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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• 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).
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Update on the Adobe Fort at Sheep Flats — connecting a few of the dots

Following up on yesterday's post about the Adobe Fort at Sheep Flats, I found a couple of screen shots that provide an interesting comparison ...

"Wee Willie Winkie" (1937)

The above shot from "Wee Willie Winkie" in 1937 and the shot below from "Army Girl" the following year appear to contain some of the same buildings. I believe they both also include a particular rock — known as Cooper Rock — although the rock is much more readily visible in the "Army Girl" shot. One of the better clues, although it may not appear so at first, can be found in the trees.

"Army Girl" (1938)

I believe the buildings seen here, including the two-story structures, are the same ones seen in the right half of the "Wee Willie Winkie" shot from a year earlier, even though those are all single-story. The best starting point is Cooper Rock. Here it's seen at the far left of the photo. In the "Wee Willie Winkie" shot, it's close to the center of the photo — and only the top of the rock is visible. I will pinpoint the rock in the following two photos.

Here's the "Army Girl" screen shot again, with Cooper Rock noted. The rock is named after Gary Cooper, who was responsible for building Iverson's nearby Western street in 1945 for his movie "Along Came Jones."

Now here's the "Wee Willie Winkie" shot again, also with Cooper Rock identified. It's a little hard to make out the rock, but its position relative to the buildings and trees can be compared with the "Army Girl" shot to help verify its location.

Directly above the rock in both movie shots are some trees, and even though some of them lean the "wrong way" from one photo to the next, and while they're mere wisps in the "Winkie" shot compared with the more fully fleshed out giants seen a year later in "Army Girl," the horizon lined formed by the treetops, working toward the right from Cooper Rock, does seem to match.

The part of the treeline that I'm comparing, as noted in these two annotated shots, is the right half of the "Winkie" photo with the left half of the "Army Girl" photo, ending at the flagpole. My guess is they must have got a lot of rain in the year or so in between the two productions, and the trees really filled out. The two shots are probably also taken at different times of the year. But the positions of Trees A, B and C, adjusting for the slightly different camera angles in the two shots, appear to verify that the buildings remain in their original alignment.

Finally, we can see that the buildings that became two-story structures for "Army Girl," presumably serving as headquarters for the Cavalry fort, as seen above ...

... are the same buildings that were originally single-story structures in "Wee Willie Winkie." Oddly, the flagpole appears to also be in more or less the same place in both shots. This is surprising considering that the sets were so mobile, with even buildings being moved around from time to time. But I suppose if it seemed to be the right spot for a flagpole for an India outpost, it could also be the right spot for a flagpole accompanying a U.S. Cavalry fort.

The buildings themselves bear little outward resemblance between the two movies. Besides the second stories being added for "Army Girl," the overall complex has a new finish and different trim, along with changes to the windows and doors. But the general layout seems to be the same — that is, the buildings remain in the same place in "Army Girl" where they stood in "Wee Willie Winkie."

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