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.
• Your feedback is appreciated — please leave comments on any of the posts.
• To find specific 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 join the MAILING LIST, send me an email at and let me know you'd like to sign up.
• 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.
• 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 go right to the great Iverson cinematographers, click here.
• Readers can email the webmaster at

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Classic Rock: Reflecting on the Iverson Movie Ranch's quirky Wrench Rock

"Annie Oakley" TV series (1956)

Here's a scene starring the always fascinating Wrench Rock — sometimes called Indian Head, Upper Indian Head or Bobby — in a relatively artistic shot from the TV show "Annie Oakley." This scene appears in a 1956 episode called "Dilemma at Diablo." I love the full reflection of the rock in the pool of water.

Also visible in the shot are the Aztec on the left (next to the horse, if you can make it out) and the distinctive hill profile Two-Humper, an important Iverson marker, in the top left corner. I've highlighted the key features in the shot below.

This is the same shot, with a number of key features highlighted. I've taken the liberty to call the pool of water the "Reflecting Pool." The main features seen here are located on the South Rim of the former Upper Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif.

The same setting in recent times

Here's the same group — Wrench Rock, the Aztec and Two-Humper — in a recent photo taken from close to the same angle, but moving in a bit closer to Wrench Rock as the Reflecting Pool was dry at this time. The shot is taken in springtime when California's neon green is in full bloom.

This is the same recent photo with the main features highlighted

Wrench Rock was apparently originally called "Indian Head" until that name became associated by mistake with another rock, which was originally known as Tower Rock (and sometimes called the Pinnacle), located on the Lower Iverson. Tower Rock, later known as Indian Head (and often seen paired with another rock, properly known as Sphinx but often called Eagle Beak), became one of Iverson's most famous rocks, helped by an appearance in John Ford's 1939 epic "Stagecoach." My guess is that's one reason Wrench Rock ultimately started being called other things, including Upper Indian Head, which isn't exactly elegant. (But then, neither is Wrench Rock.)

I didn't help matters when I came along years later, unaware of any of the rock's existing names, and started calling it Bobby. But I've since come to my senses, and I think Wrench Rock is the least confusing name for it.

If you want to get deeper into the complexity of rock names at Iverson, here's a blog post attempting to sort out the movie ranch's many so-called "Indian Heads."

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.

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