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Friday July 20th 2018

All The King's Men | 1949

Oscars all round – for Best Picture, for Broderick Crawford as politician Willie Stark, and for the magnificent Mercedes McCambridge, making her screen debut. The initially idealistic, working-class Stark follows the dangerous road of realpolitik as he rises to become governor of an un-named Southern state, and is ultimately assassinated. R film à clef based on the career of Louisiana Governor Huey P Long.

Although seemingly set in the South, it was filmed largely on location around Stockton, east of San Francisco in northern California.

After being elected governor, Willie Stark makes his victory speech from the balcony of the Hotel Stockton, 133 East Weber Avenue between North El Dorado Street and North Hunter Street. It closed as a hotel in 1960 and, now on the register of historic places, has been renovated as private apartments.

North on El Dorado is City Hall, Civic Court at North El Dorado Street, on the steps of which Stark is finally gunned down.

Suisun City, off I-80 about 50 miles to the northwest, was used for the small-town election scenes, and the locale given a more folksy, funky feel with 50 tons of topsoil dumped onto the paved streets. There was further filming a couple of miles north in Fairfield, Route 5.