In the Movies
In an article titled “Star of Many Movies” that appeared in the October 8, 1933 edition of the Los Angeles Sunday Times, reporter Thomas E. Stimson, Jr. wrote, “When a Hollywood motion picture script calls for a lighthouse, the directors takes his company down to the breakwater as a matter of fact. The Los Angeles Harbor Light has appeared in the backgrounds of pictures depicting the Mediterranean, as the light on the coast of Labrador, and in pictures of the Caribbean. Motion picture directors like it. It photographs well and has water on three sides so that it may be photographed from almost any angle.”
In a 1939 interview, Irving Conklin, who was head keeper from 1931 to 1942, concurred with the 1933 story, but in a different way when he said, in referring to the motion picture industry, “They drive us crazy out here. Some idiot will write a story with a lighthouse in it. It doesn’t matter if the lighthouse is in the Mediterranean or Siberia. Down they will come and shoot ours.”
The 1947 movie Lighthouse starring Don Castle, June Lang, and John Litel, was filmed almost entirely at the Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse. Although copies of the old movie have been made on DVD, they are very hard to find.
Strangely, the movie posters, lobby cards, and even the DVD cover of the movie Lighthouse, all show a lighthouse that resembled the Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse in Massachusetts, which looks nothing at all like the Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse. However, if you can locate a copy of the DVD, you will be able to view some great scenes in the lantern and of the lens as well as how the entire Los Angeles Harbor Light Station looked during and just after the World War II era.
Back to the edition of: May/Jun 2018