"The Grapes of Wrath" (1940)
Bald Knob has a long and illustrious film history, including a brief appearance in one of the most prestigious movies filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch, John Ford's Dust Bowl classic "The Grapes of Wrath."
"Harum Scarum" (1965)
A quarter-century after "The Grapes of Wrath," Bald Knob makes an appearance in the Elvis Presley movie "Harum Scarum" in 1965, as seen at the top-center of the frame in the above screen shot.
With the rock's mighty overhang appearing to defy gravity, the question has to be asked: Is this thing for real? Or might Bald Knob in fact be some kind of manmade contraption? Following my recent blog post on Bald Knob, I did some digging in search of an answer to that question, and I found something interesting.
The above shot from season two of the Western TV series "The Virginian" tells a part of the story, as a bolt can be seen pretty clearly at top left. I doubt the show's producers realized that the shot revealed a bolt in the rock, but I'm glad it slipped through because it provides a major clue to the nature of Bald Knob.
As for the bolt, now that we know about its existence, we can begin to spot it in other productions, as noted below.
"Have Gun — Will Travel" (1960): "The Fatalist"
Bald Knob is seen from an unusual angle in this shot from the first episode of season four of "Have Gun — Will Travel," titled "The Fatalist." The episode premiered Sept. 10, 1960. The bolt is visible in the photo, although it's little more than a tiny dot.
"Have Gun — Will Travel" (1959): "Heritage of Anger"
Taking another look at the "Have Gun — Will Travel" episode "Heritage of Anger," one would never have spotted the bolt in this shot without already knowing it was there. But sure enough, it is right where it's supposed to be.
"Have Gun — Will Travel" (1959)
Now I'm seeing the bolt all over the place. I posted the above photo in my previous post about Bald Knob, but didn't realize at the time that I should be looking for a bolt. It's another shot from "Heritage of Anger."
"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1958): "The Gatling Gun"
How about shots from "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," where the imaginary "Battle of Bald Knob" took place in the episode "The Gatling Gun"?
"Miracle Rider" (1935)
Bald Knob can be spotted in a number of movies from the 1930s, with the oldest I've found so far being the Tom Mix serial "Miracle Rider," from 1935. Nothing I've seen from this period is clear enough to tell whether either the bolt or the cement work was in place yet.
The serial's 1935 release also marks the period when the first evidence surfaces that the Iverson family was creating "customized" rock formations by cementing rocks together — another example from 1935 being Freddie Frog, also found in "Miracle Rider." If Bald Knob was a manmade stacked rock, then it was in all likelihood the largest of the ranch's stacking projects, and likely either the first or second stack erected at Iverson with human intervention.
Below I've rounded up some links to Amazon in case you're interested in shopping for the movies and TV shows mentioned in this blog post ...