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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Changeling Articles


The boy claiming to be Walter Collins poses with Christine Collins, Aug. 18, 1928
Note: Typepad's indexing feature is a little off. Here are the "Changeling" stories appearing in the Daily Mirror:

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Comments (2)

Thank You for posting this almost forgotten tragedy on the internet !


I haven't posted a comment on the Daily Mirror blog for nearly a year. I used to comment here quite often for two years.

I've been away in a salt mine doing slave labor.

Just saw the movie "Changeling" on DVD on HD widescreen for the first time. After I watched it, I reviewed the old L.A. Times material that was posted on this blog.

A lot of artistic license was taken with the actual story in the movie. A key personality in the real story (being Gordon Northcott's mother) is not in the movie that is shown from old Times articles here as having a major role in what transpired.

They also took a lot of license with the Los Angeles Skyline of 1928. For one, the Downtown Federal Courthouse wasn't built until 1939. Also, given the locations of City Hall, The Federal Courthouse and the Hall of Justice, the hills and mountains were on the wrong side of Downtown Los Angeles. In the movie they are on the southeast of downtown. In actuality, as anybody in L.A. would know, they are to the north of downtown.

Detective Lester Ybarra is in one of the old pictures and looks VERY different from the Lester Ybarra in the movie. (A delicate way of saying he looked Mexican in the old picture but was played by an "Anglo" actor in the movie.)

It's a very good movie, well worth seeing. Recommended viewing for L.A. Noir Film buffs. Even with the idealized and fictionalized Los Angeles of 1928 and 1935.

My favorite scene was the final long take of the busy Downtown L.A. street from a stationary camera that moves up to a level a little higher than a second story window over the street. City Hall is in the distance at the far end of the street. Christine Collins is walking away with her back to the camera. The credits begin running. She goes down the street a block and a half, passing under a theatre marquee for "It Happened One Night" and disappears around a distant corner maybe a full minute after the beginning of the scene. The scene continues for another two minutes showing traffic and people walking on the 1935 Los Angeles Street scene. A great scene IMO. Christine Collins has disappeared but life goes on in Los Angeles. Classic L.A. Noir Shot.

Reminded me of the ending of "Mildred Pierce" for some reason.


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