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.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Frontier lawman Wyatt Earp photobombed by a Stegosaurus

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1956)

When I see stuff like this I can't help but wonder, was it intentional or just a happy accident? In this case, I'd say it had to be intentional. The above shot from the "Wyatt Earp" TV show is taken from the episode "Dodge City Gets a New Marshal," which first aired Sept. 4, 1956, early in the show's second season. The shot depicts series star Hugh O'Brian, as lawman Wyatt Earp, arriving at the cemetery outside Dodge City — we can see that much from the sign. But the shot also features an especially charismatic rock, which was located on the Lower Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif.

This version of the photo pinpoints the rock I'm talking about. I call it Stegosaurus, and I've discussed it before on the blog. You can click here to read more about Stegosaurus — or click on "Stegosaurus" in the long alphabetical index found along the right side of this page to see a compilation of blog posts that mention the rock. In today's world, the appearance by Stegosaurus in this shot of Wyatt Earp might be considered a "photobomb."

Here's a subsequent shot from the same "Wyatt Earp" sequence, providing a closer look at the cemetery sign — along with a closer look at Stegosaurus. During its six-season run on ABC, from 1955-1961, "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" shot most of its outdoor action at Iverson.

"Wild Horse Ambush" (1952)

The above shot from "Wild Horse Ambush," one of the later Republic B-Westerns, reveals a bit more of Stegosaurus. The shot was filmed along a well-used chase road and features a number of famous movie rocks. To the right of Stegosaurus is Hangdog, and at the right edge of the photo is Bill Rock. A glimpse of Woolly Mammoth, also known as Vultura's Trail Rock, can be seen in the background. I'll ID all of these features in the next shot.

This is that same shot from "Wild Horse Ambush" with the key features highlighted. You can learn more about these rocks by clicking on their names in the index that appears on the right side of this page. Suffice to say they've all had extensive exposure in movies and TV shows — including frequently being filmed more or less from this same angle.

"Thunder River Feud" (1942)

The sighting that got my research rolling on Stegosaurus came early in my Iverson exploration, courtesy of the Range Busters B-Western "Thunder River Feud," from Monogram — and it came in the form of the grainy screen shot above. As far as how much Stegosaurus the rock resembles an actual Stegosaurus, it's likely that not everyone will see the resemblance. But in my own experience — and I have to admit, I played with toy dinosaurs as a kid — the above shot said "Stegosaurus" to me.

This version of the "Thunder River Feud" shot may give some idea of the "stegosaurus parts" that go into my conception of Stegosaurus the rock.

Stegosaurus as it appears today

Stegosaurus, which can still be found today on the site of the former Iverson Movie Ranch, still does look kind of like a stegosaurus — at least as much as it ever did. At any rate, it still looks remarkably similar to the creature that appeared on film in 1942, in "Thunder River Feud."

Another shot from recent times reveals the brick wall that now separates Stegosaurus from a condo community, as explained in this earlier blog post. In this shot, Hangdog is also visible, just above the wall.

"The Virginian" TV series (1964)

Stegosaurus has appeared in countless movies and TV shows, although it is often in the background. The above example comes from the TV series "The Virginian," from an episode called "The Girl From Yesterday," which first aired Nov. 11, 1964. Stegosaurus appears in the distance in the shot, but if you can't spot it, you're not alone. I wouldn't be able to recognize it in this screen shot either if it weren't for some of the surrounding rocks.

Here's the same shot from "The Virginian," with Stegosaurus highlighted.

The real giveaway in the "Virginian" screen shot is Sticky Bun, just above and to the left of Stegosaurus. The rock's distinctive shape — need I point out that it looks like one of those delectable breakfast treats also known as a cinnamon roll? — along with its elevated position makes it a helpful and reliable marker for Iverson. On a number of occasions, Sticky Bun — even when it's way in the background, as it usually is — has been my first indication that a production is shot at Iverson.


You're on a roll ... so don't stop now. Check out these Amazon links for some of the productions discussed in this blog post. There's much more Iverson waiting to be discovered ...

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