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 iversonmovieranch@gmail.com 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 iversonmovieranch@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A short video shot in what is now the Indian Hills Mobile Home Park

Here's a brief clip (silent) from "Buried Treasure," an episode of the TV series "The Lone Ranger" that aired during the show's first season, premiering on March 2, 1950 — presented here in glorious "shot right off the TV screen" crap quality, just to make it that much more fun. (That's not really the reason — the reason is when I first put this up I didn't know a better way.)

video
You should be able to click on the icon in the bottom right corner to make the picture bigger. Unfortunately, there's no icon to click on to make it any clearer — ooh, is it bad! I do think it's fun, anyway, to see this many of the key rocks and other features of any one area in a single pan shot. This clip goes by pretty fast, but it includes the following landmark rocks and other features of what is now the Indian Hills Mobile Home Village — often referred to "scientifically" among us film historians as the trailer park — on the former Iverson Movie Ranch, located at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and the 118 Freeway in Chatsworth, Calif. The action moves more or less from south to north, revealing these rocks and other features:

Saucer
the Sprite (aka Bugeye Sprite)
Leaning Tower
Bugeye and Trapezoid
Diagonal Crack
Smooth Hill
Center Rock

Here are a few stills from the episode, to give a better idea of what the various features look like ...

Bugeye and Trapezoid, along with the Leaning Tower. That's Bugeye (not to be confused with Bugeye Sprite) directly above the rider, Trapezoid to its right and Leaning Tower farther to the right, all along the top of the rock formations.

Saucer (not from the pan shot, but from later in the episode); that's Mushroom Rock at the right.

Smooth Hill — not much to look at, but it has been a key marker, especially delineating the north end of Iverson Village. A bit of trivia about this shot is that Iverson Village, or El Paso Street, was in place at the time but does not appear in the shot, which means the producers took care to shoot in the empty space just north of the village, between the village and Smooth Hill. This is one of the better indications I've seen of the distance between the village and the hill. I continue to try to place exactly where Iverson Village was located, but it's difficult because the terrain has changed considerably, especially with the completion in 1968 of the 118 freeway. Smooth Hill itself appears to have been a casualty of the freeway construction and other development in the area. (Update: Placing Iverson Village got a lot easier thanks to Western movie location researcher Jerry England, who helped me track down an aerial photo from 1952, when the village was still in place. The town was about where I thought it was, but instead of being oriented north to south it was positioned at an angle, northeast to southwest. Click here for more about that 1952 aerial photo.)

The Sprite, near the center of the photo, directly above the horse's rear end. That's the Leaning Tower on the left and Saucer at the far right. Not a very clear shot of any of them, but it shows how they're positioned.

Here's a better shot of the Sprite, from a later color episode of "The Lone Ranger." The rock is named after the old Austin-Healey sports car known as the Bugeye Sprite. The TV show shot in color for its fifth and final season, which aired from 1956-1957. This episode, "The Letter Bride," premiered Nov. 15, 1956.

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite, aka "Bugeye Sprite"

No comments: