Tuesday, December 20, 2016

THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD (1974)

Originally broadcast on CBS on Feb. 2, 1974, THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD is a largely forgettable film except for the better-than-the-story-deserves cast and the fact that the majority of the movie was filmed on MGM's legendary backlot (Lot 2 to be exact) right before it was sold and razed!

Mirroring real life events (MGM was in dire financial trouble back in the 1970's), a once legendary movie studio is in dire financial trouble and must sell off some of their backlot to stay afloat.  Trouble comes when a mysterious masked "phantom", who lives on the backlot, catches wind of this news and starts killing everybody.  He even kidnaps a studio exec's daughter.  In order to flush him out of hiding, the studio starts bulldozing everything.

Medium pace, interesting cast (John Ireland, Peter Lawford, Jackie Coogan, Broderick Crawford, Peter Haskell, Jack Cassidy), average acting (John Ireland is the best of the lot), various film clips from stuff like GRAND HOTEL, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935) and DINNER AT EIGHT, dumb as hell ending.  

As a classic Hollywood fan, THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD was bittersweet because it really was neat seeing all of those cool old Hollywood sets, but then seeing them destroyed kinda hurt.  Still, I'm glad I watched it.
The building facade in the above and below pictures appears to be the same, but yet nothing else matches.