Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER
St. Francis Dam Under Construction
"The Temptress" (MGM 1926)


Loading...

Greta Garbo is the title character in MGM's "The Temptress" from 1926 (released Oct. 3) — a Parisian femme fatale who drives men to homicidal madness. One suitor is the protagonist, Robledo (Antonio Moreno), who is in charge of a dam construction project in Argentina.

The dam shown is the St. Francis in Saugus, Calif. In an approximately 30-second sequence, we see four views of the St. Francis Dam under construction — in moving pictures.

Later in the film (shot at MGM Studios in Culver City), Robledo's main rival, Manos Duras (Roy D'Arcy), blows up the dam - a model of the St. Francis. A rainstorm ensues, and floodwaters breach what's left of the (fake) dam.

With a bit of artistic license, life imitated art less than two years later.

We must acknowledge author Jon Wilkman for bringing "The Temptress" to our attention in his 2016 book, "Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th-century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles."

NOTE ABOUT THIS FILM CLIP: From the slate that reads, "He is coming!" at the 0:50 mark, we jump immediately to a later 11-minute sequence that covers the make-believe collapse and flood.

ST. FRANCIS DAM CONSTRUCTION

thumbnail
Powerhouse 2 Construction Camp

thumbnail
FILM: St. Francis Under Construction in "The Temptress" (MGM 1926)

thumbnail
~1924

thumbnail

thumbnail

thumbnail

thumbnail

thumbnail

thumbnail

thumbnail

thumbnail
Correspondence 1920

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply