There is a key scene in that film where Jimmy Stewart
and Donna Reed are dancing
the Charleston at the "Bedford Falls High School" prom, when
suddenly the gym floor slides open, plunging the dancers into a swimming
pool. (Later, when walking home, wearing a bathrobe, Donna gets stuck in
the bushes without any clothes on.)
The land is in the city of Encino, just west of the San Diego (405) Freeway, on Burbank Blvd, between Louise Avenue and the Balboa Sports Center park. But all you'll find there now are modern residential homes.
here to see a map of the area.
You'll remember from the classic film, that George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) defies the man who owns most of Bedford Falls (the dastardly 'Mr. Potter') and uses his father's savings & loan to help build affordable housing for working families. The bright new neighborhood is called Bailey Park, in honor of George's late father.
In the movie, we see Mr. Martini's family move into the first model home, with much celebrating.
Later, during George's world-changing angelic encounter, Bailey Park ceases to exist, because he wasn't there to build it. (The neighborhood returns when Clarence restores his past.)
Well, that model home was just that - a real model home - but it was far away from the rest of "Bedford Falls" (see above). Frank Capra, in an interview year later, couldn't even remember where he filmed the scene, only that it was out in the middle of nowhere at the time.
Well, today it's actually in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, CA (the home of Descanso Gardens), just northwest of the city of Pasadena, and about 25 miles east of Encino.
You'll find the actual Martini home, looking remarkably like it did back when the movie was filmed, at 4587 Viro Road, in La Cañada, on the west side of Viro, just two houses south of Belita Lane. (It's about five miles from the start of the annual Rose Parade.)
[ Warning: This
is a private home. Do not trespass on their property, knock
on their door,
Here is a map of the area.
Here are some comparison photos, showing the Martini home and the general "Bailey Park" neighborhood,in both the movie and in real life - courtesy of Richard Barnes. (Thanks, Richard!)
on the images below to see large versions of the photos.)
In the 1942 classic "CASABLANCA", there is an early scene where French Captain Renault (Claude Rains) meets Major Strasser's plane, when the Nazi officer first arrives at the Casablanca airport. Strasser is there to capture Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), and after Strasser gets off the plane and is welcomed by Renault, he pressures Renault to arrest Ugarte (Peter Lorre). This airport runway scene was actually shot on the east side of the Van Nuys Airport.
(At the end of the film. Rick (Humphrey Bogart)
shoots Strasser at the same Casablanca airport, as Laszlo and his wife
(Ingrid Bergman) escape aboard
"We'll always have Paris... "
- 1930's - 1940's
- 1950's - 1960's
- 1970's - 1980's
- 1990 - 1991
- 1992 - 1993
- 1994 -
1995 - 1996
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