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.
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• 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.
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• 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.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Half-gone but not all-forgotten: The D-Train — an iconic rock from the movies that was "defaced" to build condos

"Perils of Nyoka" (1942)

The D-Train was one of my greatest fixations during my first year of research into the Iverson Movie Ranch. I fell under its spell after spotting it in "Perils of Nyoka" (1942), filmed by the great Iverson Movie Ranch cinematographer Reggie Lanning. I searched for the D-Train for months, eventually determining — incorrectly, as it turned out — that it must have been destroyed to make way for the condos off Redmesa Road, just north of Lone Ranger Rock. I later discovered that more of the rock had survived than I first thought.

As indicated in the above annotated version of the screen shot, the D-Train is the large, eel-like character that fills up much of the right half of the screen. The "cave entrance" attached to the left side of the D-Train, consisting mainly of three large boulders, is fake.

The boulders highlighted here are just manmade movie props used to create the illusion of a cave entrance. However, the darker boulder above the D-Train is real, and is known as Three Ages Rock because of a high-profile appearance in the silent movie "Three Ages," starring Buster Keaton.

I've referred in the past to Three Ages Rock (before I knew it was a famous rock and already had a name) as the Luggage Carrier, because its shape reminded me of one of those haulers that sit on top of a car. While Three Ages Rock remains intact today, the D-Train wasn't quite as fortunate. It wasn't exactly destroyed, but it took a hard hit when the condos went in. Essentially, it had its face blown off.

Three Ages Rock (top left) and the D-Train, in recent times

This is what's left of the D-Train — just enough of it remains that I was able to find it and make a positive ID. The film historian seen in this recent photo is leaning on Three Ages Rock, with the surviving portion of the D-Train in the foreground. The lighter-colored rock surface area toward the right shows where the rest of the rock was blasted away. The original "face" of the D-Train seen in the "Perils" shot above — with its slanty eye and open mouth — is gone. I know it's hard to make out the D-Train from what's left, but you may have to trust me on this one.

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