Location Sleuth: ‘Double Indemnity’


Update: This is a post from 2006. The location was identified by Crime Buddy Nathan Marsak as Olive Street, with Philharmonic Auditorium and Pershing Square in the background.

Here’s a frame grab from the opening shots of “Double Indemnity.” According to the script, the car driven by Walter Neff speeds through an intersection, narrowly avoiding a delivery truck bearing the sign: “READ THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.”

But tinkering with the photo (the original is very dark, after all we are talking about film noir) shows that the truck apparently reads “Los Angeles Examiner.” Although it’s difficult to be positive, the elaborate “E” on the second line almost surely gives it away as the Examiner. It certainly isn’t the Los Angeles Times. Either way, it’s definitely a newspaper truck as bundles of papers tumble from the back when the driver slams on the brakes.

Here’s one of my favorite passages from the script, describing the Dietrichson house:

“Spanish craperoo in style, as is the house throughout. A wrought-iron staircase curves down from the second floor. A fringed Mexican shawl hangs down over the landing. A large tapestry hangs on the wall. Downstairs, the dining room to one side, living room on the other side visible through a wide archway. All of this, architecture, furniture, decorations, etc., is genuine early Leo Carrillo period. Neff has edged his way in past maid who still holds the door open.”

As for the location, my guess is Hill and 3rd Streets, across from Grand Central Market. Any other ideas?

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1944, Architecture, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Location Sleuth, Olive, Parks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Location Sleuth: ‘Double Indemnity’

  1. Mary Mallory says:

    The opening of the book says the house that Phyllis lives in is located in Hollywoodland, “one of those old Spanish houses falling down the hill….”

    Like

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