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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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Iverson's Western street: The southern end of town

"Along Came Jones" (1945) — Iverson Village is born as Payneville

For all its well-earned reputation as a rock wonderland that essentially defined the look of the American West in countless productions filmed at the site during the heyday of the movie Western, the Iverson Movie Ranch never possessed a Western town set that could quite match the grandeur of those on the studio backlots and at some of the other L.A. area movie ranches.

"Along Came Jones": Gary Cooper in "Payneville," the town he built at Iverson

Up until 1945, when Gary Cooper decided that he wanted a town built at Iverson for his Western "Along Came Jones" — Cooper's sole credit as a producer — the Iverson Ranch didn't have a town set at all. The Western town that did finally get built in 1945 was relatively modest, but it grew up a bit over the years, and was, let's just say, adequate — especially for the low-budget B-Westerns that were Iverson's bread and butter.

Gene Autry in "The Hills of Utah" (1951): Iverson Village, aka El Paso Street 

Along with Gene Autry in his B-Western "The Hills of Utah," the above screen shot includes a couple of important features of Iverson's Western town: the distinctive stone Saloon building on the right, a landmark that often helps distinguish Iverson Village from other town sets, and Gumdrop, the sharply angular rock in the background, just above the horse's head. Gumdrop, which was positioned prominently at the southern end of town, also often helps identify Iverson Village.

"The Lone Ranger" (filmed in 1949): Gumdrop, at the south end of town

Here's another view of the southern end of Iverson Village, with Gumdrop dutifully marking the spot. This scene is from "The Lone Ranger," featuring footage shot in 1949, originally for the TV show and later repackaged into the "Lone Ranger" movie for release in 1952. Just visible at the top left of the shot is the tip of Church Rock, another marker rock for the southern end of Iverson Village.

Here's the same photo with the two main rock features at the south end of town identified. 

Gumdrop and Church Rock in recent times

As with most shots of the Iverson Village area today, any attempt to depict Gumdrop and other nearby features involves working around mobile homes, as the Indian Hills Mobile Home Village now occupies the spot where the Western street stood. Here is a recent shot of Gumdrop taken from the town set area.

Only the tip of Gumdrop is visible now from this angle, with even less of Church Rock exposed. For another look at Church Rock, Gumdrop (very partial, again) and the southern end of Iverson Village, see this other post.

For a look at the northern end of Iverson Village, click here.

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