U Line

LARy 681 – Mayhem at the Movies

Posted on: June 2nd, 2014 by Pacific Electric 6 Comments
If you look closely at the window to the left of the motorman, the special effects people have drawn cracks in the window with some type of light-colored paint to make it look like it was damaged. Ralph Cantos Collection.

If you look closely at the window to the left of the motorman, the special effects people have drawn cracks in the window with some type of light-colored paint to make it look like it was damaged. Ralph Cantos Collection.

By Ralph Cantos

Its no secret that from about 1910 onward, Southern California's budding movie industry was very fond of LA's streetcars of both the Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railways. PE's Hollywood cars and LARy's "Standards" were known the world over from their countless appearances on the big screen.

In this photo from taken from the 1930 2-reel Laurel & Hardy comedy "Hog Wild," yet another Ford Model T is done in by the special effects department of Hal Roach Studios. From the research that I have done, I place the location of the "accident" on Estrella Avenue just north of 23rd Street in the West Adams District.

Estrella Avenue was traveled by the U Line cars. Much of this neighborhood where this scene was staged, was bulldozed away many decades ago by the construction of the 110 Harbor Freeway. Estrella Avenue was shortened by several blocks with the completion of the freeway.

Car #681, a Type B-2 Standard built around 1911, would live a long, productive life. It was retired just after the sale of the LARy to National (NASTY) City Lines in 1946. The 681 fared much then the Model T Ford used for this scene. Today, sister car #665 lives on at OERM.

Scroll ahead to about 17:40 to see the scene depicted above in the still image.

6 Responses

  1. Ralph Cantos

    June 2, 2014

    2 notes of interest on the L&H film. At time stamp 15:27, with Hardy atop the ladder, their FORD passes under the PE’s Santa Monica Air Line bridge at National Blvd. At time stamp 17:41 after the crash, 2 ladies and a policeman uncover their eyes, in front of The BANK OF CULVER CITY. This film was shot at several locations.

    Reply
  2. William A. Padron

    June 3, 2014

    Look carefully at this still, and its ID number”HR-433>FR”. It must mean that this one of the multi-language versions that Hal Roach Studios and Laurel & Hardy did for this film, plus many others in 1930-31. This still could be from the French version, and in addition to the regular American English edition, “Hog Wild” was filmed and spoken (not dubbed) also in Spanish and German. In the United Kingdom, it was titled “Aeriel Antics”.

    Reply
  3. Ralph Cantos

    June 3, 2014

    I have seen a few Laure & Hardy films where they both speak in beautiful Spanish.They were very smart men, just the opposite of the 2 guys they played in film..

    Reply
  4. Ernest Miller

    June 5, 2014

    The stunt Model T used in this shot is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

    Reply
  5. Kim Harrington

    June 5, 2014

    I’ve got the still photograph from HR studio of this image but without the steam seemingly coming from the car’s engine.
    Still have the stills Ralph and all up here in the studio!

    Reply
  6. Dave Hollander

    June 6, 2014

    This short twice has been shown twice at my ham radio club meeting because of the content – trying to put up a radio antenna. The club members loved it and went “Hog Wild” watching this.

    Reply

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