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, May 8, 2014

It's the old "cute girl hides under a rock with a rifle" trick ... with a special appearance by Dr. Richard Kimble

The 1949 Allied Artists Western "Stampede" includes a fun sequence early in the movie where Gale Storm — who was keeping busy in mostly low-budget features at the time before her successful TV and recording career took off — hides under a rock and ends up holding big, tough cowboy hero Rod Cameron at rifle point.

Gale Storm in "Stampede" (1949)

Here's Gale emerging from under that rock, keeping her icy stare fixed on her prey. The rock, which can be seen behind her, turns out to be one that is well-known to movie historians. It was located — and still is, for that matter — on what was then the Upper Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif. The rock is widely known as Round Rock.

Round Rock in recent years

The name "Round Rock" is a little misleading, as Round Rock is actually kind of a flat rock. As you can see in the above shot from a recent visit to Iverson, it leans up against another rock, forming an arch — not a big arch, mind you, but big enough for Gale Storm to hide in.

"Stampede"

See — she fits inside Round Rock. Pretty easily, in fact.

Here's Cameron lurking near the front of Round Rock, trying to figure out who's been popping off rounds at him. This shot takes place moments before he runs into Storm's character and her rifle.

Having just "introduced" herself to Cameron with a few rounds, Storm's character continues to use her rifle to menace the much larger Cameron. Aficionados of old Westerns won't be surprised to hear that he eventually snatches it away from her, at which point she loses interest in trying to kill him and becomes considerably more flirty.

This is what Round Rock looks like from the front. From this angle it is in fact round — a bumpy version of round, anyway. The rock appears in hundreds of movies and old TV shows, usually lurking silently in the background while a chase of some kind zips past.

"The Fugitive" (1967)

Round Rock had a featured role in one of the last episodes of the TV show "The Fugitive." The episode, called "The Shattered Silence," first aired April 11, 1967, near the end of the show's four-season run on ABC. Here's David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble — on the run, as usual, and also wounded — staggering around in front of Round Rock, figuring out that he needs a place to stash his blood-soaked jacket.

You can see blood on the sleeve of Kimble's jacket as he sizes up whether Round Rock would be a suitable place to hide the thing. If you compare this view of the rock with the recent shot below, you should be able to spot similarities in the rock shapes — especially the jagged edge in front of Kimble's waist.

Round Rock in recent times — seen from the west

The "Fugitive" shot focuses on the western entrance to the arch — the opposite end from the shots seen in "Stampede."  This contemporary shot also shows the west side of the rock, including that waist-high jagged edge.

He's going for it. I won't give away what happens, but Round Rock turns out to be not such a great place to stash a blood-stained jacket. Incidentally, in case you seem to remember "The Fugitive" was in black-and-white, you're right. Only the fourth and final season was in color.

Gale Storm and Don Castle find love in "Stampede"

Back to "Stampede" ... funny thing about the old "cute girl hides under a rock with a rifle" trick: This is one time when it didn't work, as Rod Cameron's character decided he wasn't interested and his brother, played by Don Castle, made his move.

Gale Storm

Gale Storm went on to star in a couple of TV sitcoms in the 1950s — "My Little Margie" and "The Gale Storm Show." She was also a singer and chalked up a few hits, including covers of "I Hear You Knockin'," "Memories Are Made of This" and "Dark Moon." Storm died just a few years ago, in 2009, at age 87.


Below are some links to "Stampede" and "The Fugitive" on Amazon.

No comments: