Friday, March 26, 2010
The many faces of Hangdog
One of my favorite characters at the site of the former Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., is Hangdog, above, situated in the "Above Nyoka" area of the Lower Iverson. Not unlike many of the Iverson features, Hangdog has a split personality: lion on the left, Labrador retriever on the right (see photo below). Then there are the little touches, like the monkey head that lives in the Lab's eyebrow. Not to mention the "mini-Hangdog" partially hidden behind a bush, down below the monkey head. (You may be able to make it out if you click on the photo for a larger view, or see it in the photo below, at the bottom of the picture, just to the left of center.)
The ruins, seen in the foreground at the right of the photo above, are one of the many mysteries that remained at Iverson well beyond the filming era. An estimated 3,000 movies and TV shows were shot on the ranch, mostly in the heyday of the B-Western from the 1930s to the 1950s. I've been obsessively scanning the old shows for a couple of years now trying to find the rocks and buildings of the Iverson Ranch, but it appears that the mysterious stone structure was never used in any of the productions.
Incidentally, that house in the background is where the original owners of the Iverson Movie Ranch lived for years, sometimes called the Old Folks' House. It burned down during the Porter Ranch Fire (also known as the Sesnon Fire) in October 2008.