Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interlude ...

I'm not feeling very well. Something I ate, maybe a bug, but I find that when I'm not feeling well a day in bed with a host of my favorite "old" movies makes me feel a little better. I remember being about 11 when I crawled up into bed with my mother to watch "The Bodyguard". The music, the story, the fact that I got to spend a full 2-hours with my mother easily made it one of my very favorite movies of all time. Today, for a bit of nostalgia, and in hopes that I'd feel a little better, I pulled it out and pushed play.

After all this time though, I never gave much though to the house in the movie. Today, I couldn't help but to notice every last detail. Go figure. A little google search lead me to this photo of the house:

Because we never really see an aerial view of the house in the movie, I thought something was wrong here. In fact, the movie only shows this aerial view in the very beginning after Frank pulls through the gates:

Hard to tell - but then I hit paydirt!! I was able to find the full estate view, which shows the pool from the movie.

Even if you haven't seen the movie, I'll give you two guesses as to where it is! Nestled in Beverly Hills on North Beverly Drive, the exact center of 90210, the 1920's mansion was once owned my media magnate William Randolph Hearst. At over 20,000 square feet, the estate is huge, but most of the Bodyguard shots are of the outside of the house. Starting with this one at the front gate:

Kevin Costner's character Frank drives this great gray ElCamino - remember those? When I was a kid I begged my mother to buy one of those things. Good thing she never took my advice! Anyway, the minute you see the gates you know the house is going to be magical. But these aren't the "real" house gates. No, they look like this:
So where did the movie gates lead to? Well, I read that they were to the Greystone Mansion. But, upon closer inspection of those gates, that's not the case. Unless of course, they've had new gates installed in the last 20 years. So, if anyone knows - let me know ... but let's go inside the gates, shall we?

This room was styled for the movie. In fact, Rachel (Whitney's) publicist says it was done for a magazine shoot: Superstars and their Boudoirs. So funny. Anyway - the real life room is actually the formal living parlor of the Greystone Mansion. Here's the shot of the room from 1945:

Notice the columns and the arches! Now, the same room styled as an office from the movie There Will be Blood:

Looks a little more familiar now, right? Ok, so here's the best thing about this post. As I started researching each of these images, more and more images fell in my lap. Veranda had some of the world's best designers do a showhouse called "Great House" at the Greystone in 2008. Designer Jack Fhillips did the same room this way:

 Gorgeous, right? Check out how similar it is to the same room layout from historical shots in 1928:

More shots from the designers website:

Pretty nice, huh? Much better than the Superstar Boudoir, but hey - in 1992, I'm sure everyone was in awe over the idea that anyone would have that bedroom, complete with it's gilded feather fan headboard/footboard!
The actual bedroom of the house looked out onto this view, where in the movie, Costner (Frank) was watching Houston's video for "I Have Nothing" while she was getting ready for bed. I loved this view - can you imagine? Although we never really see the bedroom Houston used, we do see a snapshot glimpse of the room through an outside window as Costner tucks her in:

I know this is dark (night scene in the movie) but check out the moldings and the cabinet and it's crown to the far left. It's the same room (photographed standing at the door) Windsor Smith decorated for Veranda's Great House here:

Can you see it? The camera man must have been standing on scaffolding outside of the window to the left of the bed with the table underneath.

This gorgeous vignette is exactly where the bed was in The Bodyguard. Every year they do a tour of the home with different designers doing rooms. They're sometimes as nice as the Veranda house - sometimes not. Here's another photo of the same room all dressed in lilac:

After Costner tucks Houston in, he goes down to the kitchen, also from the Greystone Mansion:

Check out that gorgeous butlers pantry in the background! Oh boy! So when Veranda's "Great House" was done, the kitchen looked like this:

This wasn't done for the Veranda spread - so finding a recent photo of it was quite difficult. But it's good to know that this hasn't been disturbed really. Floors, cabinets - all the same. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie takes place with Houston in Miami, and not much of the house shows up. The final "house shots" are of Costner enjoying a drink and watching the rain:

So much of this movie was shot in the dark! I don't think that this shot could be in Greystone, at least from the shots in Veranda. But with 53 rooms, who knows? So there you have it - the musings of a sick Artie. Good thing I chose The Bodyguard instead of Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle. Now that I have given some thought to the ever changing ballroom of the Greystone, I'll put the research to good use and give you all a post of the many designers who have decorated this room and its historical significance soon! See you Friday.