"The Way We Were" (1973)
Stradling, who earned back-to-back Oscar nominations for best cinematography in 1973 (for the movie "1776") and 1974 (for "The Way We Were"), is the son of another acclaimed cinematographer, Harry Stradling Sr., who piled up an imposing 14 Oscar nominations during his long career and took home trophies for "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945) and "My Fair Lady" (1964).
On the set of "Gypsy" (1962): former first lady Mamie Eisenhower,
left, camera operator Harry Stradling Jr., actress Rosalind Russell
and, bottom right, DP Harry Stradling Sr.
Like most DPs, Harry Stradling Jr. spent much of his early career as a camera assistant and camera operator, often uncredited, starting with "Gaslight" in 1944. He worked alongside his dad on some of the elder Stradling's high-profile projects in the late 1950s and early 1960s — "Guys and Dolls" (1955), "The Pajama Game" (1957), "A Summer Place" (1959), "Gypsy" (1962). Beginning in the mid-1960s he spread his wings as a DP in his own right, with the 1967 movie "Welcome to Hard Times" his first feature film as cinematographer. (IMDb lists the 1965 movie "Synanon" as his first, but Harry confirms that's an erroneous listing, as "Synanon" was shot by his dad.)
James Garner and Jack Elam
in "Support Your Local Sheriff" (1969)
This was after the 118 Freeway was in place, rendering the Lower Iverson unusable, and by this time the Iverson as a whole had ceased being a full-time filming location. But Stradling shot the title sequence and a few other minor shots for "Support Your Local Sheriff" on the Upper Iverson, giving us what amounts to one last look at the place.
Platypus, as it appeared in "Support Your Local Sheriff": horizontally flipped
The title sequence features a fast-paced land rush, with a number of Iverson landmarks popping up. Above is a charismatic movie rock found on the Upper Iverson's North Rim, which I call Platypus. The shot is flipped horizontally — sort of a mirror image of the real world — and you can see my "corrected" version of the shot below. I also want to note that this isn't the angle from which the rock resembles a platypus, but you can click here to see that angle — and decide for yourself whether the rock deserves to be called Platypus.
Platypus: Properly oriented (not as it appeared in the movie)
This is how the rock looks in the real world — or at least how it looked in 1969. However, this is NOT how it appeared in the movie, as the producers wanted to keep the action moving in one direction. Hollywood has a long tradition of flipping shots horizontally, and in fact this same rock has been flipped before. Click here to read about how Platypus was flipped back and forth in the TV series "The Lone Ranger."
Ernest Miller and John MacBurnie to work things out for themselves. We're curious what Harry would have done with the place had he come along a couple of decades earlier and really had carte blanche. But we're grateful that he got a shot at it when he did.
Thanks for the Iverson memories, Harry!