Harold Lloyd on Location: Santa Fe Station


John Bengston emailed the other day to mention his research on Harold Lloyd’s filming locations in conjunction with the recent Lloyd festival on TCM. John pointed out that “Safety Last” and “Cops” used the same alley.

I DVR’d just about everything that aired and in going through “Now or Never” (1921), I noticed some shots of the old Santa Fe depot, with its distinctive roof (shown above in a postcard).

'Now or Never"
Here’s the arriving trains with the depot in the background.

"Now or Never"

And the boarding area.

"Now or Never"
Notice that Lloyd is wearing a glove on his right hand to conceal his injuries (he lost his right thumb and index finger when a “fake” bomb exploded while he was posing for a publicity photo in 1919).

"Now or Never"

And here we have someone else in a close-up, standing in for Lloyd.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1921, Architecture, Location Sleuth, Transportation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Harold Lloyd on Location: Santa Fe Station

  1. That was a closely guarded secret about Harold’s missing fingers. I used to be a tour guide at the Harold Lloyd Estate (Yes, tours used to be conducted of Greenacres after Harold passed away) and I saw his leather golf glove specially designed without a thumb and only with three finger sleeves. It’s amazing when you consider he did his own stunts with a hand that didn’t have a thumb and only with three fingers. He was quite the acrobat.


    • lmharnisch says:

      It’s really amazing to watch some of the stunts in “Now or Never.” Obviously some of them were done on sets that look remarkably realistic (like the undercarriage of a railroad car). Still they are impressive.


  2. Cal and Lulu says:

    We have never seen a photo of the Santa Fe Station. Was the new Union Station built on the same site, or was the Santa Fe Station located somewhere else?


    • lmharnisch says:

      No…. Union Station was built on the site of what used to be Chinatown. The Santa Fe depot was (surprise) on Santa Fe Avenue at 1st Street. Although a “union station” had been proposed as early as about 1905-1907, the railroads wanted their own stations and fought the notion of a “union station.” (Union Station was originally supposed to be somewhere else, but one of the railroads took the land for its own station. It was a complicated process.)


  3. Hi Larry – the movie Now or Never also has scenes filmed at the lost Chatsworth station. Now or Never ends with Harold running on the roof of the train to avoid going into a train tunnel – they used the east portal of Tunnel 28 in Chatsworth, the one that runs under Topanga Canyon Blvd. beside Stoney Point.


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