Monday, 16 October 2017

Chicago IL, USA



  
The movie THE UNTOUCHABLES tells the true story of agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) who in 1930 assembles a team to put the notorious crime boss Al Capone (Robert De Niro) behind bars. The screenplay was based on the book of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley from 1957.
     
The Untouchables, 0:37:08
Filming started on 18 August 1986 in Chicago. The location shoot included several historical landmarks. When a building did not exist anymore or had been altered beyond recognition, a similar location in the city was chosen. After filming on more than 25 locations in Chicago was completed, production moved to Montana in October 1986 to film the shoot-out at the border.
We were in town for only three days and visited only a small amount of the locations.

In his search for policemen that can be trusted Eliot Ness meets officer Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery) at night on the North Michigan Avenue Bridge. The bascule bridge dates from 1918 and was named after the street it is part of.

The Untouchables, 0:17:22
North Michigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago, 7 June 2017

An example of a location that no longer exists is the Lexington Hotel where Al Capone resided from 1928 until he was arrested in 1931. The hotel was closed in 1980. During filming the building was in a deplorable state and would be demolished in 1995. The Roosevelt University at 430 South Michigan Avenue was chosen to represent the hotel, even though the building dates from 1945.

The Untouchables, 0:19:49
Roosevelt University, Chicago, 8 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:08:20
Roosevelt University, Chicago, 8 June 2017

The confrontation between Eliot Ness and Al Capone in the lobby of the hotel was also filmed at the Roosevelt University. We asked the concierge if it was alright to take pictures. It turned out that he was present on the day these scenes were filmed. He joked that he almost had a part in the movie: he had to prevent people from using the elevator.

The Untouchables, 1:08:29
Roosevelt University, Chicago, 8 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:08:33
Roosevelt University, Chicago, 8 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:08:49
Roosevelt University, Chicago, 8 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:08:54
Roosevelt University, Chicago, 8 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:09:27
Roosevelt University, Chicago, 8 June 2017

Agent George Stone (Andy Garcia) and accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) join the team. Their approach becomes successful and they are soon known as "The Untouchables". The first raid is on the post office across the street of the headquarters. These scenes were filmed at South LaSalle Street. The Rookery Building, left on the screenshots, has had multiple functions but was never a police office. In the background the Chicago Board of Trade Building can be seen. The post office in reality is the City National Bank and Trust Company Building.

The Untouchables, 0:34:29
South LaSalle Street, Chicago, 7 June 2017
The Untouchables, 0:34:42
City National Bank and Trust Company
Building, Chicago, 7 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:55:48
South LaSalle Street, Chicago, 7 June 2017

Union Station, Chicago,
7 June 2017
Looking for Walter Payne (Jack Kehoe), Al Capone’s bookkeeper, Eliot Ness and George Stone end up in a shoot-out at Union Station at 225 South Canal Street. Among the travellers, who have no idea what is going on, is a young mother trying to get her pram up the stairs. Eliot Ness wants to help her but at the same time the gunfight starts. The following scene, when the pram is rolling down the stairs, is an homage to the silent classic Battleship Potemkin (1925) by Sergei Eisenstein.
The station has two almost identical staircases that lead to the platforms. For the movie only the stairs on the right (as seen from the Great Hall) were used. The building opened its doors in 1925 and was designed by Daniel Burnham, also one of the architects of The Rookery Building. The train station is featured in several movies. There is a small exhibition in the Great Hall about the productions that were filmed here and travel in films in general.

The Untouchables, 1:26:24
Union Station, Chicago, 7 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:26:32
Union Station, Chicago, 7 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:27:11
Union Station, Chicago, 7 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:27:59
Union Station, Chicago, 7 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:32:15
Union Station, Chicago, 7 June 2017
The Untouchables, 1:33:06
Union Station, Chicago, 7 June 2017

Screenshots © Paramount Pictures

 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Honolulu HI, USA


 
The television series HAWAII FIVE-O is set on the island O'ahu, more particularly in Honolulu, the state capitol of Hawaii. Since 1959 Hawaii is the fiftieth state of the United States of America. This explains the title of the series, although the “O” should have been an “0”.

Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett
The show focuses on a state police force appointed by the governor and led by former US naval officer Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord). Their main task is to track spies and members of organized crime syndicates. The series was filmed on location, even though Hawaii did not have a movie industry. The first episode was broadcasted on 20 September 1968. In total 279 episodes were made during 12 seasons. Due to the success of the show, film studio’s were built that are still being used for film and television.
 
The opening title sequence, with its fast cutting and classic music by Morton Stevens, was created by director Reza S. Badiyi in 1968. A large number of locations in Honolulu are seen, some of which have hardly changed in the years that have passed.

The Aloha Tower was built as a lighthouse and is located at Pier 9 of the city’s harbor. The four-sided clock tower was designed by Arthur L. Reynolds and opened on 11 September 1926. For many years it was the tallest building of Hawaii. Visitors that arrived by boat in Honolulu first saw the tower and were greeted on the island in Hawaiian by the word “aloha”, seen on every side of the tower. Today the Aloha Tower is mainly visited for the observation deck.

Hawaii Five-O, season 1, episode 1, 0:00:13
Aloha Tower, Honolulu, 13 June 2017

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 2177 Puowaina Drive, a national cemetry for veterans, is situated in a bowl-shaped crater northeast of the city. It is seen for only a few moments in the opening credits when the camera zooms in on the memorial erected in 1964. In the centre stands the statue of Lady Columbia, a female figure representing all mourning mothers. During our visit the memorial was partly hidden behind a large tent.

Hawaii Five-O, season 1, episode 1, 0:00:26
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-O, season 1, episode 1, 0:00:27
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-O, season 1, episode 1, 0:00:27
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-O, season 1, episode 1, 0:00:28
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 13 June 2017

Statue King Kamehameha I,
Honolulu, 10 June 2017
During the final seconds of the opening credits of the pilot episode the statue of King Kamehameha I is shown. This bronze figure is located at 417 King Street and was casted in 1883 in Florence, Italy, after a design by the American sculptor Thomas Gould. It is a replica and was made shortly after the first statue was lost during a shipwreck near the Falkland Islands. The original was later recovered and now stands in Kohala on the island Hawaii.
King Kamehameha I is regarded as the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Other replicas of the statue are in Hilo (also on the island Hawaii), in Washington and in Las Vegas. On and around 11 June, Kamehameha Day, statues of the king are being decorated with leis, the traditional flower necklace.

Hawaii Five-O, pilot episode, 0:01:17
Statue King Kamehameha I, Honolulu, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-O, pilot episode, 0:01:18
Statue King Kamehameha I, Honolulu, 13 June 2017




Thirty years after the final episode of the original series had been broadcasted, a reboot of HAWAII FIVE-0 was launched, now with an “0” instead of an “O” in the title. In the first episode US naval officer Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) returns to Hawaii to investigate the murder of his father John McGarret (William Sadler). It was first shown on 20 September 2010, exactly 42 years after the pilot episode of the original series had been broadcasted.

The main actors posing in front of Honolulu and Diamond Head
During the investigation Steve McGarrett is being asked by the governor to head a new state police force. The three other members of his team are detectives Danny "Danno" Williams (Scott Caan) and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), and officer Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park) who just graduated from the police academy. These characters were also in the original series, with the exception that Kono is now being played by a woman.

Again Honolulu and the island of O’ahu are prominently featured in every episode. The fast cutting and famous music during the opening titles also remained. One of the first images is a view from the sky of Diamond Head, a volcanic cone close to Waikiki Beach. It can also be seen on both cast photos. While leaving Honolulu by aeroplane we were able to make a somewhat similar photo.

Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:05
Diamond Head, 19 June 2017

The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor marks the resting place of 1,102 people aboard the USS Arizona who were killed during the Japanese surprise attack on 7 December 1941. The battleship was never recovered and in 1962 the memorial was erected above its wreck. Every year more than two million people visit the 184 foot long structure.

Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:06
USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, 10 June 2017

Diamond Head and Honolulu are seen again when viewed from Tantalus Lookout. This view point can easily be accessed by car from Honolulu by following the Tantalus Drive.

Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:07
Honolulu view from Tantalus Lookout, 10 June 2017

Travelling between the islands is usually done by plane. Most flights are executed by Hawaiian Airlines. This airline also flies to destinations outside of Hawaii.

Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:20
Honolulu International Airport, 14 June 2017

Aliiolani Hale, Honolulu, 13 June 2017
The statue of King Kamehameha I, as seen in the pilot episode of the original series, appears in the opening credits of the new series together with Aliiolani Hale. Built between 1872 and 1874 as a palace for King Kamehameha V, today the Supreme Court of Hawaii resides in the building. In Hawaii Five-0 the palace is depicted as Iolani Palace, headquarters of the Five-0 task force. Finding a parking spot can be quite difficult in this area.

Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:23
Statue King Kamehameha I, Honolulu, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:23
Statue King Kamehameha I, Honolulu, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:24
Statue King Kamehameha I, Honolulu, 13 June 2017

The statue of Lady Columbia at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is filmed in the same way as in 1968. In three shots the camera zooms in on the face of the statue. The name Columbia originates from the explorer Christopher Columbus and personifies the Americas, similar to the statue of Liberty. The statue is 30 foot tall and was designed by Bruce Moon. In the series Steve McGarrett’s father John is a Vietnam War veteran buried near the statue.

Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:29
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:29
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 13 June 2017
Hawaii Five-0, season 1, episode 1, 0:05:29
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 13 June 2017

Of course, many other locations on O’ahu are seen in both series. About 20 miles north of Honolulu is the Kualoa Ranch, a cattle farm and nature reserve seen in many movies and television series. Visitors can explore several locations during a movie bus tour. A former World War II bunker has been transformed into several exhibition rooms. In episode 12 of the sixth season, “Ua ola loko i ke aloha (Love gives life within)”, Kono and Lou Grover (Chi McBride) discover a bunker used by Japanese spies during World War II. The scenes in the bunker were filmed in one of these rooms in October 2015 and are now part of the exhibition. The episode was first broadcasted on 15 January 2016.

Hawaii Five-0, season 6, episode 12, 0:13:53
Kualoa Ranch movie tour bunker, 12 June 2017
Screenshots and cast photos © CBS