We know studio backlot streets and overdressed Hollywood sets when we see them, but even the canniest among us are still fooled to a certain extent when viewing movies from the ancient studio era, particularly films noir. Yes, we may say to ourselves, “Oh, that is clearly a studio backlot!” or “That chair seems strangely familiar,” but how many of us know precisely when we last saw a particular backlot street or piece of studio furniture? The following are some sightings from my countless classic movie viewings. Continue reading


Desperate (RKO 1947)


Anthony Mann’s 1947 film noir Desperate (whose star Steve Brodie is pictured on the front page of this blog in an original publicity still provided from Photofest) holds a special place in my heart because it was the first of his crime thrillers I researched while preparing my book proposal. My investigations into the making of this lower-tier “B” programmer took me to the UCLA Special Collections library in Los Angeles/Westwood, which houses the invaluable RKO Radio Pictures corporate papers. Continue reading