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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Classic Rock: The Phantom


Located in the Garden of the Gods next to the larger and more widely exposed Sphinx, or Eagle Beak (not seen here), the Phantom tends to be undeservedly overlooked. But it does get screen time in a lot of old movies and TV shows if you know where to look and can get past the "star power" of neighboring rocks Sphinx (aka Eagle Beak) and Tower Rock (aka Indian Head). The Phantom is typically seen just to the right of the Sphinx, if the camera happens to wander over that way.

"The Lone Ranger" TV show (1949) — the Phantom in background

The Phantom did play a featured role in an early episode of the Lone Ranger TV show, as seen above (with the footage also used in the Lone Ranger movie). In the shot above, the Phantom provides the background during an ambush sequence that sets in motion the whole Lone Ranger saga. Please check out this blog entry, which talks more about this famous scene.

Here's another view of the Phantom in modern times. The rock, which has any number of "moods" depending on the camera angle, seems a little grouchy here. The Phantom reminds me a little bit of one of those paintings on the wall in an old spooky movie, where the eyes follow you as you move through the room. In the above shot, I think the, um, "white stuff" under the eye, presumably left behind by an ongoing parade of birds that for some reason prefer that particular eye socket to "do their business," actually adds an emotional quality to the rock's face. I'll stop short of saying it looks like the Phantom is crying, but ... well, I think I would be grouchy too if that happened to my eye socket.

This post is part of a series on "Classic Rocks" — sandstone giants located on the former Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., that became a part of not only America's physical landscape but also its cultural heritage, through featured roles in old movies, cliffhanger serials and early TV shows. Other entries in the series can be seen by clicking here.

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