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

Friday, January 22, 2010

Batman Rock, as seen in "Stagecoach" (1939) — and today

John Ford's Great American Western "Stagecoach" (1939) made ample use of the Lower Iverson Movie Ranch, splicing together footage shot there with footage of Utah's Monument Valley to create a convenient Hollywood amalgam of the American West. Of the Iverson scenes, by far the most famous is the shot of the stage arriving at the relay station with the Sphinx (also known as Eagle Beak) and Tower Rock (also known as Indian Head) in the background. I've posted about it previously here. But Ford also was taken by the rock seen in the above screen shot from the movie, now widely known as Batman Rock because of its appearance in the Batman serials. Early in my research I called this rock Chief Um before I learned that it already had a name, so sometimes the name Chief Um still comes up, including on this blog. The name Chief Um comes from an old doo-wop song by Otis Williams and the Charms. But the name Batman Rock is preferred.

Batman Rock/Chief Um remains alive and well, albeit somewhat more hidden than in the heyday, now living alongside some condos and a driveway, just north of Garden of the Gods.

John Ford was something of a regular at Iverson, shooting a number of films at the location. His most extensive work at Iverson was for the Shirley Temple film "Wee Willie Winkie," produced two years before "Stagecoach," in 1937. He also shot a key scene at Iverson for "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940).

The blog The Great Silence, which focuses on movie locations and has some good entries on the Iverson Movie Ranch, has a detailed post about this "Stagecoach" shoot at Iverson here.

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