Thursday, November 19, 2015

John Bengtson uncovers Grim Game filming locations

John Bengtson, "the great detective of silent film locations," has a must-read post on his blog today about the shooting locations used in The Grim Game. Bengtson specializes in Buster Keaton and he's matched many of the locations from Keaton's films to the Houdini movie. This is a treasure trove of information!

Houdini and Keaton at the Bergstrom estate at 590 N. Vermont (SE corner of Vermont and Clinton).

The locations featured here are primarily Hollywood-based. Bengtson is going to follow-up with another post featuring the downtown locations, including the site of Houdini's rooftop straitjacket escape (the former Harbour Apartments).

I'm a big fan of John Bengtson. I have a signed copy of his book, Silent Echoes, and I've heard him speak. Having John tackle a Houdini movie is a dream come true. When I get the chance, I will snap and share pics of these locations as they appear today.

Thanks to Rick Schmidlin for the tip.



  1. Thank you John - looking over your posts reminded me that Buster actually quotes Houdini at the beginning of Cops. So Buster filmed Cops where Houdini filmed, AND quotes him in the same movie. A remarkable coincidence, or is there something deeper going on? Thanks again, John

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, John. You're right, it is odd that there's this connection between GG and Cops. Of course, Houdini and Buster knew each other. Maybe there is more to this than we know. Exciting! Can't wait for your next post.

  2. Fantastic! Looking forward to post on downtown locations and pics as they appear today.

  3. Thanks to photos from John Cox, I've updated my post to show a third common filming location between Cops and The Grim Game - this time on New High Street (now lost) beside the former LA County Court House (now lost).

    1. Sensational! Thanks John. Very excited to know the location of that wall. Shame it's no longer there.


  4. Today I had a chance to really dig into this post and start looking up some of these locations. I'm especially blown away by how John was able to uncover the Cahuenga alley location. How many times I've passed this by and never knew what it was! My Houdini tour of LA has been greatly improved. :)

  5. Thanks, John. Always enjoy your posts. Bengtson's sharp observations are an invaluable contribution to film history.



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