Rhonda Fleming, and Rhonda Fleming Rock, in "Tennessee's Partner" (1955)
In the movie, Fleming is seen riding in a rarely filmed area just west of Garden of the Gods, and at one point she hides behind a monolithic rock that these days film historians call Rhonda Fleming Rock — and yes, I plead guilty to starting it. One reason is because "Tennessee's Partner" is probably the only movie where the rock is featured like this, and Rhonda seems to bring out the best in it.
Here's a short video clip of Fleming's moment in "Tennessee's Partner," featuring the monolith that now bears her name:
So why is it that the rock almost never appeared on film? It might have to do with the rock's appearance, being perhaps a bit too, well, upright for some tastes. But I think the main reason was because it was a bit out of the way and hard to get to — especially when hauling a bunch of cumbersome movie equipment. The hillside on which Rhonda Fleming Rock is located is just that — a hillside — and filming there would have been tricky.
Rhonda Fleming Rock in 2008, after the Sesnon Fire
Rhonda Fleming Rock remains in place today, and is not hard to find — especially if you know where to look for it. (Check out the bird's-eye view near the bottom of this post.) In general, it's just west of the big sandstone monsters that define Garden of the Gods. Climb down from Garden of the Gods heading west, walk around a little and you'll probably stumble onto it. It's a bit "tucked in" among foliage and other rocks, so it doesn't exactly jump out and say "Here I am!" But it's there and you should be able to find it.
Rhonda Fleming Rock in 2011
Above is another recent view of the rock, along with some of its much larger neighbors along the western edge of Iverson's Garden of the Gods.
Another view of Rhonda Fleming Rock in 2011
Today the rock, visible at the bottom center of the above shot, is part of a landscape that includes condos and, above them, a sprawling church complex. The Rocky Peak area can be seen in the distance, to the west.
Garden of the Gods, Chatsworth, Calif. (Bing bird's-eye view)
A tiny but distinctive glimpse of Rhonda's rock can be seen here, in the shady area just to the left of the center of the photo. This is the view looking east — you can click on the photo for a larger version. But unless you're in the mood for a "Where's Waldo"-type hunt, go on to the next photo, where Rhonda Fleming Rock is pinpointed.
Click here to read my blog entry all about the location where Reagan was gunned down.
Below you'll find links to a few different versions of "Tennessee's Partner" on DVD, for sale on Amazon.com. If you can snag the DVD that has both "Tennessee's Partner" and "Cattle Queen of Montana," starring Barbara Stanwyck, that one's an especially good deal for Iverson Movie Ranch aficionados, as both movies were filmed on the ranch.