Dive into early Oak Cliff student films and campy Dallas cinema

Photos courtesy of Spotlight on North Texas.

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Before there was Debbie, there was “Naughty Dallas.”

The 1964 film told the story of a small-town girl who moves to Dallas with a show-business dream and winds up becoming a stripper.

Self-described “schlockmeister” Larry Buchanan filmed the movie in Dallas. His 1967 film “Mars Needs Women” also was filmed in Dallas and stars Oak Cliff-raised actress Yvonne Craig. The Texas Theatre showed both films recently as part of Spotlight on North Texas, a project from University of North Texas moving-image preservation librarian Laura Treat. 

The project digitized photos from the set of “Born on the Fourth of July,” which was filmed partly in Elmwood, and “JFK,” filmed in Oak Cliff and Downtown, as well as clips from Oak Cliff-raised filmmaker Blaine Dunlap.

Dunlap’s mother was a public librarian, and he began shooting movies on Super 8 in elementary school. One of his projects, an unfinished movie called “Sunset on Film,” was shot in 1970 and is a time capsule of daily life of students. 

The same year, he filmed what is now titled “Oak Cliff Street Scenes.” The footage is part of an unfinished film that shows the vibrant life of 1970 Jefferson Boulevard.

Blaine went on to work for a PBS station in Tennessee and worked on many documentaries about folk and country music, including one about the late Texas fiddle player Johnny Gimble, “Gimble’s Swing.” That and several others are available online at Folkstreams.net.

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Actors have their hair touched up during a break in filming the motorcade scene of “JFK.”

But before that, as a film student at Southern Methodist University, Dunlap produced a documentary called “Sometimes I Run.” The movie follows a street cleaner through his overnight job washing the streets of Downtown in the 1970s. It’s a cute movie about an average person, and it too is a time capsule of Downtown Dallas at that time.

The UNT project also digitized submitted home movies as well as photos and memorabilia from movie theaters in North Texas.

Find these clips and photos online at
texashistory.unt.edu.

Tom Cruise and Stanley Kubrick during filming of “Born on the Fourth of July.”

Extras on the set of that 1988 movie in Elmwood.

A still from “Sunset on Film.”

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