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Culver  City  Film  Festival


Culver City: My Home Town

Culver City [CA] Businesses          

internal gate at east entrance of Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California           short history essay

selected movies filmed
on location in Culver City

Laurel & Hardy in Culver City

Culver City Adjacent
(Venice Beach, Santa
Monica, Malibu)

image gallery

Culver City / location links

          Culver City, California {ZIP code 90230} uses the motto "The Heart of Screenland", and rightly so.
          Motion pictures were made in Culver City even before the city was incorporated by Harry Culver in 1917. Cecil B. DeMille photographed much of "The Squaw Man" [1914] along the then-willow-lined Ballona Creek.
          Thomas H. Ince [1882-1924] built Triangle Pictures Studios in Culver City in 1915; the property was later owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Lorimar, and is now the home of Sony-Columbia. Ince also built The Culver Studios in 1918, later owned by R.K.O. and Selznick and Desilu. Hal Roach [1892-1992] built his studio properties in 1919, later the site of USAAF's First Motion Picture Unit during World War II. These and other movie companies produced hundreds of short films and feature films and hundreds of animated cartoons and hundreds of television episodes in the nearly century-long tenure of Culver City as a major manufacturer of cinema.

          Films famously made on the studio backlots of Culver City include the "Rocky" series, "Gone With The Wind" [1939], "The Time Machine" [1960], "The Wizard of Oz" [1939], "Citizen Kane" [1941], and TV series such as "Combat", "The Real McCoys", "Lucy", "Star Trek" and "Dallas", besides which are the many films that were made on the streets and in the homes & businesses of Culver City, and even up in the once-rural Baldwin Hills.
          Films of the Silent Era, especially, display glimpses of Culver City's Downtown area: Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Mack Sennett, Charley Chase, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Hal Roach's Our Gang – each filmed scores of shorts and features there. The film crews often simply went outside the studio property with camera and lights and actors and created the day's footage improvisationally.

          The movies featured on this Online Culver City Film Festival webpage are those with scenes OF Culver City, recognizable shots of buildings and streets or distant hills that often look very much the same today – OR such locations that might be long gone but remain vivid in the memories of those who worked or lived in "The Heart of Screenland".

Culver City locations {over 13,000 listed} at Internet Movie Database

If you know of any other film with scenes on location in Culver City or its neighbors,
please send an email suggestion

Culver City [CA] Film Festival [Fall 2016 = #3]

Movies  Filmed  On  Location
In  Culver  City

·                         ·

"The Big Lebowski" [1998]
by the Coen Brothers; full credits at IMDb

"Heroes" [1977] at Dinah's Restaurant
Starring Sally Field, Henry Winkler & Harrison Ford; full credits at IMDb

"The Osterman Weekend" [1983] at the Studio Drive-in
Directed by Sam Peckinpah; full credits at IMDb

"Point Break" [1991] at Fox Hills Mall
full credits from IMDb

"The Power" [1968] at Culver City High School
full credits from IMDb

"Sleeper" [1973] at Culver City High School
Directed by Woody Allen; full credits at IMDb

"The Squaw Man" [1914 silent] along Ballona Creek
Co-directed by Cecil B. DeMille; starring Dustin Farnum; full credits at IMDb

The Sun Down Limited 1924 silent short starring the Our Gang kids  "Sundown Limited" [Hal Roach/Pathé Sept 1924]
Hal Roach's 'Our Gang' kids play in the Santa Fe train yards (featuring AT&SF 4-6-2 steam locomotive #1344) and get kicked out; they then build a rickety train on an abandoned rail line; the finale is an ensemble chase thru the streets of Culver City, past the Sam Seelio Co. Public Market.
Produced & written by Hal Roach; directed by Robert F. McGowan; starring Joe Cobb, Jackie Condon, Mickey Daniels, Allen 'Farina' Hoskins, Mary Kornman, Andy Samuel & 'Sonny Boy' Warde
available on DVD within several collections on the Little Rascals / Our Gang Page
full credits from IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
watch full movie [19:59] online at Internet Archive

Time Machine 1960 feature film by George Pal  "The Time Machine" [M.G.M. 1960]
The thing that author H.G. Wells got right back in 1895 is the split of society in twain, and the realization of his prophecy is already too apparent at the beginning of the XXIst Century – the eloi and the morlocks are today's Haves and Have-Nots. The 1960 film is a sci-fi classic, partly filmed in the Baldwin Hills behind M.G.M. Lot 3 (where W.L.A. College is now).
Directed by George Pal, starring Rod Taylor & Yvette Mimieux; won Academy Award Oscar for Special Effects
Turner Home Ent. widescreen color DVD [11/2010] for $11.58
Warner letterbox color DVD [10/2000] out of prodn/used
M.G.M. Video Ltd Edition widescreen color DVD [12/2000] out of prodn/used
Warner color VHS [3/2001] for $9.99
Crescendo soundtrack CD [4/89] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
Time Machine book by H.G. Wells  
"The Time Machine: An Invention" [1895] by H.G. Wells
Kindle Edition from Public Domain Books [5/2012] for FREE {sic}
Kindle Edition from Halcyon Classics [7/2009] 25 books for 99¢ {sic}
Tor mass pb [12/95] for $3.99
Ace movie tie-in pb [12/2001] out of print/many, many used

Under The Rainbow movie poster  "Under The Rainbow" [Warner Bros./Orion Pictures July 1981]
Much filming at The Culver Hotel [est. 1924]. The German Führer sends a midget secret agent to Culver City, California to meet with a Japanese spy. The meeting turns out to be the same weekend that the hotel receives 150 'little people' working as Munchkins on the movie "The Wizard of Oz" , a busload of Japanese tourists, and a paranoid Duke and his bumbling Secret Service escort. {Reviewer consensus: Awful but hilarious.} Directed by Steve Rash; starring Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, Eve Arden, Joseph Maher, Robert Donner, Billy Barty, Mako, Cork Hubbert, Pat McCormick, Adam Arkin, Richard Stahl, Freeman King, Zelda Rubinstein & Jerry Maren
Warner Home Video widescreen color DVD [undated] out of prodn/used
Warner Home Video color VHS [4/92] out of prodn/used
11"x17" poster from Amazon for $14.99
full credits from IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Zigzag" [1970] along Venice Blvd.
full credits from IMDb


Laurel  &  Hardy's  Films

Following The Comedy Trail Film Locations book by Leon Smith  "Following The Comedy Trail: A Guide To Laurel & Hardy
and Our Gang Film Locations" [1984] by Leon Smith

Kindle Edition from P.G.W. [11/88 edition] for $9.99
Pomegranate Press 7½x9½ pb [11/88] out of print/used

"Duck Soup" [March 1927] in 'Liberty Alley'

"Putting Pants On Philip" [Dec 1927] showing Culver Hotel & Main Street

"The Finishing Touch" [Feb 1928] off-studio set built in vacant lot

"We Faw Down" [Dec 1928] in 'Liberty Alley'

"Liberty" [Jan 1929] in 'Liberty Alley'

"Big Business" [April 1929] on Caroline Avenue

"Angora Love" [Dec 1929] in 'Liberty Alley'

"Hog Wild" [May 1930] on Madison Avenue

"Any Old Port! [March 1932 short] at Culver City Stadium

"County Hospital" [June 1932 short] showing City Hall

"Going Bye-Bye!" [June 1934] in front of City Hall

see more on Magic Lantern's Laurel & Hardy Page


silent comedy star Ben Turpin {lower right} and crew filming on Venice Beach in front of the Ocean Park Bathhouse, circa 1920

Culver  City  Adjacent
Of course, quite a few movies were filmed just outside the city limits of Culver City,
such as at nearby Venice Beach and in Santa Monica and up along the Malibu coast.
(NOT included here are the many teen surfing movies made in the 1960s and later,
with filming northward up Pacific Coast Highway at Malibu and Zuma and Trancas).

Marina del Rey [CA] Film Festival [Fall 2015 = #1]
Santa Monica [CA] Film Festival [Feb 2015 = #10]

"Alex of Venice" [Electric City/Screen Media Films April 2015]
Alex of Venice 2015 movie  A workaholic attorney is forced to reinvent her life after her husband suddenly leaves. Directed by Chris Messina; starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson, Derek Luke, Chris Messina, Katie Nehra, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Matthew Del Negro, Troy Garity, Julianna Guill, Reg E. Cathey, Marin Hinkle, Beth Grant, Michael Chernus, Timm Sharp, Will McCormack, Vanessa Aspillaga, Skylar Gaertner, Glenn Kessler, Susan Pourfar, Tom Yi, Bill Tangradi, Tom O'Brien, Virginia Watson, Sandra Seacat & Zane Smith
Screen Media widescreen color DVD [7/2015] for $12.73
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
watch 3/2015 official trailer [2:29] online at YouTube
watch full movie [6/2015 upload; 1:26:31] online at YouTube

"American Venice" documentary [2016]  2016
Co-produced & directed by and starring Cle Shaheed 'Bone' Sloan /tt2461210/

"Dogtown and Z-Boys" [2001]
full credits from IMDb

"Dope" [Open Road Films June 2015]
2015 'Dope' movie set in Inglewood  Set in Inglewood and Los Angeles, California; geeky Afro-American teen in senior year of high school has straight-A grades and wants to get into Harvard; he and two pals get sucked into a drug deal but manage to survive; lots of hip-hop music on the soundtrack. Co-produced & narrated by Forest Whitaker; co-produced, written & directed by Rick Famuyiwa; starring Shameik Moore, Kiersey Clemons, Tony Revolori, Quincy Brown, Rakim Mayers/A$ap Rocky, Blake Anderson, Chanel Iman, Zoë Kravitz, Roger Guenveur Smith, Kap G, Bruce Beatty, De'aundre Bonds, Julian Brand, Kimberly Elise, Rick Fox, Amin Joseph, Ricky Harris, Allen Maldonado, Mimi Michaels, Ashton Moio, Lidia Porto, Keith Stanfield, Tyga & rapper Casey Veggies
Universal Studios widescreen color Blu-ray/DVD set [DUE Oct 2015] 2 disks for $24.97
Universal Studios widescreen color DVD [DUE Oct 2015] for $19.97
full credits at IMDbofficial movie sitemovie entry at Wikipedia

"Made In Venice" documentary [Aug 2016]
'Made In Venice' skateboarding documentary  The skateboarders of Venice progress from raising hell at the beach and on the bikepath in their teens to turning professional in the 1980s and putting 'street skating' on the global map. But their biggest challenge wasn't becoming skateboarding legends, it was getting what they had long dreamed of: a skatepark on Venice Beach for the commu-nity and the pro skaters of tomorrow • Co-produced & directed by Jonathan Penson; co-produced & written by Diane Rozas; featuring Jay Adams, Dave Duncan, Ray Flores, Christian Hosoi, Jesse Martinez, Jim Muir
DVD/Blu-ray not yet available • full credits at IMDbofficial movie website
watch 4/2016 official trailer [1:33] online at YouTube

"Man In The Dark" [Columbia April 1953]
Man In The Dark 1953 movie in 3-D  Filmed in 3-D; a convicted robber undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove his 'criminal tendencies'; when released from prison, members of his former gang kidnap him to get him to reveal the location of the hidden loot from their last robbery – but he can't remember. Torture by the gang triggers strange dreams that reveal pieces of the missing info, leading to a climax on the wooden roller coaster at a beachside amusement park (Pacific Ocean Park in Santa Monica, California). Directed by Lew Landers; starring Edmond O'Brien, Audrey Totter, Ted de Corsia & Horace McMahon • not available on DVD (2017)
Twilight Time Region 1 Limited Edition 3-D Blu-ray [1/2014] for $35.79
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Muscle Beach Then and Now" [indep May 2010]
full credits from IMDb

"Night Tide" [Filmgroup/A.I.P. June 1963]
Night Tide  features the Santa Monica Pier Carousel, Venice Beach, and Malibu; a sailor on leave falls for a girl who works as a mermaid at an arcade - or is she a real mermaid? Written & directed by Curtis Harrington; music by David Raksin; starring Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Gavin Muir, Luana Anders, Marjorie Eaton, Tom Dillon, H.E. West, Ben Roseman & Marjorie Cameron
Kino Classics remastered b&w Blu-ray [10/2013] for $21.21
Kino Classics remastered b&w DVD [10/2013] for $17.98
Alpha Video b&w DVD [1/2003] for $5.98
Filmgroup b&w DVD [4/2011] for $9.99
Milestone Video b&w VHS [10/2002] for $8.95
full credits at IMDbwatch official trailer [2:16] at YouTube
watch full movie online [1:27:36] at YouTube

"Pumping Iron" [1977]
full credits from IMDb

"Touch of Evil"
[Universal April 1958; restored version Sept 1998]
Touch of Evil (restored)  
Touch of Evil 1958 one-sheet  
A narcotics officer from Mexico, honeymooning in a U.S. Border town, gets caught up in a battle against a 'justice at any cost' police chief and Mexican gangsters. Highlights include one of the longest continuous shots in film history, and nighttime location filming in 'downtown' Venice, California. Written & directed by and starring Orson Welles; based on the Whit Masterson novel; music by Henry Mancini; co-starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, Joanna Cook Moore, Ray Collins, Dennis Weaver & Zsa Zsa Gabor; listed in the National Film Registry (1993)
Universal 50th Anniversary Edition widescreen b&w DVD [10/2008] 2 disks for $22.49
Universal restored widescreen b&w DVD [10/2000] for $10.99
Universal restored b&w VHS [10/2000] out of prodn/used
Universal b&w 1958 version VHS [3/92] out of prodn/many used
Varese Sarabande soundtrack CD [4/93] out of prodn/rare
full credits from IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
color 11"x17" poster (at left) from Amazon for $9.99
11"x17" b&w poster (at top) from Amazon for $9.99
Touch of Evil critical text  1956 novel {orig "Badge of Evil"} by Whit Masterson
Carroll & Graf mass pb [10/92] out of print/used
Bantam mass pb [1958] out of print/scarce

