Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hollywood History

For nearly four decades Hollywood historian Marc Wanamaker has indulged his passion: collecting photographs from location film shoots in Los Angeles dating back to the early 1900s.

Now, he hopes his new book featuring more than 200 vintage images, including Harold Lloyd dangling off the side of a building above 8th and Spring streets in the 1930 film “Feet First,” will remind the film industry of the city’s rich heritage at a time when much of production is migrating elsewhere.

Wanamaker, a film history consultant and former curator of the Hollywood Heritage Museum, has collected about 250,000 still photographs that document the countless hotels, ranches, parks and beaches across Los Angeles that supplied the backdrop for some of Hollywood’s greatest films.

He has published his choicest photographs in the newly released “Location Filming in Los Angeles,” highlighting the diversity of locations that drew filmmakers to Los Angeles as early as 1907, when director Francis Boggs was assigned by a Chicago studio to film some beach scenes for “Monte Cristo."

Malibou Lake provided the bucolic Bavarian backdrop where Frankenstein's monster (Boris Karloff) befriends a young village girl as she tosses flowers into the water.

'Frankenstein' (1931), (Bison Archives)

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