Friday, September 12, 2008

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You. The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan ("Fargo", "No Country For Old Men"), are filming another movie. This one is set in the 1960s in their hometown, St. Louis Park, Minnesota. As someone who's lived in the Twin Cities all her life, I can tell you it wasn't easy finding the past preserved. My 1925 bungalow looks much the same as it did when it was built, but the tear-down trend has changed the look of my block forever. Luckily, a neighborhood just blocks from my old Junior High school in Bloomington was found to be little changed from the 1960s, and will stand-in for the St.Louis Park area where the Coens grew up. Even the trees were a consideration because they would not have been the towering umbrellas of shade (seen in mature neighborhoods) back then.

On the first day of filming (see sign), the whole street of retro houses was blocked off, but I spotted a line of '60s cars one block over and stopped to talk to the drivers.
These are the owners of the cars, hired to drive by when needed. They told me they had been waiting since was now 4PM. Such is the life of an actor, except these guys are local car buffs, NOT actors. We talked about how Minnesota doesn't do enough to attract film-makers here, and how Arnold Schwarzenegger is NOT even 6 feet tall (I saw him in person when he was filming "Jingle All The Way" just blocks from my house). They got their clothes from wardrobe, and those patches on their knees read "driver".

Only my brothers can tell me what all these car models are (D or C - are you reading this?)

It's just great to see the old license plate designs...takes me back to my child/teen years. Many owners of classic cars buy special permanent collectors plates, so it's not all movie props.

EDIT: C sent this via email:

Hi Cheryl, I don't know years like maybe D will, but here's what I see: In the bottom picture I think the yellow one is a Ford Galaxie, in front of it might be an Oldsmobile but I can't tell for sure. In the foreground is a blue 1965 Dodge but I don't know the model. The picture above it has a blue Mercury Cougar and behind it I think is a Pontiac GTO. The picture above that has a 1965 Rambler Classic and the car I couldn't identify. I don't have any photo software on this computer (my old one) but maybe if you use something you have you may be able to zoom in a bit and read some of the lettering on some of the cars if D doesn't know them just by looking. C

And from D:

C got them pretty close. I would have to look them up on the internet to know the exact year and model. I think the Cougar is a 68 and the GTO is a 66 or 67. The red one in the top picture is a 61 Olds


Danyelle Kessler said...

My experience in "muscle cars" does not lie in my ability to identify them....well, from the outside. If I had to guess, that electric blue is a Dodge Challenger and I thought I saw a T-Bird. You live in an beautiful town.

cheryl said...

Thanks, Danyelle! Don't tell anyone (about my beautiful town) - 3 million people in the metro area is enough! But seriously, it's a great place to visit.