Thursday, January 07, 2010

Guilted into it (by me)

I just found out about a great blog called San Pedro: Block By Block that is so great it guilted me into posting just by existing!

This is my first San Pedro Magazine column, published in March 2008, mostly verbatim. I need to re-buy, so I'll swap out that link, and I'll put my main email instead of thispedrothing [at] yahoo because I never check that one anyway.

I'm going to bed now, but I'll put up images later when I get up.

Here's the thing: If you live in Pedro (as I do) and you watch movies and TV (guilty) you begin to notice a certain phenomenon. It didn't become really clear to me until I was visiting relatives in Springfield, MO. We were watching TV and in the space of a half-hour I must've seen San Pedro on the screen five or six times! It dawned on me that although this is a common experience for a San Pedran it doesn't happen too often to people in, say, Springfield, MO. I asked if there had ever been a movie filmed in Springfield an got the answer, "Yeah, they filmed one here, once." I know almost everybody in Pedro can name at least two movies filmed here off the top of their heads, and that is what inspired me to start documenting movies shot in Pedro at, and now here in San Pedro Magazine!

I'll start with one of my favorite Pedro movies, The Big Lebowski. This 1998 Coen Brothers picture starred Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi. It is a fantastic modern-day riff on film noir, inverting many of the cliches and characters of detective fiction. Jeff Bridges plays "The Dude", a pot-smoking bowler who finds himself drawn into a web of intrigue he never asked for. The plot is convoluted (in a good way), but I'm not going to rehash it here; I just want to give away the ending.

The movie closes on a scene shot at a San Pedro landmark: the cliffs of Sunken City are instantly recognizable to locals, but are hard to place for folks from out of town. The Dude (Bridges) and Walter (Goodman) come to Sunken City to dispose of the remains of their friend and bowling team partner, Donny (Buscemi). They bring his ashes in a large coffee can, and after a few words, Walter casts Donny's remains to the winds... which are blowing directly in The Dude's face. He gets angry at the ashes and Walter's needlessly politicized eulogy, but Walter apologizes and calms him down by saying, "Hey, fuck it, man. Let's go bowling." It's a tender moment.

Phillip Ginder is a Longshoreman and film enthusiast who has lived in San Pedro all his life. He can be contacted at devodobbs at the domain yahoo dot you know what.


Monday, March 23, 2009

The blog that is never updated

Ok- San Pedro Magazine folded, and my column moved to San Pedro Today for one issue, until the editor dropped me because I couldn't make deadlines (did he not notice how often this blog was updated?). I still haven't been paid for that last one, btw. I'm gonna start putting my "money makin'" columns up here, every so often. Please comment on them and any other older posts that interest you.

I gotta go to bed now...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hello, new readers!

I haven't mentioned it here, but I'm now doing a monthly column based on this site for San Pedro Magazine (I don't think they have a website). This may or may not mean that I'll be updating more often. In the meantime, feel free to browse the archives of Pedro movies linked on the right, there, and leave comments or questions about the movies or the site.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Pearl Harbor

Here are the last few Pedro moments in Pearl Harbor. In this scene, Japan is played by one of the dissappearing-gun emplacements at Battery Osgood/Farley.
It isn't as ironic as it could be I guess, because although they were (or would have been) used as defense against Japan, they were built back in 1919, considerably before WWII. Osgood/Farley will definitely show up on this blog in the future. Watch for it!

Here's a non-Pedro image for you:
The kid with the hat that says "Joe" on it is my brother-in-law Jake. He did live in Pedro when he was in this movie, so I guess there's a connection there.

I'll end this post with another non-Pedro image:

I don't know about you, but I find this hilarious. This isn't from an outtake, this was in the movie itself! They neglected to insert the sky. Way to go, Michael Bay.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Pearl Harbor

Okay, here's a post, at long last. Pearl Harbor was directed by Michael Bay, which isn't a reccomendation, but a warning. Avoid this movie at all costs. These shots are the first appearance of Pedro in the movie, where it doubles as Hawaii. That's the Warner Grand on 6th St., built in 1931. Enjoy, but stay away from this movie! I'll show you more shots of Pedro from this piece of dreck in my next post which will be soon. I swear.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Now that I've successfuly driven away my "audience", let me say that I do plan on adding more entries to this... "blog". I don't guarantee more than one post a month, but I'll try to do at least that.

We'll see.

Promise: one more actual movie post this year.

I swear.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Chinatown was written by San Pedro native Robert Towne and directed by Roman Polanski in 1974. It's been on many "best of all time lists" and is probably one of the best movies shot in Pedro (according to movie critcs, so take it with a grain of salt.)

These scenes were shot in the Point Fermin/Sunken City area, and you can see Walker's Cafe in this first shot.
Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) tails Hollis Mulwray (Darrel Zwerling) to where water is secretly being let into the sea. You can see the pipe in the second picture.

The Point Fermin lighthouse is visible in the third pic, where Detective Loach and Lieutenant Escobar accompany Jake down to the cliffs to see the water drain out, but that never happens. This doesn't make those officers too happy.


Welcome again!

Hello to any visitors I have via the More San Pedro article about this site! I'll be putting up some more stuff later today, so look around, and feel free to check back periodically.

Films I have sreencaps from already (that aren't on the site yet):

Alex & Emma (Ports o' Call)
Being John Malkovich (47 Freeway, Schuyler Heim bridge)
Beverly Hills Ninja (steaming pile of... ahem, Sunken City)
Chinatown (Pt. Fermin Park, Walker's)
Gone In Sixty Seconds (2000) (Terminal Island, Vincent Thomas Bridge, old Passenger Terminal)
Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) (Terminal Island, V. T. Bridge)
Knight Rider (First TV show, definitely not the last!) (9th and Pacific)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (47 Freeway, Schuyler Heim bridge)
Out Cold (Little known murder farce, mostly shot in Pedro!) (7th St., Terminal Island)
Swing Shift (Grand Cottages, 9th St., Sunken City)
The Rock (Sunken City, Battery Farley, 37th & Carolina, 7th & Center)
Truck Turner (7th & Beacon, "City Hall")

If you have any suggestions, especially TV shows and older stuff (Tarzan! King Kong! Modern Times!) let me know in the comments section, or via email: devodobbs (at ) yahoo (dot) com.

If you have specific scene info, that also would be helpful.