I had been booked with director Stanley Kramer many times.
This shoot was unusual in that we spent 3 days being directed by him personally and not by an assistant director or production assistant. And all we did was push a gurney up and down halls and ride in an elevator. Wait a moment…. only one hall. Just a few cosmetic changes to make it seem as different places. The Elevator? Simply an elevator type door leading to the little room that simulated the lifting device.
The scenes that we shot became the background for the screen credits. We rolled the gurney up and down halls and rode elevators until the screen credits faded. In our last moment, we entered the operating theatre where Broderick Crawford played his interesting scene of subjecting the new med students to their first sight of an autopsy.
I’m disappointed that in the DVD version of the film, we have been replaced by a monotonous background for the screen credits. We only appear for the few moments when we push the gurney into the operating theatre.
The set that shows Frank Sinatra and Robert Mitchum looking down from the balcony was shot on a separate day. We only worked with Broderick Crawford. I did work with Frank Sinatra several other times in scenes with him. Likewise, I had the pleasure of working with Robert Mitchum several times, even had a nice conversation with him on Two For The Seesaw. I will blog about those occasions in time.
I always enjoyed working for Stanley Kramer. Probably one of the giants of the 50s. On this shoot he was unusually friendly with us, joking throughout the days. I think these were the last scenes to be shot and he felt relieved that most of the picture was in the can. This scene was also shot at “The Lot” when it was still called “Samuel Goldwyn Studios”.