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, June 30, 2010

Take another bow, Bobby ... er, Wrench Rock


"Fury at Showdown" (1957)

I can't ever get too much of this especially weird rock, so here's another star turn by the leading man of the South Rim — usually referred to as Wrench Rock, sometimes called Indian Head or Upper Indian Head ... and referred to by me at one time, before I knew any better, as Bobby. This shot is from United Artists' John Derek Western "Fury at Showdown," and it's pretty definitive Wrench Rock — so much so that I've adopted the shot as the page header for the blog.

Needless to say, Wrench Rock is the unusual rock figure in the center of the photo, hovering over the rider. The larger rock to the left of Wrench Rock came to be known briefly, among Iverson aficionados with an active sense of whimsy (myself, mainly), as Bobby's Girlfriend — inspired by how she always seemed to be batting her eyelashes (presumably an illusion created by some flora growing out of a crack about two-thirds of the way up). The two rocks together form something that has been called Devil's Gate — a reference to the gap between the two rocks, which originated in "Death on Sun Mountain," the second episode of the long-running TV show "Bonanza."

Also in this shot is Pyramid Peak, which is the pyramid-shaped hill profile in the background, almost perfectly framing the horse's ears. That's the name it has taken on in the research, anyway, but it may in reality be Rocky Peak. Rocky Peak is over in that direction, but I've never been able to nail down exactly which of several peaks in that area is Rocky Peak. At any rate, that pyramid-shaped peak is in a LOT of movies.

Wrench Rock today — largely hidden behind a tree

It's hard to get a decent shot of Wrench Rock from that side these days because a tree has affixed itself to the rock's eastern profile. (That tree is probably the shrub seen in the 1957 shot.) But you can still make out the profile, somewhat, lurking behind the tree.

Click here for other views of Wrench Rock.

3 comments:

Stacia said...

Hi - I thought you might be interested in this screen grab I took from chapter 8 of "Raiders of Ghost City," where a chase goes right past Wrench Rock:

http://shebloggedbynight.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/raiders8-4.jpg

I am really loving this blog!

Electric Dylan Lad said...

Hi Stacia ... thanks for your comment. I am salivating over your treatment of "Raiders of Ghost City," and want to encourage anyone reading this to go to shebloggedbynight.com to get up to speed on your terrific series. If anyone out there appreciates good snark — and who doesn't? — it's the place to be.

I arrived late to the RoGC party, but maybe we can coordinate a bit in the future. Please let me know if you're contemplating a particular serial for a blog series and I'll see what Iverson and other location tidbits I can dredge up to "enhance the oeuvre" of the whole deal.

If you're inclined to veer off into really lame sci-fi spy frolic type stuff — you know, super-evil villains and super-powered ray guns that threaten to blow up the world, with the fate of mankind in the hands of Space Ranger types wearing cheesy tin-can flying suits — then Republic offers a wealth of material. Or you could go the Nyoka ("jungle" heroine) or Zorro route, or stick with the Westerns. It's all good.

Not that it should matter for your process, but some of the best serials, from an Iverson point of view, are: Jungle Girl, Perils of Nyoka, Zorro's Fighting Legion, Undersea Kingdom, Zorro Rides Again, Jesse James Rides Again, King of the Texas Rangers, Haunted Harbor (also known as Pirates' Harbor), Desperadoes of the West ... and let's not forget Atom Man vs. Superman. (Kirk Alyn, the pre-George Reeves Man of Steel, had a ballet background, and uses it to great effect — say no more.)

Inspired by your series on Raiders of Ghost City, I dragged out my DVD copy (hack, wheeze ... the dust, the horror) and have been attempting to give it another go. I went through it kinda fast the first time around.

Sadly, there's not a whole lot of Iverson left in Chapters 11-13, but there is some. One thing to watch for in Chapter 11, once they eventually wrap up the marathon recap ... and get through the endless yada yada in town and finally hit the trail ... they wind up on the Upper Iverson with lots of Cap Rock and a few other landmarks. A "highlight" — looking at the YouTube version, at 12:43 they run a flipped (horizontally reversed) shot of Cap Rock, which was one of Republic’s trademark budget-cutting tricks — the cheapest way to make it look like they shot somewhere else. This shot comes just after some shots of Cap Rock "properly oriented." How much fun is one location researcher allowed to have?

Then along comes, at 15:47, an amusing (well, I find this sort of thing amusing) batch of weird faces in the rocks, including sort of a "shrunken head" type character.

As if that weren't enough ... we get a glimpse of Water Turtle and Tamale (see the long index at the right for Tamale), along with a couple of hills in the background that have a name that mustn't be repeated in polite company. (Use your imagination, noting that most location researchers tend to be guys — not to mention that they were roughly junior high age when they first went out with the other kids on Saturday afternoons for serials and B-Westerns, back when that sort of thing was still happening, and now they're all kind of fixated at that stage of erotic development — while also noting that some background hills have a shape that makes them particularly, um, "pert," and when such hills happen to travel in pairs ... well, it's a lot to ask to come up with a name that avoids the obvious.)

And finally, yes, Bobby-slash-Wrench Rock-slash-Indian Head-slash-Upper Indian Head-slash-that gargoyle I'm using as my page header for the blog ... does make another appearance in Chapter 11. However, anyone would have to have a sharp eye to spot it, as it's way in the background and seen from the opposite side from where it has been spotted earlier in the serial. One place it can be seen is at 15:49 of the YT clip, all the way at the left, between a couple of trees.

I’m looking forward to the next chapter — keep up your great work.

-edl

Stacia said...

Wow, thanks for all the info! I'm not sure if I'm going to do another serial any time soon, though if I go crazy and decide to do this again, Undersea Kingdom was way up at the top of my list. If I do Undersea Kingdom I will definitely let you know!

I used a lot of your info in my most recent recap, and I know that about 2:00 into Chapter 12 (next week's recap), you can see what I assume is Tower Rock and the Sphinx, because it looks like the outpost area from Stagecoach.

Thanks for all your kind words!