Saturday, January 7, 2017

"Hail, Caesar!"

Hollywood star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) gets kidnapped by a group of Communist-inclined writers in the Coen Brothers Hollywood epic "Hail, Caesar!" (Universal, 2016). On the way to their beachfront lair, the panel truck containing Whitlock heads south on Wilcox past the side of the Warner Hollywood Theatre.

The Warner, at 6433 Hollywood Blvd., has in recent years been boarded up as the owners consider redevelopment possibilities. See the Warner Hollywood pages on the Los Angeles Theatres website for more on the building, a 1928 G. Albert Lansburgh design.

We head to the Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, for a premiere of "Lazy Ol' Moon," the Capitol Pictures western in the film starring Hobie Doyle (Alden Eherenreich). No exterior views -- we start with a look at a display case and then get this view toward the stairs.

Another view of the Los Angeles Theatre lobby as we pull back a bit.  

The titles on the screen. The film is set in 1951 -- which we also get as the copyright date on this title card.  In 1951 this or any other film would have been shown in a 1.37 to 1 ratio, not cropped to the widescreen format we see here.

A look back into the house. Hobie is there with his studio arranged date Carlotta Valdez (Veronica Osorio), a star in the Carmen Miranda mold.

The film's opening scene on the screen at the Los Angeles.

Another shot at the Los Angeles -- but one that doesn't appear in the film. This view is from the trailer and shows footage from another Capitol Pictures feature "Merrily We Dance" that we see in the film being directed by Lawrence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). Thanks to Wendell Benedetti for the screenshot, appearing on the LAHTF Facebook page with lots of comments.

Head to the pages on the Los Angeles Theatres site about the Los Angeles Theatre for a history of the building along with hundreds of photos of different areas.

Carlotta and Hobie go out for dinner after the film with the Hollywood Palladium used as a location. The bandstand we see was built for the film at the opposite end of the space from the building's real stage.

Filming the scene at the Palladium,6215 Sunset Blvd. It's a screenshot from one of the making-of featurettes that accompanies the DVD of the film. The Palladium page on the Los Angeles Theatres website has several more interior views of the building.

Exiting the Monte Carlo nightclub we see the Music Box/Fonda Theatre, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., used for the exterior. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for doing some research on this one. 

Another shot a little wider. See the Music Box Theatre page on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more on this venue, one that started as a legit house in 1926.  The architecture we see in the film obviously doesn't date from 1926 -- it's from a 40s or early 50s Fox West Coast remodel when it was a film house.

The fine L.A. Weekly story "Your Complete Guide to the L.A. Filming Locations of 'Hail, Caesar!'" notes that when we look across the street from the Music Box, what we see is the Chapman Plaza building in Koreatown at 3465 W. 6th St.

The film also features Josh Brolin as studio head Eddie Mannix, Scarlett Johansson as an Esther Williams style aquatic star, Tilda Swinton as twin gossip columnists, and many others. 

On IMDb: "Hail, Caesar!"

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