Monday, June 30, 2014

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)


If you haven't seen the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), stop what you're doing and and do it now!  I was well aware that Sierra Madre was used for the main locale for Santa Mira, but on my latest trip I decided to seek out and visit the other spots used in the film.  I don't usually manipulate my photos outside of some cropping, but used black-and-white versions of the current shots to give a better symmetry  to compare locations as they look now.

One of the first locations used in the film is sadly no longer in existence, but I found this photo below I wanted to share to show how it looked at the time...
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Okay, onto current stuff.  Sierra Madre has been used heavily in many films, including Halloween III, Return of the Living Dead Part II, Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2, Better Off Dead, and more.

The exterior of the doctor's office has changed a bit.  There is now a small building where there once was a small alley, but you can still see the smaller brick partitions....




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A somewhat longer view as you look up the street, making it a bit easier to match up the existing buildings....



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And as the scene moves across the street, some storefronts have changed....





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An insert shot of the doctor's office window....


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I loved this location as it has changed very little.   Here is Wilma's house...









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A look at the neighbor's house and the long street....




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Becky's house is no longer in existence, but some of the buildings seen across the street are still standing.  Unfortunately a lot of trees now obscure them....
 




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Wilma's work also does not exist anymore, but you can see this building across the street....


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En route to the gas station, you can clearly see these two houses on the left....


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And here is where the gas station once stood...

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A long shot from up the street...


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The alley where they set the pods on fire...




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They round this corner onto Russell Avenue....
 

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They park up the block here....



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Like the other locations, the actual house is gone, but you can see the still standing houses across the street....




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The Hot Dog Show still exists in a much newer form and with a new name...


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Now here is the only spot I'm unsure about.  Sites list this alley as a location and while it could be, I couldn't really verify anything for sure....



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Back to Sierra Madre, here is Kersting Court....



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The storefronts on the court....



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A shot as they attempt to cross the street...



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The gas station is no longer here, but the building/cafe behind it still exists....




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This same area was used in promo photos.....

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They run up the street to escape.   It's very obscured by foliage now....


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They run up this hill, which now has houses built into the embankment....



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Here is the bottom of the long steps to escape....




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A view looking down the lower portion of the steps....



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Rounding the bend to the upperhalf of the steps....



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Finally to the top!



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They run across the street and over the cliff edge, but here is what it looks like now....




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Here they make their way to the Bronson Caves....




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More from inside the caves....






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As he starts to make his final escape, he runs down this steep hill....


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I love that these two trees still exist after all these years!   Here is the spot where Kevin McCarthy runs to the freeway...




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And runs over to the bridge...

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The bridge where Kevin beckons for help....






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"They're here already, you're next!!"

18 comments:

  1. That's nice! Where are the Wilma's house and steps to the cave located exactly?

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    1. Wilma's house is at 1635 Rancho Avenue. The steps are at approximately 2748 Westshire Drive and lead up to Hollyridge Drive.

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  2. What a wonderful website and what a wonderful way to have fun! I was sitting watching "Invasion..." and got to wondering where the steps were located that they run up. So I googled on it and here I am! Couldn't tear myself away! Thanks very much. Chris W.. Alpine California.

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  3. Were the steps used in other films or programs? It seems like I remember a
    3 Stooges slapstick routine that took place on steps that looked like the ones in the film.

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    1. I am not sure about that, the steps connect Westshire Drive and Hollyridge Drive in the Beechwood Canyon area.

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    2. Are you thinking of Laurel and Hardy movie with the piano? Is so those stairs are in Echo Park and they are called The Music Box steps.

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  4. Also, was the land across from Wilma's house some type of a public park? It looks like such in the movie.

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    1. Yes this house is at 1635 Rancho Avenue in Glendale, across from the Bette Davis picnic park.

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    2. Thank you. Also, any idea where the restaurant was that Miles and Becky went on their dinner date to? The background is pretty dark, but it looks like some type of a golf course in the background. Maybe it was some type of a country club?

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    3. It is supposed to be the San Fernando Country Club in Woodland Hills, but not been there to verify.

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    4. I have seen the movie so many times that I start to take note of things one normally wouldn't notice. The parking lot looks full when they are walking in, but when they get inside, restaurant is almost empty. Dr. Bennel comments on this and the manager says that it has been this way for two or three weeks.

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  5. Thanks for the info and 'tour' Robert. I love 'Invasion' and probably watch it 3-4 times a month. So many scenes on this movie are great and good to see what they are like today. Thanks again.

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  6. Thanks for your research! I was in L.A. ten years ago for a wedding, and one of my priorities on that trip was to stand on that bridge over the 101 and shout "They're coming!" lol I also walked back along Mullholland Drive those 50 yards or so and found those two birch trees with the path running into the sticks! It was a thrilling find! You are right, looks the same as in 1956--felt like time travel! Where was Miles' house and greenhouse filmed? If in a studio, which one? Here is a link to a great behind the scenes photo:
    http://media.aintitcool.com/media/legacy/images2009/BTSinvasion1big.jpg

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  7. Thanks so much for this! I too am a big 56 Invasion fan. This was a lot of fun to see the locations!

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  8. First. Huge thanks to Robert
    Secondly, the steps in The Three Stooges' AN ACHE IN EVERY STAKE is between 2257 and 2258 Fair Oak View Terrace (in the Silver Lake District of L.A.)
    I found this info in Seeing-Stars.com

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  9. It was the Grill at the Woodland Hills CC. If you look at how the cars are parked when Becky and Dr. Bennett encounter the psychiatrist you will see that they straddle the dotted lines of the narrow two-lane driveway. The distant view is the first hole. Building and road were replaced after 1992 earthquake

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  10. Hi--thanks for all this great info. I will be in that area in a few months and plan to visit these sites. So, is Beechwood Canyon "connected" to Sierra Madre-or in a different part of LA? Thanks alot!!

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    1. No, they are very far away from each other. Feel free to contact me and I can help you set up your visit!

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