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An MGM TRAVELTALK Short Subject.
Our whirlwind visit to LOS ANGELES, WONDER CITY OF THE WEST, begins at the Old Spanish Plaza, where the settlement was founded. A stroll down colorful Olvera Street shows us the reconstructed Mexican marketplace. After looking at some of the modern structures along Wilshire Boulevard, we are treated to a quick glimpse at examples of wacky Southern California architecture - the Chinese Theatre, the Brown Derby & the Blue Mill. The impressive backlot at MGM Studios is followed by a meeting with one of America's most famous men, Walt Disney. The dramatic Hollywood Bowl is our final destination during our day in The City of the Angels.
This is one of a large series of succinct travelogues turned out by MGM, beginning in the 1930's. They featured Technicolor views of beautiful & unusual sights around the globe, as well as vivid, concise commentary. These films were produced & narrated by James A. FitzPatrick.
Los Angeles: Wonder City of the West (1935)
*** (out of 4)
One of the best entries in the TravelTalks series takes us to Los Angeles where we learn about it's original days under control of Spain. From here we learn that the population grew from 50,000 to 2.5 million in just over a hundred years and that made it the fifth largest city in America at the time. From here we take a brief look at Pasadena before going to Hollywood Boulevard and then onto the movie studios. We get to see the front gates of RKO, Fox, Universal and of course MGM where we also get a brief look at their back lot. The real bonus of this short is taking a brief look at Disney and getting to see Walt Disney himself who shakes the hand of FitzPatrick and smiles for the camera. Overall this is a very entertaining episode with several wonderful highlights but the real star of the movie is MGM pushing some propaganda on people. At one point FitzPatrick's narration says that Hollywood is a "quiet, well behaved town with an exaggerated reputation." I don't know how any film buff won't laugh at that statement but considering the "panic" being brought on by various scandals, it's easy to see why MGM would throw that in.
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