At Thursday's meeting of the Long Island Motor Parkway Preservation Society, people were fascinated by the post of the 1925 film "Sally of the Sawdust". As a follow-up to several requests, here is my documentation of where I believe D.W. Griffith filmed W.C. Fields on the Motor Parkway.
Edited Clip "Sally of the Sawdust" showing the Long Island Motor Parkway (1 minute and 44 minutes)
Winchester Boulevard Motor Parkway Bridge
Note the trestle bridge and the road curving to the right in the background.
An exact match for Winchester Boulevard in this 1924 aerial.
A 1928 photo of the bridge.
Creedmoor Motor Parkway Bridge
This clip in the film was clearly taken from a bridge. Note, the road in the background curves to the right.
In 1925, the only Queens bridge in which the Motor Parkway went under was the Creedmoor Bridge. As shown in this 1924 aerial, the Motor Parkway curves to the right in the background matching the film image
Commodore Boulevard Motor Parkway Bridge
In this clip the road was straight after traveling over the bridge.
My best guess is Commonwealth Boulevard Bridge. Also confirmed by my favorite co-author Al Velocci.
The straight path of the Motor Parkway after Commowealth Boulevard.
Lakeville Road Motor Parkway Bridge
The two cars taking a curve on the Motor Parkway.
Immediately after the curve, the cars traveled on a trestle bridge.
The only trestle bridge following a curve on the Motor Parkway was the Lakeville Road Bridge in Lake Success. Also note the location of the Great Neck Lodge as seen in this 1929 aerial.
Great Neck Lodge
Here was my big surprise after watching the film several times. In this image, a bridge is in the background with an apparent gasoline station on the right.
A building can be seen to the right of the gas pump.
In the film, W.C. Fields goes through a fence to escape his pursuers. The fence was clearly a prop for the film. But, check out the design of the building in the back. look familiar?
I believe it was the Great Neck Lodge! This may be the only existing film of a Motor Parkway gate lodge when the road was active.
The dormer, shutters and drains of the Great Neck Lodge match the building in the film.
Socony Gasoline Sign
A view of W.C. Fileds showed a Sconony Gasoline sign in front of the building.My favorite co-author Al Velocci confirmed that gasoline was sold at the Great Neck Lodge from 1912 to 1928.
This 1924 Motor Parkway receipt confirmed that Socony Gasoline was the supplier of choice for the Motor Parkway.