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Thread: Mgm

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    I have just finished reading a very enjoyable book MGM British Studios : Hollywood in Borehamwood by Derek Pykett

    There is a comprehensive list of films made there and I was very surprised to see that I Want To Live starring Susan Hayward was included as totally shot there. I find that very difficult to believe and wondered if anyone has any light to shed on this claim??
    Last edited by Nick Dando; 11-06-16 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Finished too early

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
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    Perhaps some sub-editor confused I Want To Live and I Thank A Fool.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    It doesn't make much sense. Why would they shoot in England with all the location shooting in the United States?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051758/...ref_=ttfc_sa_5

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    The list is not complete and includes films that were certainly not made at MGM British.

    There is mention made of short sequences of a couple of films from ABPC renting space at MGM - without references - but this is not impossible. For instance Paul Welsh has heard that MGM was used for scenes in one of the Cliff Richard musicals.

    I've been working on a list for the past two years - I've got roughly 200 film and tv series referenced as being filmed or partly filmed at the studios.

    I've got nearly as many productions listed as intending to use the studios, that never made it.

    MGM also used other studios such as Shepperton and Ardmore for their productions when Borehamwood was full.

    There is at least one other book on the studios in preparation that should have a more comprehensive and accurate listing.
    Last edited by Anthony McKay; 11-06-16 at 12:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Here are the suggestions for corrections I posted to the MGM British Facebook group:

    "Needs a *" - means it was made in more than one studios
    "not on my list" means it isn't on my list, it is possible
    Where I think it was not made at MGM I've put the name of the studio or country.

    “Under Capricorn” needs a *
    “Edward My Son” needs a *
    “The Elusive Pimpernel” (I think the Elstree studio used was National)
    “Time Bomb” needs a *
    “The Dark Avenger” only used the backlot
    “Gentlemen Marry Brunettes” Pinewood
    “Alias John Preston” is a possible, no confirmation
    “Invitation to the Dance” needs a *
    “Little Hut” needs a *
    “Tarzan and the Lost Safari” ABPC
    “Dunkirk” no * ??
    “I Want to Live” USA
    “Ice Cold in Alex” – not on my list
    “Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure” Shepperton
    “The Wreck of the Mary Deare” needs a *
    “Tarzan the Magnificent” Shepperton
    “Tarzan Goes to India” India
    “The Dock Brief” Shepperton
    “Lolita” – not on my list
    “The Main Attraction” Shepperton
    “Lancelot and Guinevere” Pinewood
    “The Americanization of Emily” needs a *
    “Of Human Bondage” Ardmore
    “The Masque of the Red Death” – not on my list
    “The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” - not on my list
    “Young Cassidy” Ardmore
    “Lady L” needs a *, mostly Italy
    “Hotel Paradiso” Italy
    “The Fixer” needs a *mostly Budapest
    “The Shoes of the Fisherman” Italy
    “Mrs Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” Shepperton
    “Alfred the Great” Ardmore
    “The Best House in London” Shepperton
    “Country Dance” Ardmore
    “No Blade of Grass” only used the backlot
    “Zeppelin” Pinewood

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Here are the suggestions for corrections I posted to the MGM British Facebook group:

    "Needs a *" - means it was made in more than one studios
    "not on my list" means it isn't on my list, it is possible
    Where I think it was not made at MGM I've put the name of the studio or country.


    �Gentlemen Marry Brunettes� was filmed in two UK studios - MGM British and Shepperton

    �Little Hut� was filmed in either Rome or Paris as UK studios were fully booked up, according to Peter Noble in 1956

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Thanks for that.

    I've got "Little Hut" starting "in London" July 9 with a planned move to Cinecitta in the 23rd. Editing was done in MGM British in October. There is filming on location in London. So studio facilities and staff were involved - but not actual MGM British stages.

    This shows just how tricky a listing of individual studio productions can be - nearly every production needs a qualifying statement and a reference or two to back it up.

    I've got "Million Dollar Mermaid" on my list as well - but again it didn't actually use any MGM British stages.

    One of the most interesting and informative aspects of my research is watching what happened to productions proposed for MGM British that didn't make it. Some productions can be seen fading in and out of the trade press for years.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
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    The standard internet sources say Susan Hayward (took up the role rejected by Ingrid Bergman and) filmed I Thank a Fool with an all British cast and crew in Crookhaven and Liverpool for De Grunwald Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studios in 1962.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julian_craster View Post
    “Little Hut” was filmed in either Rome or Paris as UK studios were fully booked up, according to Peter Noble in 1956
    I wonder where I got "Pinewood" from.

    The TCM gives:

    As noted by numerous contemporary sources, the picture was shot on location in Paris and Monte Carlo, with interior sequences shot at the Shepperton Studios and M-G-M British Studios in England and the Paris Studio Cinema in France. At the end of the film, as the ocean liner carrying the reunited couples sails away, a title card reading "This is where you came in" appears. This is followed by acknowledgments for Shepperton Studios, M-G-M British Studios, and the Paris Studio Cinema.

    Gareth Owen lists it in "The Shepperton Story" it is also listed in the Pinewood Site as a Shepperton production - which is where I may have got my wires crossed.

    I've got a photo reference "Lovely actress Jeanne Crain smiles to admiring crowds from inside the car that is ready to take her from London Airport to the city, upon her arrival from Paris. She and shapely Jane Russell are filming some of the sequences of Gentlemen Marry Brunettes' in England. - Nov. 02 1954"

    Looking through my notes I've got nothing listed as being in production on the stages at MGM British during Oct 54 - Feb 1955. There appears to be some editing and looping going on, but no filming. Things are so quiet that the Danziggers rented studio space in August for 'The Vice' tv series. 1955 would see a change in policy with the studios being actively marketed to independent productions.
    Last edited by Anthony McKay; 12-06-16 at 12:18 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Ice Cold in Alex
    Lolita
    The Masque of the Red Death
    The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

    all ABPC Elstree.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: United States
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    Some of "Americanization of Emily" was shot at MGM as there was a short on TCM some time back showing the front gate of MGM British.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Pickard View Post
    Some of "Americanization of Emily" was shot at MGM as there was a short on TCM some time back showing the front gate of MGM British.
    "The Americanization of Emily" is a bit of a mystery. It started at MGM British but moved back to Hollywood after only a few weeks. They did get quite a bit shot round the studios and on Location in London. The move back to the States has been attributed to the British film unions and the production company falling out. This was around the time of the "Harry's Girls"/runaway productions dispute at the studio.

    But the film was also having trouble arranging the D-Day landings shoot - once they read the script the navy wouldn't provide any resources in Europe so the sequences were organised and shot by the film company back in California.

    There was not a stink at the time in the trade press so I'm wondering if the union boycott story was true or not. I've noted that the Unions always attempted to put the record straight if mud was thrown their way.
    Last edited by Anthony McKay; 12-06-16 at 11:18 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Ice Cold in Alex
    Lolita
    The Masque of the Red Death
    The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

    all ABPC Elstree.
    yes - but the suggestion is that studio space was rented short-term for specific scenes/sets.

    The confirmed use of MGM for the "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" was literally a couple of days.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: Lithuania Cooper S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Ice Cold in Alex
    Lolita
    The Masque of the Red Death
    The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

    all ABPC Elstree.
    Prior to filming at Elstree, I understand some scenes for Masque of the Red Death were shot at Shepperton on standing sets created for Beckett.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    William Wyler was the original director, William Holden the original male lead and Elizabeth Shepherd was about to play Emily - until it was discovered she was pregnant. I remember reading that Kim Novak replaced Vera Miles in Vertigo for that reason. But Janet Leigh, another Hitchcock actress from that period, still managed to complete The Vikings when pregnant with Jamie Lee Curtis. Audrey Hepburn was also considered for Emily.


    I hope you find these original articles helpful, Anthony:

    The Pittsburgh Press, 23rd May 1962 (Hedda Hopper column)

    Bill Holden continues his self-imposed exile from Hollywood with a good part in "The Americanization of Emily", a romantic comedy of World War II set in London. It will be filmed there with Martin Ransohoff producing for Metro. A British actress will play opposite Bill. The story is from a William Bradford Hule novel.


    The Toledo Blade, 19th May 1963 reports that "a deal was shaping up for [Paul Burke] to co-star with William Holden".


    The Deseret News (Utah), 9th January 1964 (Hedda Hopper again)

    The last 15 seconds of "The Americanization of Emily" will be filmed in Nome, Alaska, to show one of the stars, James Coburn, sitting on the snow in the middle of the vast wastleland. Coburn was needed in Hollywood for some business in the film with his co-stars James Garner and Julie Andrews. Producer Martin Ransohoff flew a double to Alaska and he will wear a rubber mask of Mr. Coburn's face. While the location will be real, the actor will be faked. It is usually the other way round.


    Daytona Beach Morning Journal, 17th January 1964 (Dorothy Kilgallen)

    THE MOVIE titled "The Americanization of Emily" is having more than its share of troubles. First of all, producer Martin Ransohoff was informed that the Navy Dept was going to refuse him permission to shoot scenes for the film (because the Navy is treated rather roughly in some of the sequences) and then things got worse.

    The boom was lowered on Mr. Ransohoff from bigwigs at MGM, which is financing and distributing the film. Several executives had never laid eyes on Paddy Chayefsky's final version of the screenplay, which jabs the State Dept, and displays considerable irreverance about an incident involving Gen. de Gaulle during the time before D-Day. The high command at MGM flipped their wigs, but the flick had been shot already, and there was nothing they could do because Ransohoff's contract gives him the right to make the picture his way.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony McKay View Post
    yes - but the suggestion is that studio space was rented short-term for specific scenes/sets.

    The confirmed use of MGM for the "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" was literally a couple of days.
    Tony

    Is there any indication where this information comes from?

    Could it be Kine Weekly and/or The Daily Cinema, or failing that has someone had access to Daily Progress Reports for these productions?

    Of course its not generally well known that The Avengers episode Return of the Cybernauts had some special effects work done at MGM Borehamwood on Thursday 29 June 1967 and that information did come from a Daily Progress Report.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    The "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" came from an interview with Harry Harryhausen - he recalled the incident as it was his first meeting with George Pal. Harry was borrowing George's blue-screen set up from "Tom Thumb."

    The other mentions of one-off scenes seem to come from Derek Pykett's interviews.

    I'd missed the 'Return of the Cybernauts' using MGM - another one for the list.
    Last edited by Anthony McKay; 15-06-16 at 06:55 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop15 View Post
    I hope you find these original articles helpful, Anthony]
    Thanks Cornershop, I've got quite a bit on this production as it was well covered in Variety and the newspapers. There is a lot a babble about the three nude girls Coburn's character dates.

    Julie Andrews was working on the film in California when Kennedy was shot.

    Liz Fraser seems to think that the production left for the USA at short notice due to strike action - but surely this would have had some press coverage.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England
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    I don't know about MGM but Pinewood Studios are used just for their production offices and film processing facilities. If MGM did allow that back in the day could this cause misunderstandings about which studio they were filmed at?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Herbert Wilcox had offices at the studios when they first opened for production.

    The studios was originally built as four blocks with their own faculties attached to the stages so that each block could be rented out long-term to different production companies - but MGM centralised things a little when they took over the studio.

    Office space was provided for production companies actually using the stages, but I've not heard of any non-MGM producers, other than Wilcox, just using office space.

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