Pa Kettle behind the wheel, with Ma riding shotgun during rampage at Iverson
The fourth installment in the 10-movie series, "Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm," from 1951, included a wild jalopy ride that covered much of the Iverson Movie Ranch, along with a few other spots in Chatsworth, Calif. The sequence provides a high-speed scenic tour of Iverson, and ranks among the most memorable action sequences shot at the ranch.
Sheep Flats on the Iverson property, with a nice view of Smooth Hill in the background — complete with the same telephone poles that occasionally snuck into the old Westerns as anachronisms. The Indian Hills Mobile Home Village now fills Sheep Flats, and Smooth Hill was leveled when the 118 Freeway came through in the late 1960s. The top half of Smooth Hill is now gone, replaced by a large apartment complex and some condos — as seen in the photo below.
Later in the sequence, Pa Kettle's "shortcut" takes the group through Iverson's Upper Gorge, roughly following the course the Lone Ranger rode on Silver in the opening to the TV show "The Lone Ranger." When the Lone Ranger got to about where the car is here, he turned right and rode up to Lone Ranger Rock — visible at the far left in the above shot. The Lone Ranger then famously reared up on Silver at the start of each episode, and could be heard shouting his trademark "Hi-yo, Silver!" Most of the rocks in the above shot, including Lone Ranger Rock, remain in place today and are in an area that has been preserved as a park.
Hook Rock, just left of center, Lash LaRue's Arch, partially visible to the right of Hook Rock, and a number of other rocks that collectively are called the Cave Rocks — although from this angle I usually call them the Corral Rocks.
Middle Iverson Ranch Set is prominently featured in the jalopy sequence, including the above shot of the bunkhouse. You'll know you're at Middle Iverson when the car rips through a bunch of laundry hanging on a line.
North Cluster. Today this area borders the Cal West Townhomes development, and some of these rocks have been destroyed while others survived. The large rock at the top-center of the photo — which I call Faux Hangdog 1 for research reasons that are too complicated (in other words, too embarrassing) to get into here — can still be found today. But it's a hard one to locate, as it is now concealed beneath a large tree. The rocks in the foreground have been removed, and condos now stand in that area.
The clip below contains the bulk of the jalopy ride, including most of the shots seen above. The clip includes much more Iverson material than I've been able to spotlight in photos. The clip consists mostly of Iverson footage, but does briefly show one building that was non-Iverson, along with a couple of additional train sequences that are shot nearby in Chatsworth but not at Iverson — including a nice shot of the train emerging from the tunnel above Chatsworth Park. The Smooth Hill/Sheep Flats sequence mentioned above appears a little bit earlier in the movie and is not included in the clip.
Here you go — hang on: