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St. Louis on the screen

Musicals, drama, action--St. Louis can be seen in films and television programs of every genre.  Some were nominated for awards.

Bringing up Oscar : the story of the men and women who founded the academy
Debra Ann Pawlak.
New York : Pegasus Books, 2011.
The founders of the now infamous Academy were a motley crewas individuals, but when they first converged in Hollywood, thenjust a small town with dirt roads, sparks flew and fueled a commondream: to bring artistic validity to their beloved new medium. Today, movies are so ingrained in our culture it is hard to imagine a time when former cowpunchers, prospectors, vaudevillians,even junk dealers made up the rules as they went along. Prohibitionand the Great Depression were keeping everyone on edge, and thebusiness was rife with murders and drug scandals. Somethinghad to happen. And so on January 11th, 1927, thirty-six members of Hollywood's elite and not-so-elite came together at thebehest of MGM chief Louis B. Mayer. From Cecil B. DeMille toMary Pickford, Harry M. Warner, who owned a bike shop beforelaunching the revolutionary “talkie” The Jazz Singer, even JosephM. Schenck, freed from jail just in time to discover Marilyn Monroe-each guest was more colorful than the last. Although theydidn’t know it yet, these thirty-six achievers and dreamers gavebirth to a golden child. Who were these movers and shakers who would change moviesforever? And what about Oscar, their famous son? He is fast approaching his 100th birthday, and is still the undisputed king of Hollywood. Yet with such dynamic parents, what else could weexpect?
     
Murder at the Academy Awards : a red carpet murder mystery
Joan Rivers ; with Jerrilyn Farmer.
New York : Pocket Star, c2009.
A just-back-from-rehab starlet drops dead while entering the Academy Awards, and the only ones who can solve the crime are Maxine (Max) Taylor and her daughter Drew, fun and thinly disguised versions of Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa. Oscar night. The Kodak Theatre. Hollywood. The red carpet is out and Max and Drew are on the job - mikes in hand. Suppose hot young actress, Halsey Hamilton, is trying to reform her image after a bad year of too much partying. She's moved herself, semi-permanently, into rehab. Imagine Halsey's triumphant sober return to Hollywood as she marches up the red carpet, bypassing all the other camera crews, and heads straight for Max. Alas, what if she doesn't exactly march so much as stagger? And then fall down at Max's feet, clutching the bottom of Max's divine Michael Kors gown? Is this a case of one of the most public overdoses on record? Or is it murder?
     
Murder at the Academy Awards : a red carpet murder mystery
by Joan Rivers with Jerrilyn Farmer.
New York : Pocket Books, c2009.
From the woman who pioneered the dishy Oscar night interview comes a fabulous red carpet roman clef that blends the classic whodunit with a dash of celebrity glitz, glamour, and, of course, gossip.
     

How many have you seen?  Did you recognize the Gateway City?

Meet me in St. Louis – Actually this delightful musical that helped turn Judy Garland from star to superstar was filmed at the MGM studios at California.  The story is a loosely biographical look at author Sally Benson's move to New York from St. Louis at the time of the 1904 World’s Fair. Opening night for the film was in St. Louis on November 22, 1944.  It would go on to receive several Academy Award nominations. 

The great robbery of Southwest Bank in 1953

Great St. Louis bank robbery – St. Louisans in the cast included actual police officers, bank customers and area residents who were involved in the Southwest Bank robbery.  Locales from the south Kingshighway area were used.  The film, released in 1959 is considered to be one of the last noir films. Steve McQueen fans loved this one.

Escape from New YorkKurt Russell’s action film from the 1980s included scenes at St. Louis’ Union Station, the Chain of Rocks Bridge, and sections of East St. Louis. 

American Flyers – Another film from the ‘80s with ties to St. Louis, American Flyers, starred Kevin Costner.  Laclede’s Landing is seen at the beginning of the film and later the Jefferson Arms is one of the character’s apartment building. 

White Palace – The ‘White Knight Diner’ at 18th and Olive Streets in St. Louis is the ‘White Palace' in this 1990 spring/autumn romantic film staring James Spader and Susan Sarandon

The cameras roll in front of St. Ambrose Church

Game of their lives – Filming took place on St. Louis’ ‘The Hill’ for this still unreleased film based on the true story of the 1950 U.S. World Cup soccer team.  Thousands of people answered the casting call hoping to be chosen as extras.  Scenes were shot in several local locations including Berra Park. 

Likely story. Red carpet riot
David Van Etten.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
It’s award night—will Mallory make it down the red carpet? When we last left Mallory, her first show had just aired to rave ratings; her conniving mother was engaged to her dreaded producer boyfriend, Richard; she wasn’t sure if her boyfriend, Keith, would stick by her; and the school secretary had some unwelcome news about her student status. Now, just when her show gets a Daytime Emmy nomination, she’s got to fend off sneaky saboteurs, decide between Keith and Dallas, her show’s hunky star, break off her mother’s engagement, and pass gym class! Hang on for a wild ride that takes us to the end of Mallory’s story, and maybe her rope, as the Emmy Awards inch closer and closer and she’s got to do-sido as fast as she can to keep up. From the Hardcover edition.
     

John Larroquette Show—Actor John Larroquette played John Hemingway in this TV series set at a fictional St. Louis long distance bus terminal.  The series ran from 1993-1996.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff