Jan 24

Grumpy old men in Los Osos, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, Odd Couple II

According to IMDB it is the second most popular movie filmed in Los Osos.  As usual the curse of San Luis Obispo County was on this movie.
It is my contention that movies filmed in the region end up being mediocre though “Sideways” would be my one exception.
The top ranked IMDB Los Osos movie?
The 2002 Sandra Bullock vehicle “Murder by Numbers” was given the top spot.
The prosecution rests.
This story is from the then Telegram-Tribune, published July, 15 1997.

The Odd Couple II during filming near Turri Road. The movie features Walter Matthau (Oscar Madison) based on charectors from the Neil Simon play. Matthau is seen with Charlie Tognazzini, 8 at the location near Los Osos. 7-14-1997 ©Telegram/Tribune Jayson Mellom

The Stars Come Out on Turri Road

by Danna Dykstra

LOS OSOS VALLEY — Usually, farm equipment and dusty pickup trucks bounding up a dead-end dirt drive are about as exciting as it gets for two fourth-generation Turri family members who own property wedged between rolling hills and flower fields displaying brilliant bursts of orange, white and purple.
That all changed Monday with the onslaught of camera crews, movie extras, travel trailers, a huge white tent serving as a portable mess hall and — not to mention — Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau milling about the place.
“There”s been all sorts of traffic; work has pretty much come to a standstill, ” said Dave Alford, who, along with Steve Soderstrom, granted Paramount Pictures permission to spend three days on his Turri Road property filming “The Odd Couple II — Travelin” Light” — the long-awaited sequel to the 1968 Lemmon and Matthau hit “The Odd Couple.”

Jack Lemmon (Felix Ungar) gets some makeup sprucing up for a scene in the film The Odd Couple II during filming near Turri Road, Los Osos. ©Telegram-Tribune/Jayson Mellom

“Odd Couple II, ” expected out in theaters sometime next year, marks the 10th film in which Lemmon and Matthau appear together. Younger fans, however, may only recall recent films the two made well into their 60s and 70s: “Grumpy Old Men, ” the sequel “Grumpier Old Men” and “Out To Sea, ” currently in theaters.
Charlie Tognazzini is one such fan. His parents, Paul and Fran Tognazzini, own the property next to the film site with its crumbling old adobe barn, sheds and several tractors.
Monday afternoon, cast members discussed scenes and crew members plotted aloud how the hitch from a blue tractor-trailer towing two police sedans and a white Bronco would come apart during filming.
“Are you Charlie?” Matthau said to the boy, suddenly appearing from his trailer.
“How old are you?” the lanky star asked as he shook young Charlie”s hand. Charlie answered “Eight, ” but Matthau appeared incredulous.
“I thought you were 10 — you”re going to be 17 feet tall when you grow up.
“Charlie”s dad said he heard the movie folks might want to use some of his cows in a scene.
“I”m here to move the cows around if need be, ” explained Paul Tognazzini. His wife, Fran, agreed with her neighbors Alford and Soderstrom, who were paid an undisclosed amount to loan out their land a few days.
“Everyone has been friendly, and we”re here to help as much as we can, ” said Fran Tognazzini, especially when it comes to Lemmon and Matthau.
“I”m not going to walk up and start talking to them, because I believe in giving people their privacy. But if I ever got the chance, I would say they’ve given everybody such wonderful entertainment for so many years. They”re a last part of the all-time movie greats — this is exciting for me because it”s a little bit of history right here at home.”
“Odd Couple II” started filming Thursday in Guadalupe and is expected to wrap up in San Luis Obispo County by Saturday, said Brad Bell, a location scout for Paramount who helped choose the site for Monday”s filming.
The movie that reunites ill-suited roommates Felix Ungar (Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Matthau) in a screenplay written by original “Odd Couple” creator Neil Simon also stars Christine Baranski, Jonathan Silverman, Barnard Hughes, Mary Beth Peil and Jean Smart.
Felix and Oscar find themselves confined to the same rental car on their way to the same wedding in California. But the road from Los Angeles International Airport to Salinas — renamed San Malinas for the movie — is fraught with all kinds of twists and troubles that begin when the two old friends lose their car.
“After they lose their car they strike up an acquaintance with an elderly gentleman, who mentions he”s headed to San Malinas and would be happy to give them a ride, ” said Eileen Peterson, production publicist.
“He”s driving an old Rolls Royce and they find he drives very, very slow.”
The scene calls for rolling hills and rural farmland — which is where location scout Bell said the Los Osos Valley came in.
“When talking with the director, we learned the scene we’re shooting today was supposed to happen on the north side of “Santa Menendez, ” (the fictitious name given for Guadalupe), ” Bell said Monday.
“So we came up looking for roads will rolling hills that are aesthetically nice, but at the same time, can be shut down for three days without disrupting traffic and close enough to a big town to put up a crew of 130 people.
“Weather also played a key role in the film’s location. Plans were still up in the air Monday whether to shoot a few scenes planned later this week in Paso Robles, where temperatures were predicted to reach triple digits.
“Because we’re working with two actors in their 70s, we have to make sure they stay pretty cool, ” said Bell.
“You get them in an enclosed car with the cameras and the heat builds up, where a range between 70 degrees and 90 degrees makes a huge difference. If they were younger, the heat would still be a factor, but not as great as one. We have to watch their health.”
Meanwhile, the San Luis Obispo County Film Commission is watching the dollar signs. Music videos and commercials filmed within the past 12 months have brought in more than $500,000 in revenue, said Robin Rene Smith of the film commission, a division of the county Visitors and Conference Bureau.
Smith said the county has worked closely with the state film commission to lure more filmmakers to the Central Coast, where such notables as Rick Moranis, Jeff Daniels, Steve Martin, Janet Jackson and the late Tupac Shakur have spent time making movies.
“The film industry overall is in an upward swing statewide, ” said Smith. “So we”re excited about the potential for San Luis Obispo County.”

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