Official Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour and Theme Park History (1984)Jul 19, 2023
(upbeat music) - This is Universal Studios, one of the largest and busiest film and television
in the world. Join us on our guided
in the world. Join us on our guided
tourand see how the excitement and magic of movies is created. Our shiny tram is charging and we are about to embark on a journey into fantasy and adventure. (upbeat music) - Our
tourguide is Julie. Here's a good look at Universal's amazing back lot, where we take a closer look at what goes on behind the scenes in the world of film. (upbeat music) - What's blocking our way? I think we should film here. - Enough, stupid people.
You have entered a Cylon combat zone. You are now our prisoners, advance immediately. - I really don't think we should go into that spaceship. On second thought, maybe we should do it. - This group of very strange looking Earthlings were caught while attempting a sneak attack on our battleship. - Foolish mortals, your fate is sealed. What is the standing order of your ruling leader? - By your order, the total annihilation of the form of life known as man. - Our position here has been discovered. More people can follow and prepare for the uprising. - 10, 9, 8, 7, 6. - In the name of the 12 colonies of man, I demand the liberation of the people. (laser gun shot) - Get out of here, I'll be fine. (laser shots) - Thanks to our brave colonial warrior, we survived the battle of Galactica.
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official universal studios hollywood studio tour and theme park history 1984...
It's not every day you have to save yourself from alien invaders firing laser guns. Hey, there's a house on fire. It doesn't actually burn. The flames are real, of course, but no part of the house will ever catch fire. This is just one great example of movie special effects and just one of many we'll see on our tour of the
studio. We're on our way to the front section of Universal, between the large sound stages where indoor filming takes place. There are 35 of these giant buildings here. The largest is about the size of a football field.
But our first stop is a small bungalow. The lady has won a rack full of Academy Awards during her illustrious career. Edith Head was the film's main costume designer for over 40 years. Models from several of her films, including "The Sting," are on display, and here we've reconstructed her design studio. (upbeat music) - Our next stop is the special effects stage presented by Eastman Kodak Company. This is where the magic really begins and you will see how important imagination is when making a film. In the 1930s, when both movies and audiences were a little less sophisticated than they are now, a model like this was used for Buck Roger's spaceship.
He sailed through the galaxy with s
parks and smoke and everyone was sure that was what the ship should look like. In "Battlestar Galactica" and other recent space adventure films, the hardware was much more sophisticated. No one had ever seen a dinosaur before, but these highly detailed models were built on articulated frames so they could be moved one frame at a time and filmed in a very convincing prehistoric battle scene. But realism is not always the goal of special effects specialists. Sometimes they just like to surprise us. In his extravagant comedy "1941," director Steven Spielberg made great use of elaborate miniatures like this amusement
parkwith its hundreds of tiny light bulbs.
After complex optical work in the laboratory, the model of this ship will apparently glide through the depths of space. Only in the most recent versions of the adventures did Buck Rogers travel first class. By the way, our actors here are members of our own touring group. Back aboard the shiny tram, we continued our tour of the studio. (upbeat music) - We travel through the main prop warehouse. It is over an acre in size and contains over 5 million props. The largest collection in the industry. This is the back area where we do a lot of our outdoor filming.
Many film scenes of city life were filmed here on Brownstone Street. Including "Lady Sings The Blues" and "The Sting," which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1973. Nearby New York Street stood in for Los Angeles in "Earthquake." And for East Berlin in "Torn Curtain." It was New York in the '20s in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." We covered this entire back section with black plastic sheeting for all the night scenes in "Streets of Fire." I'm so sorry we have to cross that old bridge. I worry every time we cross. It has never been very resilient and now it seems to be falling apart. (cracking bridge) (cracking bridge) (falling tram) (cracking bridge) - I guess I should tell you that this bridge isn't old at all.
It was built in 1974 and thanks to the good work of our special effects crew, it immediately collapses and then reassembles for the next tram. We will have a short break here in stutplaza. Good place to stretch your muscles and take some photos. Here you'll see some giant props from "The Amazing Shrinking Woman" and other movies. We resumed our tour on the glamorous tram just in time to get caught in a downpour, Hollywood style, of course. Look, it's a flash flood. But even the falling of the tree is part of the animated action. Our flood is created when 10,000 gallons of water are released from large tanks on the hill above.
The water will be pumped back into the tanks in approximately 90 seconds and will be ready for when the next flash flood is needed. (upbeat music) - The live barn, where Mae West saved WC Fields from lynching in "My Little Chickadee," is still here. And so is part of the hanging rope. These buildings are some of the oldest complexes on the site. We call this area Six Points because six separate streets meet here. Originally, each street represented a western town complete with its own bank, sheriff's office, and saloon. In the silent era, six different Western epics could be filmed here at the same time.
Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart made westerns on these streets. For 1965's "Shenandoah," we had plenty of extras here. We never actually did a survey, but we think it's probably the thinnest church in the world. Wow, there's a submarine. Wondering if he's one of us? It certainly seems like we're watching. But it's crazy. Who ever heard of a submarine torpedoing one of Universal's glamorous trains? But look, they launched a torpedo at us. (Torpedo explodes) - Well, they missed us, but believe me, our problems are not over yet. Now our path is blocked by water.
