Should Married Men Go Home? - Location Shooting

Each of the three segments in SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME? called for exterior shooting. The residental neighborhood sequence was filmed in the Palms District near the intersection of Palms and Motor Avenues. Walking out the front door of the supposed happy Hardy household and turning right on Motor would have led one directly to the gate of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on Washington Boulevard.


The edifice across the street was a school, today modified and serving as Palms Elementary School. Motor Avenue was more often utilized by Bob McGowan's Our Gang unit. It is much changed at the end of the twentieth century (at the other end a few miles north Motor empties into the studio of Twentieth Century-Fox). The street has been widened, cars race back and forth between Culver City and Century City, and most of the cozy inviting bungalows have been replaced by commercial buildings and dingy apartments. Front yards, dirt paths, eucalyptus trees - all gone.

The cafe and soda fountain was a three-sided temporary structure on the front lawn of Hal Roach Studios facing Washington Boulevard. There was no such place as the Vista Golf club. It was just a sign hung over the main entrance of the ivy-covered studio administration building. Hal Roach could have watched the sequence being filmed from his office on the east side of that colonial-looking building.

Act three. When giants roamed the earth, where did they practice ship shots? The location for the mud-fest was not Rancho Park Golf Course, as some have speculated. As will be explained, Hal Roach may not have felt welcome at Wilshire Country Club. Lakeside Country Club, in the San Fernando Valley, was too far from the studio. And the most exclusive Los Angeles Country Club was definitely out of the question for filming. As an unwritten policy, for most of this century, actors were not accepted as members. Actors were not allowed on tees, fairways, or greens. Maybe as caddies.

By the mid-1980s, when Hal Roach began dating Frances (widow of Conrad) Hilton, who was a member there, the Los Angeles Country Club Membership Committee embraced a new egalitarian doctrine. Actors could join. Dignified, well behaved rich ones.

For SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME? the Laurel & Hardy company shot at Fox Hills Golf Club, not far from the studio. The site is now a shopping mall and flying mud is no longer a problem there.

-- by Richard W. Bann --