Tony Curtis's movie debut was in City Across the River, part of which was filmed in Gerritsen Beach. The following article, written by Miriam Sobel and photographed by Al Sobel, appeared on October 9, 1948 in the Bay News. The movie still appears on late-night TV. (See also I Remember and additional photos)
Universal Shoots Movie Scene at Gerritsen Beach
Actors, prop men, electricians, were bustling around, cameras were grinding, director and script girl watching with care. . . no dear reader this was not a scene from Hollywood, but in good old Gerritsen Beach, where Universal-International was shooting a new picture with a genuine Brooklyn background.
It seems that after a three-months search for a suitable background locale, Mr. Maxwell Shane, producer, director and author of the screenplay, and his associates discovered that Gerritsen Beach was exactly what the script called for; they selected Bevy Court and Bijou Avenue as the most suitable place for the filmings of part of the story.
There was, however, one flaw in the scenery that had to be corrected; the screenplay called for a bungalow with a very tall tree, something not too common in Gerritsen Beach and not at all available in the selected location. So, the prop men went hunting again and came back with a forty foot maple tree trucked in that very morning from Hollis, Long Island! Within a few minutes it was planted at the correct spot and certainly looked as if it had been there all its life.
Several local residents were chosen as extras and did a fine job of acting. Mrs. Josephine Reigler, of 108 Bevy Court, was the homebody hanging out the family wash after a dreary day over the wash tub. When cameras stopped grinding for her particular scene, she received a round of applause from her friends and neighbors and graciously acknowledged the same with a curtsy.
Little Patricia Sacco, of 110 Bevy Court, was the picture's "baby in the carriage." Mrs. Reigler as the mother had to watch from the corner of one eye while doing her chores.
No street scene is complete without boys on skates and bicycles, so Raymond Young of 104 Fane Court, John Kauffner, 96 Aster Court, and John O'Neill, 96 Dictum Court, were chosen as extras. Their mothers however, had to sign the vouchers presented to them by the Universal paymaster.
The story as yet has not been titled, but it is about a gang of boys that have not chosen the straight and narrow path; needless to say the bad ones get full punishment while everything turns out well for the hero.
Reproduced by permission of the Bay News.
Last changed: June 28, 2002