But since this is Universal's version of the Red Sea, we should probably get to work and break it up. Director Cecil B. DeMille had a lot more trouble than that when he parted the Red Sea not once but twice in Paramount's two versions of "The Ten Commandments" in 1923 and 1956. (upbeat music)-And the waters close behind us. Just like they're supposed to. Now you can say that the Red Sea parted for you and you walked through it without getting wet at all. In this section of the back lot, everything seems a little strange and deliberate. This is Little Europe. (Upbeat music) - By simply changing shop signs, accessories and cars, we can turn this area into a small town in almost any European country.
Both Frankenstein's monster and Dracula terrorize the townspeople. "All Quiet on the Western Front," the 1929 Oscar-winning film and dozens of other movies and television shows were partially filmed on these cobblestone streets. (upbeat music) (train whistle) - It looks like we'll have to stop for the train, but hey, we're not stopping. Let's chase him. Ah, Friendship Island. The name sounds so nice. Things will surely be a little quieter here in this sleepy New England coastal town. But I'd be guilty if I didn't tell you it's the town of Amity, terrorized by that ferocious great white shark in "Jaws," one of the industry's biggest moneymakers of all time.
We've tried to catch the shark, but I'm afraid it's still out there. There is. Hey look. It looks like we could be next. (intense music) (soft music) - This was once the famous home of "The Munsters", a popular television series from a few seasons ago. We enter Colonial Street. All of these houses look very real until you discover that they are just shells or even facades used only for exterior filming. It's a nice neighborhood. At one time or another, for film or television, Doris Day, Beaver Cleaver, Dr. Marcus Welby, the Hardy boys and, years ago, Deanna Durbin lived here.
Probably our most famous resident was "Bedtime for Bonzo" star Ronald Reagan. (soft music) - Nearby, rising ominously against the sky, is the dark, spooky house used in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." A perfect setting for the master of suspense to film in his own way, disturbing and very special. The same house was used again in the recent sequel, "Psycho II." I bet you didn't realize, but we were climbing steadily. The elevation here is more than 10,000 feet, by far the highest point on the site. The only way to get here safely across the glacier on the other side of the mountain is through the ice tunnel ahead.
This road is often affected by avalanches. So we will have to be careful. (wolf howl) (crowd screams) - There's the end of the tunnel. Looks like we're going to make it after all. (upbeat music) - We started giving tours as early as 1919. These scenes were filmed in the 1920s, when apparently not everyone could get a seat on trams. Carl Laemmle, then president of Universal Studios, had bleachers installed so tourists could watch films in progress. The arrival of sound changed all that and tours were suspended. Universal revived them in the early '60s. The studio was large and busy even in those early days, producing comedies, dramas and westerns that thrilled and delighted audiences around the world.
Today we look very different, but we would like to think that we are still doing exactly the same thing. Not far from where we got off the tram is the recently expanded Universal Amphitheater. This theater draws crowds at night, when showbiz superstars perform here in concert. Up here, near where our tram tour began, is the famous Universal Studio entertainment center. Here you will find a wide variety of interesting shops, restaurants and live entertainment. There is a film and television museum displaying unusual props and memorabilia from historic films of Hollywood's past. These are rare items that you won't see anywhere else.
In this little guy's case, that's for the best. The collection of beautiful vintage film cameras is unique. In our Screen Test Comedy Theater we present one of the craziest and funniest chase scenes ever created. We cast about 35 people from the audience to play the lead roles. The show begins with a bank robbery in the Old West. (upbeat music) - The criminals escape and our camera crew films them riding mechanical horses as the painted landscape rolls behind them. From this point on, the plot becomes so hopelessly complex that it defies summary. The bad guys are cornered and jump into a river, taking with them the canvas bag containing their loot.
Nothing is spared to bring you a spectacular production. And along with our leaky rowboats and stunt planes, you're sure to see top-notch comedy talent. A recorded version of the entire hilarious prank is shown to the audience on the theater's television monitors. The show ends with a flat cake fight of classical proportions. Our animal actor stage features the remarkable talents of a large group of birds, chimpanzees and dogs. People who work behind film cameras sometimes face very difficult problems. And this especially applies to people who work with animals. Their talents are not only needed for friendly animals like dogs and cats.
Often a movie story will require trained lions or bears or even snakes. All of us who love animals respond to the obvious affection that exists between these actors and the dedicated men who work with them. Our stunt show is presented by real movie stuntmen who demonstrate how fist fights are choreographed and staged. We see a rawhide whip used by an expert, just as would be done in a western between the good guy and the bad guy. When the quicksand cowboy asks for a rope, his companion gives it to him. Although these fantastic action scenes are presented in a Western setting, almost any type of film could require comparable stunt work.
From horror movies to romances and space adventures. Universal Studios is proud to present a spectacular sword and sorcery spectacle inspired by the hitmovie "Conan the Barbarian", starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. (suspense music) - We have magicians and warriors, stalwart heroes and brave heroines, all put together in one of the most impressive stage presentations ever seen. We combine gymnastics and sword play with fireworks and lasers and just wait until you see our dragon. (suspense music) (dragon roar) - Fortunately, Conan and Red Sonja triumphed over evil as everyone expected. Here and elsewhere at Universal Studios, we got a glimpse behind the scenes of Hollywood.
The fun and excitement we had here is some of the best entertainment in the world. The magic of cinema. (upbeat music) (uplifting music)
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