"Touch of Evil: Orson Welles, Director" [1985]
critical text by Terry Comito

Rutgers Univ Press 8x6 pb [11/85] for $24.95
Rutgers Univ Press hardcover [7/85] out of print/rare

"Valentine's Day" [2010]
Great exterior shots all over Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and San Fernando Valley,
and several glimpses of the Venice Canals neighborhood.

"Venice Underground" [indep 2005]
Venice Underground B-movie  Described as badly-made junk; election pressures drive 'City of Venice' police chief to recruit non-cop 'agents' to combat street crime, which starts a gang war. Written & directed by Eric DelaBarre; starring Ed Lauter, Danny Trejo, Randall Batinkoff, Mark Boone Jr., Francis Capra, James Duval, Edward Furlong, Carolina Garcia, Nicholas Gonzalez, Nichole Hiltz
LionsGate color DVD [4/2006] for $5.79
full credits at IMDb

"Vicious Circle" [Maya Releasing 2008]
Vicious Circle 2008 movie poster  A tragic 'punk rock' Latino love story set on the streets of modern-day Venice Beach, California Directed by Paul Boyd; starring Paul Rodriguez, Emily Rios, Trevor Wright
DVD/Blu-ray not yet available • full credits from IMDbofficial movie site

"Westside" [Warner Bros./ABC-TV 2013?]
Announced 2/2013: Original title "Venice", with allusions to Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"; primetime soap opera about two families vying for
'control' of Los Angeles beach district Venice, with forbidden love between surfshop owner Robbie Carver's son and ingenue Sophie Nance;
co-produced & directed by McG • latest info at IMDb

"Women of Iron" [1984]
full credits from IMDb


Image  Gallery

screen shot from Our Gang 1924 comedy short 'Sundown Ltd.' of the kids's train crashing into a handcart of goods in front of the Sam Seelio Co. Public Market in Culver City         Laurel & Hardy getting a traffic ticket in front of the Culver City Dept. Store on Main Street


L i n k s
Culver City: My Home Town webpage
Culver City: My Home Town essay
Culver City [CA] Businesses Page
'Filming in Culver City' info at CC website
Culver City, California Chamber of Commerce
Backlot Film Festival [last one was August 2011] in Culver City, CA: {placeholder}Facebook for 2011

Culver City [CA] Film Festival [Fall 2016 = #3]

Culver City locations {over 13,000 listed} at Internet Movie Database


Visit Our Other Online Film Festival Pages
Afro-American Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Atomic Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Auto-Racing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Ayn Rand Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Baseball Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Beatnik Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
'Biker Movies' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Boxing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Circus Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Classic Movies & Cinema Masters Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Magic Lantern's Culver City [CA] Film Festival   « « you are here
Cyber Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Economics Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
Education Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Existentialist Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
Films Noir Festival at BlackHat Mystery Bookstore
Football Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
47 Rônin / Chüshingura Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Gangster Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Hollywood Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Horse-Racing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Human Rights Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Kings & Queens Film Festival at Magic Lantern
'Knights of Yore' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Labor Movement Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Movie Musicals Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Muscle-Head Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Native American Film Festival at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore
Oscar-Winning Western Movies Page at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore
Philosophy Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
Pirate Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Political Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Railroad Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
'Rat Race' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Road Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Rock Music Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Samurai Films at Magic Lantern
Science Fiction Film Festival at Magic Lantern
'Shakespeare On Film' at Magic Lantern
Sherlock Holmes Film Festival at BlackHat Mystery Bookstore
Sports Film Festival Pages at Magic Lantern
War [& Anti-War] Film Festival Pages at Magic Lantern
Western Movies Film Festival at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore

... and others on the Online Film Festivals Index Page


here on the Culver City (California) Film Festival Page at Magic Lantern Video & Book Store

top of page  •   short history essay  •   movies filmed on location in Culver City  •   Laurel & Hardy in Culver City  •  
Culver City Adjacent  •   image gallery  •   links

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