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.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Behold the Window of the Gods — a fixture of movies going back to the silent era

"The Paleface" (1922)

Here's a screen shot from the Buster Keaton silent short "The Paleface" showing a couple of the lesser-known formations on the Iverson Movie Ranch. These beauties are found just north of Garden of the Gods, in an area I call the North Cluster. The actors sprinkled among the rocks are portraying Native Americans, as you may be able to tell or may have guessed from the title. The large rock at top right and the one behind it are still around, and from a different angle they form a sort of "window" — a crack, really, between two huge boulders (see first color photo, below). The proximity of this formation to Garden of the Gods led to its being called Window of the Gods, at least in my own research. The rocks seen in the foreground — including a partially visible Man in the Moon at top left — no longer exist.

"Rocky Mountain Rangers" (1940)

Another look at the same group, this time from Republic's Three Mesquiteers B-Western "Rocky Mountain Rangers" and from much farther back, showing Elders Peak, above Chatsworth Park, in the background — the highest point seen in this shot. Both of the above shots are essentially looking south. Most but not all of the main rock features seen in the center of the shot remain in place today. As mentioned above, Man in the Moon and the rest of the group in front are gone, having given way to development. The area where the riders appear is occupied by condos now.

This is the Man in the Moon part from the above shot, near the front of the group of rocks at the center of the photo. But I have a much better shot of it elsewhere on the blog. Click here to see that blog entry, which is all about Man in the Moon.

"Bullets for Rustlers" (1940)

Here's the angle that got me thinking about the Window of the Gods group for the first time in a while. It's from Columbia's "Bullets for Rustlers," a Charles Starrett B-Western that also stars Lorna Gray — known for her tour de force performance as the evil Vultura in the 1942 Republic serial "The Perils of Nyoka." The giant clump of rocks at top left, consisting of three big sandstone boulders, is Window of the Gods again, from a much different angle, kind of looking northwest. It's hard to be precise about the directions.

Window of the Gods today

Behold the Window of the Gods, as it survives to this day — "kind of" looking west.

Here's a look at those same three big boulders in modern times, from yet another angle ... along with a glimpse of a gray-haired movie location researcher. The "window," as seen in the shot above this one, would be between the rock at the far right and the one next to it, looking out between them to the right. This view is "kind of" looking south again.


For those of you who might be into this sort of thing, the image up above from "Bullets for Rustlers" is full of mysterious and elusive "rock faces." Try these next couple on for size ... and for the more serious researchers out there, feel free to skip this part. I just figure it can't hurt. Who among us has never once enjoyed seeing faces in the clouds and so forth? This is kind of like that.

This one's as good an example as any. I see a big-brained alien with a number of possible faces at lower left, nearly all of them portraying some degree of malicious intent ... but your mileage may vary.

Part of that alien head intrudes again here, in the top right corner, but focus on the center and the lower left. I don't know, I keep seeing faces here, including one pretty good cyclops, but they tend to shift around.

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