The Glendale Southern Pacific station was barely three years old when Buster Keaton used it to portray the station for Clayton, the fictitious college town where Buster’s character pursues higher learning in the 1927 comedy College. Above to the right, the station was also the setting for the climax to Act of Violence, a 1948 noir drama starring Van Heflin and Robert Ryan, who portray re-united army veterans who were once imprisoned together in a German POW camp during WWII. Act of Violence contains several scenes filmed on Court Hill, near the Hill Street Tunnel, and on Bunker Hill, near Angels Flight. Unfortunately, these nighttime scenes are darkly lit, and tightly framed, so there is not much to see.
Act of Violence does contain a nice view of Clay Street, the narrow alley running between and parallel to Hill Street and Olive Street, and underneath the mid-way point of the Angels Flight elevated tracks. As shown below, Harold Lloyd filmed a runaway bus stunt on Clay Street for his 1926 comedy feature For Heaven’s Sake.
Harold Lloyd filmed many other movies on Bunker Hill, and I will explore more Lloyd/noir connections in further posts.
College frame images reproduced courtesy of The Douris Corporation, David Shepard, Film Preservation Associates, and Kino International Corporation.
HAROLD LLOYD images and the names of Mr. Lloyd’s films are all trademarks and/or service marks of Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc. Images and movie frame images reproduced courtesy of The Harold Lloyd Trust and Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc.
Act of Violence copyright 1948 Loew’s Incorporated.