Bugs, Daffy, Porky and Mr. Leghorn in Cucamonga

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Sunday’s column (read it here) sets out to document mentions of Cucamonga in Looney Tunes cartoons. Hey, if anyone was ever going to do that, I knew it had to be me.

Above is a moment from “Raw! Raw! Rooster” (1956), a Western Onion telegram illustrating the little-known fact that one of the best-known Looney Tunes characters actually resided in Cucamonga. Is there a more famous celebrity with a Cucamonga connection?

Move over, Jack Benny. Maybe the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center needs a statue of Foghorn Leghorn.

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Liz Taylor in Upland, San Dimas


My Sunday column is about the two movies that Elizabeth Taylor is known to have filmed in part in the Inland Valley: “The Sandpiper” in San Dimas in 1964 and “Sweet Bird of Youth” in Upland in 1989.

The photo at left of Taylor and Charles Bronson is taken from the Poly Post’s coverage of “The Sandpiper” filming, which took place at the Pomona college’s San Dimas campus.

For posterity’s sake, below you can find thumbnail views of 1964 articles from the Pomona Progress-Bulletin (Oct. 1) and the Poly Post (Oct. 2) about “The Sandpiper” and two 1989 articles (April 30 and May 12) from the Ontario Daily Report about “Sweet Bird of Youth.” Click on the thumbnails for a large, readable view.

And a shout-out to Bruce Guter and Allan Lagumbay of the Pomona Public Library and Gena Sizoo of the Upland Public Library for finding and scanning the articles for me.

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Pomona paper thought ‘Wizard of Oz’ unfit for children


At left is the clipping referenced in today’s column about the June 16, 1939 preview of “The Wizard of Oz” at Pomona’s Fox Theater, two months before its premiere.

The writer, “O.H.K.,” seems to be kind of a fuddy-duddy as far as children are concerned. If even the tornado is too scary, we can imagine what he/she must have thought of the flying monkeys!

With the review’s criticism of how the movie, unlike the book, “leaves nothing to the imagination,” I can’t help but wonder, in all seriousness, if the writer was a teacher or children’s librarian who wasn’t keen on movies to begin with.

Note that “songstress” Judy Garland attended the preview screening. Another celebrity sighting for the Fox record books!

Here’s a link to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz website also cited in my column. It’s a lot of fun to poke around on — the FAQ section contains lots of fascinating tidbits, and in a very readable way. This link is to the portion of the FAQs about its premiere, outtakes, flubs and initial reception.

The Internet Movie Database has a good trivia section on the movie too.

A tip of the Tin Man’s metal cap to Fox co-owner Ed Tessier for providing a copy of the clipping. The library’s microfilm collection is missing that portion of 1939 and so are the Daily Bulletin’s archives.

* Curious about the “jitterbug” scene cut from the movie prior to Pomona? Reader Derek Deason found a short video clip giving an idea of what was cut.

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Pomona in ‘Race to Witch Mountain’

The new Disney sequel apparently has a sequence filmed at Pomona’s Fairplex, although you likely won’t recognize it.

One of the Fairplex exhibition halls was used as the site of a science fiction convention — “UFO Space Expo 9” — visited by Dwayne Johnson’s cab driver character and two teenage fares who are more than they appear. Johnson weaves through attendees dressed in Stormtrooper and alien costumes, booths hawking geeky merchandise and a UFO karaoke machine after the teens wander away from him.

I imagine hijinx ensues. Anyone see the movie?

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Mickey in Pomona

No, not Mickey Gallivan of the Pomona Historical Society — Mickey Mouse.

John Clifford of Pomona found the cartoon “Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip” on YouTube. The 1940 cartoon begins with Mickey and Pluto attempting to board a train in Burbank (“Elevation 16 3/4 Feet,” says the sign on the depot). At the end of the cartoon, the conductor throws them off the moving train.

“Gosh, Pluto, I wonder how far it is to Pomona?” Mickey asks, dazedly. Then he looks up and sees the sign on the depot: “Pomona, Elevation 6 3/4 Feet.” He squeaks: “Pomona! Hey, we’re here!”

Or as the German Dutch subtitles in this version render the conversation: “Jeetje, hoe verzou ‘t zijn naar Pomon…Pomona. We zijn er.”

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