I love the blog Beguiling Hollywood. Vickie Lester posts these great pictures of stars of yore–publicity shots, movie shots–and describes them with a quick caption or a little essay and they’re always good. Today’s was a still from the film noir classic Double Indemnity. Barbara Stanwyck in shades Fred McMurray in a supermarket on Los Feliz. She’s Phyllis Dietrichson, the murderess. He’s Walter Neff, the insurance salesman gone bad, a murderer. Walter sets the scene for us.
…but we couldn’t be seen together any more and I had told her never to call me from her house and never to call me at my office. So we had picked out a big market on Los Feliz. She was to be there buying stuff every day about eleven o’clock, and I could run into her there. Kind of accidentally on purpose.
Now, setting aside the fact that Barbara Stanwyck had been wearing nothing but a towel in her opening scene the Hays Commission complained it was skimpy, let’s talk about that market. Assuming it was based on an actual place, and I believe screenwriter Raymond Chandler’s locales usually were, this would have been some place in Atwater Village, I’m sure. Los Feliz Blvd is pretty much old residences the entire stretch except for the south side of the downward slope as it comes up on Riverside, which is all apartments now, an unlikely location for a market. Beach’s Market, a big market, a super market the script calls it, was on Glendale Blvd at Glenhurst, not on Los Feliz. That’s just across the river and freeway from us. It was still new in 1939, and the old Red Car trolley ran down Glendale Blvd. People living in our very place probably walked down to the station at the end of our street, hopped the Red Car to Beach’s and back, buying the booze and wine that stains our wood floors half a century later. We like to think they were screen writers or starlets well, I do. The cigarette burns on the floor imply a certain amount of wantonness, anyway. The Red Car was gone by 1955. Beach’s done in by earthquake and competition was gone by the early nineties.
A big bow to Brick! And if you haven’t been following his blog, you should.
I dig music. I used to play drums, which was awesome, the crazy gigs, crazy times, getting high, getting laid, getting paid sometimes, raising holy hell and fucking with people. The more anarchic the scene, the better. Blood on the floor, sounds in the air. Think a hockey game, but with notes. And weirder.
I interrupt, sir, to inquire—could that be the market, pictured above?