By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger
Ocean Grove and its buildings have appeared in a number of movies including Woody Allen’s “Stardust Memories” (1980) and “According to Greta” with Hillary Duff (filmed in 2007). Except for Greta, Ocean Grove has appeared because of it’s unique seaside appearance rather than because it is Ocean Grove. In Stardust Memories, the town was presented as a generic seaside resort, and the Great Auditorium became the Stardust Hotel. In Greta, the town actually was portrayed as OG.
Which brings me to the opening episode of Boardwalk Empire’s 4th hit season on HBO. This multi-award winning series is film-making at its best. Set in 1920’s Atlantic City, during Prohibition, it is about Nucky Thompson, a gangster who struggles to maintain his hold on the booze trafficking into New Jersey. As many of you know, we at BF are big fans of the production including its music, and we often post songs by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, the Grammy winning group that provides much of the music.
Last Sunday it began again with its usual precise and georgeous portrayal of an era and a place. The costumes and the settings are magnificent. The plots are fascinating. Now it is 1924, and Nucky has carved out his territory which is from Cape May up to Asbury Park and west to Trenton. He is having trouble with rival gangsters from New York and Chicago, and his marriage has failed. Now he is living in a fancy suite in an Atlantic City hotel.
Late in the episode he steps onto the porch to get some sea air, and this is what we see:
The setting is Atlantic City, but that sure looks like our Albatross Hotel. So I went over to Ocean Pathway to compare, and, as you see, the look is very close—too close to deny. Inside, owner Bill Reilly decided to let the cat out of the bag.
A crew from HBO showed up a couple of months ago. They thought that our Albatross looked like a 1924 seaside hotel. So they took photos and measurements inside and out, and then, somehow, with some modifications, re-created our Albatross in Atlantic City.
So once again, OG is shown in a successful film production, but this portrayal is unique, because the hotel exterior scene in this episode was not actually filmed in the Grove.
Considering the sex scenes, the booze, the violence and the chorus girls (and the current absence of a boardwalk in the Grove) it is amazing that a part of OG has actually found its way into this production, especially one ironically called “Boardwalk Empire.” But that did happen, and maybe more scenes of the Albatross will show up later.
VINCE GIORDANO AND THE NIGHTHAWKS, From the original soundtrack of Boardwalk Empire: “Margie” Their soundtrack recording won a Grammy. Vince appears regularly in New York City.
STEPHEN DeROSA plays Eddie Cantor in the show, and in this episode he proposes the following song for his performance in the AC nightclub backed by Nuckie. (“From the soundtrack: “The Dumber They Come, the Better I Like ’em”)