Author Archives: John Bengtson

How Charlie Chaplin Filmed The Bank

Charlie Chaplin’s Essanay comedy The Bank (1915) marks his final appearance on camera in downtown Los Angeles.  While Broadway, and other nearby Historic Core streets appear in several of his early Keystone films, including Making A Living, His Favorite Pastime, … Continue reading

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How Barbara Stanwyck Filmed Night Nurse

Directed by William Wellman, Night Nurse (1931) is a classic pre-Code Warner Bros. production, loaded with gratuitous scenes of women undressing, men slapping around women, drunken mothers ignoring their children, women innocently sharing a bed, and a bootlegger who not … Continue reading

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How James Cagney Filmed Lady Killer

Eight downtown Los Angeles landmarks appear behind James Cagney during the opening scenes of Lady Killer (1933), yet only three survive to tell their tale. In this delightful pre-Code comedy/drama, Cagney plays Dan Quigley, a wise-cracking New York movie theater … Continue reading

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How Charlie Chaplin Filmed The Adventurer

Decades before Bugs Bunny delighted audiences by tunneling into madcap predicaments, escaped convict Charlie Chaplin tunneled to freedom in The Adventurer (1917) on a Malibu beach within the shadow of Castle Rock and Haystack Rock, prominent coastal landmarks that stood … Continue reading

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Cagney and Harlow on The Public Enemy’s Miracle Mile

Thanks to the Turner Classic Movie Channel’s Pre-Code Festival this past month, I’ve been able to catch many great films for the first time, including the topic of this post, The Public Enemy (1931). Much has been written about this … Continue reading

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How Buster Keaton Filmed The General

I had the honor of introducing Buster Keaton’s 1926 masterpiece The General at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s inaugural Silent Autumn Festival this past September 20, 2014.  Preceding the show, these informational slides (below) prepared by the festival’s Artistic … Continue reading

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Keaton’s The General on location in Cottage Grove

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival special one-day “Silent Autumn” event opens Saturday morning, September 20, 2014, with a trio of classic Laurel & Hardy silent shorts, and features a 7:00 p.m. screening of Buster Keaton’s 1926 Civil War masterpiece … Continue reading

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