This is an establishing shot from the 1942 feature “China Girl,” which was obviously filmed in the Bradbury Building. Or was it?
[Update: If this is a set, as it appears to be, where did Twentieth Century-Fox build it? People talk about the height of the set for "Rear Window," but this interior appears to be three or possibly four stories tall -- although I would imagine there could have been some trickery involved, like forced perspective or matte shots. A puzzlement.]
Here are some shots set in the bar. Notice the registration desk in the background.
Here’s the entrance to the bar, showing the registration desk and a half-flight of stairs.
This is the registration desk….
And here’s an overall shot of the lobby. I got to wondering whether this is a set. It seems to be too big for the Bradbury lobby.
For comparison, here are photos I took of Marion Eisenmann’s class in the Bradbury lobby last year. Look how much narrower it is.
When I saw this ironwork, I was sure this was the Bradbury building. But wait a minute….
And here’s a shot of the actual ironwork.
Uh-oh. They don’t match.
So what about this shot? It looks like the Bradbury Building, with the elevator in the background. But it wouldn’t make sense to film most of the scenes on a set and go to the Bradbury for a couple of pickup shots.
This looks like the Bradbury Building… but is it?
And how about this shot?
In this sequence, the space looks far too large to be the atrium of the Bradbury Building.
I’m really starting to think this is a set.
There is no way this could be the atrium of the Bradbury Building. It looks to me like a set by art directors Richard Day and Wiard B. Ihnen with set decoration by Thomas Little and Walter M. Scott.
[Update: For comparison, here’s a shot from “The White Cliffs of Dover.” Notice how much narrower the atrium appears in this shot.]
Another good story ruined!