Court of Miracles

Named after either The Miracle Man (1919) or, more likely, after the place name used for it in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) (the Court of Miracles is said to be “a city of thieves; a hideous blot on the face of Paris”) this historic corner of the backlot has been visited by most of the classic Universal horror monsters, including Dracula (Bela Lugosi), the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.) and the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Lon Chaney Sr.). Frankenstein‘s Monster made his first public appearance here in 1931 as the townspeople fled.
However, the sets currently on display were built around 1967 after the previous Little Europe / Court of Miracles sets were destroyed in a devastating fire. None of the original 1920/1930 sets survive.
The movable fibreglass fountain currently in the middle of the square has been used in many productions including Cloak & Dagger and Murder She Wrote.

Shot at the Court of Miracles

Photo Gallery (after 1967 fire)

Photo gallery (1964 – 1967)

The European village area was destroyed in the 1967 backlot fire. The gallery above shows how it looks today.

Universal Monsters

Seen on Screen: Universal Studios Hollywood [Miracles]

TitleReleasedDirectorIMDB
The Miracle Man [Feature Film]1919George Loane TuckerIMDB Database page about The Miracle Man
Court of Miracles
The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Feature Film]1923Wallace WorsleyIMDB Database page about The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Court of Miracles, Little Europe
Frankenstein [Feature Film]1931James WhaleIMDB Database page about Frankenstein
Many of the exteriors of the village were shot on the Little Europe sets at Universal, including the Court of Miracles {The townspeople of Goldstadt celebrated the wedding of Henry Frankenstein to Elizabeth in this square. ). However, they're not the same sets that can be seen today - all of todays Little Europe was built in 1967 after a huge fire destroyed the vintage sets.
Many scenes that look like exteriors were shot on soundstages (there are some unfortunate ripples of backcloths which give away the interior shooting, and footsteps that sound like wooden staging not outdoor rocks and mud). The highly theatrical backdrops with dramatic skies helped to set the atmosphere of exaggerated reality.
The huge Laboratory set was built on Stage 12 at Universal Studios Hollywood. The stage had been built in 1929. The electrical machinery in Dr Frankenstein's laboratory was provided by Kenneth Strickfaden. The same machinery reappeared years later in the fabulous Mel Brooks homage Young Frankenstein
The Vampire Bat [Feature Film]1933Frank R. StrayerIMDB Database page about The Vampire Bat
Court of Miracles
The Bride of Frankenstein [Feature Film]1935James WhaleIMDB Database page about The Bride of Frankenstein
Court of Miracles, Little Europe, Stage 12 (Laboratory set), Stage 28 (special effects stage - used for filming miniatures of the laboratory exterior and destruction of the laboratory)
Lady Godiva [Feature Film]1955Arthur LubinIMDB Database page about Lady Godiva
Court of Miracles
Moonlighting [TV Series]1985 - 1989Glenn Gordon CaronIMDB Database page about Moonlighting
Atomic Shakespeare episode was filmed at the Court of Miracles on the Universal backlot. Stage 747 was also used.
Mafia! [Feature Film]1997Jim AbrahamsIMDB Database page about Mafia!
Court of Miracles, Brownstone Street
Charlie's Angels [Feature Film]2000McGIMDB Database page about Charlie
Falls Lake, Court of Miracles (Damn You Salazar scene)

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