Wednesday, May 08, 2019

EP122: Take a Guided Tour of the 20th Century Fox Lot.

Ken is your guide for a VIP tour of the 20th Century Fox  lot where thousands of classic movies and TV shows have been filmed including MASH.   Enjoy some history, anecdotes, and Hollywood lore, and you won’t need comfortable shoes. 

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Jeff Boice said...

I wish I could have visited the old lots during the 60's. The one I would have gone to first would have been the Desilu backlot- I read about all the TV shows produced there- I love the idea that the Marine camp in "Gomer Pyle USMC" was next to Stalag 13. You think Sgt. Carter could have led a raid to liberate Colonel Hogan. Then of course there's that scene in the Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever" where Kirk and Spock walk past Floyd's Barber Shop. Fox only had Batman and Green Hornet that interested me.

I grew up in the boonies where those old shows came into our living room like magic (provided weather didn't interfere with the reception). I wondered how people like yourself who grew up in L.A. surrounded by the industry and all its business practices felt about getting to work on those old studio lots. Glad to hear you were wowed.

Mike Bloodworth said...

When I was still doing extra work I was on the Fox lot several times. One of my favorite things to do was to stroll around during my breaks. The one thing that struck me was how small their complex was compared to other studios. I would have loved to have seen FOX in its heyday; before they sold off much of the back lot to build Century City. Thanks for the insights.

B Smith said...

Friday Question For Anyone To Answer - I was watching an episode of MASH last night (for the zillionth time) and as those two choppers came in during the opening titles, it occurred to me that there had never been an episode that actually featured two helicopters. Presumably the expense dictated just using one, but am I right?

Mike Barer said...

I loved the part where you sang.

Dodgerdawg said...

I think the studio is still owned by Fox, not part of the Disney deal.

Jeff Maxwell said...

Dolly set gone? Peyton Place gazebo gone? Batman gone? Say it isn’t so. I am sad.

I crossed paths with Ormar Sharif, Cary Grant and Raquel Welch on that lot. As I remember, Grant was the best looking.

Got to roam around Darryl Zanuck’s office as they were cleaning it out. Have a few souvenirs.

There was a swimming pool in the basement of the Executive building. I’m sure it was neat in the forties, but pretty creepy in the seventies. You could be arrested just imagining what went on down there.

Great tour, Ken. It was a magical place to work. I understand it has a rodent problem now.

Anonymous said...

I thought Star Wars (1977) was filmed in only English film studios (Shepperton & Elstree)

Are you sure the Science Fiction props didn't come from e.g. an Irwin Allen production he did on the lot.

Unless you recognised a piece in the movie perhaps?

Anonymous said...

1. I was positive Scott Fitzgerald never worked at Fox, and was dying to correct you, but then, I checked, and it turns out he was there, uncredited, on Life Begins at Eight-Thirty, and, what’s worse, I forgot (humble brag) that I actually own Monty Woolley’s copy of the script.
2. You maybe had a chance at knocking off two dictators - Khrushchev and Roger Ailes- the latter of whom may have still been connected with the Mike Douglas show in the 70s for what little I know.
3. Shirley Temple’s dressing room: Here is an anecdote perhaps slightly misremembered by me - The humorist H Allen Smith, in a late-in-life essay, told of his dislike for Fox star Will Rogers- with whom Smith once had an unpleasant encounter- and for Rogers’ saintly posthumous reputation. Towards the end of the piece, Smith confronts aged Fox Publicist Harry Brand with a Smith-concocted wildly-false story about Rogers, knowing Brand would immediately deny the tale, but hoping that he would then offer up something slightly less outrageous about the comedian.
It went something like this
Smith: Is it true that Will Rogers would look through a hole in their adjoining dressing rooms to watch little Shirley Temple pee?
Brand: My God, that was Lionel Barrymore!