Copperfield Court

W.C. Fields, Lionel Barrymore, Elsa Lanchester & Freddie Bartholomew in DAVID COPPERFIELD - 1934

Fred Astaire & Jane Powell in ROYAL WEDDING - 1951

David Niven, George Sanders & Roger Moore in THE KING’S THIEF - 1955

Rod Taylor, Alan Young & Sebastian Cabot in THE TIME MACHINE - 1960


Grand Central Station

Greta Garbo in ANNA KARENINA - 1935

Ingrid Bergman in GASLIGHT - 1944

Fred Astaire, Cyd Charise & Oscar Levant in THE BAND WAGON - 1953

Gary Grant & Eva Marie Saint in NORTH BY NORTHWEST- 1959

Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis & Marilyn Monroe in SOME LIKE IT HOT - 1959

Paul Newman in THE OUTRAGE -  1964

Verona Square

Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore & Basil Rathbone in ROMEO & JULIET - 1936

Jeanette MacDonald in THE FIREFLY - 1937

Judy Garland & Gene Kelly in THE PIRATE - 1948

New York / Fifth Avenue

Jean Harlow in WIFE VS SECRETARY - 1936

Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy & Jeanette McDonald in SAN FRANCISCO - 1936

Spencer Tracy & Mickey Rooney in BOYS TOWN - 1938

Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford & Ann Miller in EASTER PARADE - 1948

Fred Astaire, Jane Powell & Peter Lawford in ROYAL WEDDING - 1951

Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron & Oscar Levant in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS - 1951

Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor & Debbie Reynolds in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN - 1952

Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant & Nanette Fabray in THE BAND WAGON - 1953

James Cagney & Doris Day in LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME -1955

Charlton Heston & Edward G. Robinson in SOYLENT GREEN - 1973

The Courthouse Steps   

Judy Garland & Van Johnson in THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME - 1949

Debbie Reynolds & Tony Randall in THE MATING GAME - 1959

 

The Old Mill

Joan Crawford, Robert Taylor & Greer Garson in WHEN LADIES MEET- 1941

Charles Coburn, Hume Cronyn, Dean Stockwell & Jessica Tandy in THE GREEN YEARS - 1946

June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O’Brien, Elizabeth Taylor & Janet Leigh in LITTLE WOMEN - 1949

Van Johnson & Dorothy McGuire in INVITATION - 1952

SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND - 1978

 

MEMORIES OF THE BACKLOT

Selected photographs from MGM Backlot 2

prior to bulldozing the site for housing developments & condominiums.

Culver City, California - original photography by G. Scott Campbell

© G. Scott Campbell

 

Quality Street

(the first major street set on the backlot - built over the remains of King Vidor’s THE BIG PARADE - 1925)

Marion Davies in QUALITY STREET - 1927

Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp & Angela Lansbury in NATIONAL VELVET - 1944

Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, June Allyson, Van Heflin, Angela Lansbury & Vincent Price in THE THREE MUSKETEERS - 1948

Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron & Oscar Levant in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS - 1951

Fred Astaire & Jane Powell in ROYAL WEDDING - 1951

Laurence Harvey, Karlheinz Böhm & Barbara Eden in THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM - 1962

Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban & Katharine Ross in THE SINGING NUN - 1966

Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr & Cloris Leachman in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN - 1974

 

Southern (aka Twelve Oaks) Mansion

And the bulldozing begins...



TODAY...



Skull Island

 

King Kong’s Wall   


 

Chinese Street

Paul Muni & Luise Rainer in THE GOOD EARTH - 1937

Clark Gable &  Rosalind Russell in THEY MET IN BOMBAY - 1941

Van Johnson & Spencer Tracy in THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO - 1944

Katharine Hepburn & Walter Houston in DRAGON SEED - 1944

Judy Garland & Gene Kelly in THE PIRATE - 1948

Nancy Kwan & Jack Soo in FLOWER DRUM SONG - 1961

© Los Angeles Times

I superimposed the original map of

MGM’s Backlot #2 over today’s new housing development that replaced it to reveal what stands today where the old backlot sets

once stood decades ago.



Thank you to Susan, my wife, who was with me as we roamed the evanescent, deserted lot

while the sun was quickly setting, literally and figuratively.

-Scott Campbell

scott@mgmbacklot2.com


MGM logo & motion picture frame grabs below the sets & Los Angeles Times bulldozing photo used under Fair Use.