Monday, May 01, 2006

Harry Cohn: Get To Work!

This shot was taken not very far from where Hollywood Thoughts maintains its offices.

It's probably the nicest spot on the Sunset-Gower lot-- originally the home to Columbia Studios. Located in the oldest section of the studio (probably built in 1921) near the main administration building, it's a lush and quiet hideaway from all the lot's hustle and bustle.

Columbia Pictures was founded in 1920 by Harry & Jack Cohn, and during their 50-year reign, the brothers produced a mixture of B-movies (the Three Stooges) as well as classic features (such as Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "It Happened One Night").

This intimate courtyard is ringed by spaces that used to house the studio's writers.

Harry Cohn -- from the rude, crude and loud school of moguls -- had a suite of offices that overlooked the patio.

As legend has it, Cohn would often throw open his window when he didn't hear his wordsmiths generating enough clacking on the typewriter keys and bellow, "I don't hear you bastards typing! Get to work you mothers, or I'll fire all of ya!"

Needless to say, the instantaneous clatter of typing was thunderous.

Current management has been spending bundles on upgrading and maintaining this historic site. Virtually the entire lot has been given a makeover with new paint and landscaping. Special bronze plaques have also been mounted to each soundstage honoring the cast, crew and pictures that were filmed in each.

Harry's window.


Other Columbia classics include: "From Here to Eternity" (1953), "On The Waterfront" (1954), "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), "Picnic" (1955), "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Dr. Strangelove" (1964), "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967), "Oliver! " (1968), and "Funny Girl" (1968).


At 10:48 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It's so great to see these pictures. Do you ever feel that the ghosts of these wonderful people who worked on this lot are lurking about? All the studios that WERE, have such a wonderful history...with so very many spectacular artists having worked on these strange but fascinating pieces of Real Estate, anytime I ever worked on a lot or visited any of The Great Studios, I couldn't help but feel the poresence of something; something I probably was conjuring up myself, but...I always felt there were mysterious unseen spirits all around...I LOVED THAT!

At 11:27 PM, Blogger DodgerJon said...

What's fun at S&G, is that they still have some parking spaces with the etched names of, "Charles Laughton" right next to "Elsa Lanchester."

Still looking for Capra's space...

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