Here's what the Iverson Movie Ranch obsession is all about ...

For an introduction to this blog and to the obsession a growing number of vintage film and TV fans have with the Iverson Movie Ranch — the most widely filmed outdoor location in movie and TV history — please read the site's introductory post, found here.
• Here's a link to Garden of the Gods, the best-known section of the Iverson Movie Ranch (featured in the movie "Stagecoach," the "Lone Ranger" TV show and hundreds of other productions).
• To find other rock features or look up movie titles, TV shows, actors and production people, see the "labels" section — the long alphabetical listing on the right side of the page, below.
• To go right to the great Iverson cinematographers,click here.
• I've also begun a YouTube channel for Iverson Movie Ranch clips and other movie location videos, which you can get to by clicking here.
• If you know of a way I can set up this blog so readers can subscribe to receive future posts via email, please let me know. In the meantime there's a link all the way at the bottom of this page that says "Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)," and if you're inclined to try it, it seems to take you into a world of customizable home pages or something, and you can have blog updates as a part of that page ... whether this is useful to you, who knows, but I thought I'd let you know it's there.
• Your feedback is appreciated — please leave a comment on any post, or email me at iversonfilmranch@aol.com.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Flipping the shot

One of the tricks used to save money in the old movies and TV shows was flipping shots, apparently to get what looked like different footage but was in fact just the same footage mounted in reverse. In other words, left is right and right is left, like a mirror image. Here's an example from the TV show "Adventures of Kit Carson."


This shot is from about five minutes into the episode "Border Corsairs." Kit, played by Bill Williams, is on the left and his sidekick El Toro, played by Don Diamond, is on the right. This shot is in fact flipped.


Around the 10-minute mark of the same episode, this shot appears. The riders are now on opposite sides of each other. But if you look closely, you'll see that it's not just the riders who have switched sides — everything is reversed from the earlier shot. In the second shot, everything is correctly oriented. One of the better giveaways is that the curved white marking along the nose of Kit Carson's horse curves to the left in the first shot and to the right in the second.

The main feature in the background is Oat Mountain, the light-colored series of hills along the top of the shot. Another way to tell the shots are reversed is by looking at the dark triangle shape just above the riders — a Triangle Brand, in a way, stamped on Oat Mountain. We know from seeing the orientation of that Triangle Brand in modern times — it's made up of a bunch of foliage on the side of the hill, and can still be easily spotted today — that this is the correct orientation for the shot.

Click here for another example of flipping the shot, from "The Roy Rogers Show."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Featured Iverson Movie Ranch "classic rock": GTR


Viewed from its most commonly seen front side (above), GTR is a subtle creature. Even so, it found its way into hundreds of movies simply because of its prominent perch atop a rock wall known as Hole in the Wall, in the Lone Ranger Rock/Nyoka Cliff area, or the the Upper Gorge. Here's one example:

The screen shot above is from the 1944 Roy Rogers/Dale Evans movie "The Yellow Rose of Texas." GTR can be seen in the top right corner.

For a look at GTR's charismatic alter ego (its back side), see the Jaunty Sailor.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Classic Rocks: Jaws — get a load of the choppers on this thing — and GTR

"Jaws": One of the many weird rocks in the Land of Weird Rocks
that is the former Iverson Movie Ranch

Here's something to sink your teeth into: Jaws, also known as Laughing Boy (not seriously — that's just sort of a pet name I have for it), is a cool rock — and it's one that is seen all too rarely in the movies, at least up close.

"Beauty and the Bandit" (1946) 

Above is a rare medium shot of Jaws in a movie, in the Cisco Kid Western "Beauty and the Bandit," from Monogram. Jaws is almost always seen from a greater distance than this, and is usually unrecognizable in its long-distance appearances on screen.

In case you're having trouble seeing it, here's another version of the same shot with Jaws identified.

Jaws, from the "T-Rex" angle

I have also referred to the rock as T-Rex based on its appearance from the angle shown above. I know, it doesn't even look like the same rock. But it is. You may or may not see the Tyrannosaurus rex resemblance, which may depend on whether you had a certain plastic replica of T-Rex in your dinosaur collection when you were a kid. Suffice to say I did have that toy, and I definitely see the resemblance.

Jaws, on the left, and Jaunty Sailor, on the right, as they appear today

Jaws is a close neighbor of GTR, which, like Jaws, has at least two distinct personalities. GTR is also known as Jaunty Sailor when viewed from its back side, as in the above photo.

The heavily filmed movie rock GTR/Jaunty Sailor, as it appears in recent times

Here's a look at the two main personas of GTR/Jaunty Sailor: as seen from the front, as GTR, on the right; and from the back, as Jaunty Sailor, on the left.


The above shot shows what might be considered a traditional angle on the area known as Hole in the Wall, which includes the features GTR, Jaws and the actual Hole in the Wall — all visible in the background near the top of the shot, as seen from the Upper Gorge. I'll identify these features below.

Here's the same shot with some of the key features pointed out. The shot comes from Roger Corman's great 1957 Iverson showpiece with the full title "The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent." I can strongly recommend the movie if you want to see some terrific Iverson location shots — and it's a cool movie besides. Corman spent a lot of time at Iverson early in his career, honing his skills before going on to become one of the great cult movie directors and producers of all time.  

This post is part of a series on "Classic Rocks" — sandstone giants located on the former Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., that became a part of not only America's physical landscape but also its cultural heritage, through featured roles in old movies, cliffhanger serials and early TV shows. Other entries in the series can be seen by clicking here.

Check out these Amazon links to find movies featured in this post: