SCV In the Movies | Episode 25: King Kelly Of The U.S.A.
Monogram Pictures 1934
The Santa Clarita Valley plays the tiny kingdom of Belgardia in this weird musical comedy from Trem Carr’s Monogram Pictures. We don’t know all of the places it was shot, but some of the exteriors were shot at Carr’s ranch in Placerita Canyon — which, in 1934, was located just east of present-day Highway 14, where Walt Disney later established his Golden Oak Studios.
Directed by Leonard Fields (1900–1973), “King Kelly” features singer/showman Guy Robertson in his only known film role as James W. Kelly. Better known to movie fans are some of the supporting cast members, including Irene Ware (1929’s Miss USA; there was no Miss America then) as the love interest; and the busy character actors Ferdinand Gottschalk as King Maximilian and Edgar Kennedy as Happy Moran.
Carr is the producer, and as usual for a Monogram picture of this period, Ernie Hickson, as art director, was responsible for dressing the sets.
ABOUT E.J. STEPHENS
E.J. Stephens is a noted Hollywood historian, author, lecturer and tour guide. An Indiana native, E.J. has lived for 10 years in the Santa Clarita Valley with his wife Kimi and their two children, Mariah and Dylan.
By day, E.J. can be found in Burbank on the Warner Bros. Studios lot where he is a tour guide and an audience coordinator on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show. When not giving tours at the studio, E.J. and Kimi host tours of their own for their Newhall-based company, Newhallywood Tours.
E.J. has co-written four books on subjects ranging from the history of Warner Bros. and Paramount to Griffith Park and the Santa Clarita Valley (the latter with Kimi and Dr. Alan Pollack). The trio is currently working on another SCV history book titled “Then & Now: The Santa Clarita Valley,” scheduled to hit the shelves in early 2014.
ABOUT BILL WEST©2012 SCVTV
Bill West is a movie nut who serves on the board of Friends of Hart Park, gives tours of the Hart Mansion and maintains the Friends’ website.
In his spare time, Bill writes software for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he has contributed to Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and other attractions. Previously, he wrote software at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Bill enjoys lounge music and he plays the drums for pickup bands. He lives in Santa Clarita with his Realtor (his wife Liliana) and their son Josh. Pets include Maya the Mutt, Luigi the Canary, and a cat whose name he can’t pronounce but is Polish for “kitty.”