) (Beverly Hills High School, 241 S. Moreno Drive) - it's all here.
''In the two books I did just about every major location that people would have an interest in,'' said Smith. Nonetheless, he still gets letters once or twice a week from readers asking about other locations or suggesting new ones.
''People want to make sure it gets recorded somehow,'' he said. ''These books are perpetual. There will be an interest in these books 50 years from now because people will want to know where the sites are, even if the original buildings are torn down.''
''It's like a time capsule,'' said Smith later, standing in*Bronson* Canyon, site of more than 13 films and television shows, including ''Union Pacific'' (1939), ''Aliens Return'' (1980) and ''Batman,'' ''Bonanza,'' ''Gunsmoke'' and ''Have Gun Will Travel.'' The former stone*quarry*is almost always filled with movie crews, even today.
Pointing to a low dark hole in the rock, he added, ''You've seen John Wayne, Tom Mix, Buck Jones and Gene Autry in there.
''You're stepping back into Hollywood history when you go back here.''