In 1938, the world was going through some tough times. War was brewing in Europe, and there was political instability. The Great Depression was hitting people hard. But amidst all this, something new was emerging in the United States: the film industry as an alternative to theater entertainment. One of the movies from that era is “The Girl Downstairs” directed by Norman Taurog. Let’s find out where they filmed this classic.
The Story of “The Girl Downstairs”
“The Girl Downstairs,” written by Sándor Hunyady, Felix Jackson, and Harold Goldman, features Franciska Gaal, Walter Connolly, and Franchot Tone. The story is about a wealthy playboy who tries to win the heart of a maid to get closer to the woman he’s really interested in. But things don’t go as planned – the maid falls in love with him.
Instead of focusing on the story, let’s look at where they filmed this movie during the golden age of cinema. This period was a time when people were focused on both entertainment and the state of the world because it was followed by World War II, which had a huge impact on the world. So, without further ado, let’s explore the filming locations of “The Girl Downstairs.”
The Girl Downstairs Filming Locations
This black-and-white film by Norman Taurog is only one of three movies Franciska Gaal made in America and the only one she did for Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios. The entire movie was filmed in the United States, specifically in California, the heart of the film industry. It was shot at the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios located on Washington Boulevard in Culver City.
About Franciska Gaal
An interesting fact about Franciska Gaal is that, during World War II, despite being Jewish, she went back to Hungary in 1940 and stayed there for the rest of the war. After the war, she starred in a Soviet-made film called “Renee XIV,” but that movie was never completed. When she returned to the US, she didn’t achieve the same level of success as before.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios
The Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios in Washington Boulevard, California, is where Norman Taurog created this delightful film that captures the spirit of its time. This studio was known for producing character-driven narratives that captivated the audience.
MGM Studios have a long history dating back to the silent film era. In 1923, three studios—Louis B. Mayer’s, Goldwyn Pictures, and Metro Pictures—merged to become MGM. Over the years, MGM produced a wide range of iconic films, from “Ben-Hur” to “James Bond,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “RoboCop,” “Rocky,” and “The Hobbit.” It is a powerhouse in the film industry.
The studio complex where “The Girl Downstairs” was filmed looked very different in its early days. It was like a large warehouse with equipment suitable for filmmakers of that era. However, over time, the studios have evolved and now belong to Sony Pictures. They have retained their cinematic charm and significance.
Culver City recognized the MGM Studio as a landmark in 1990. Today, it’s a massive complex that modern filmmakers can take advantage of, preserving the legacy of Hollywood’s spirit.