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.
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• 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.
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• 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.
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Paladin finds love in the Iverson Gorge in "Have Gun — Will Travel"

Richard Boone as Paladin and Valerie French as Secura in "Have Gun — Will Travel" (1960)

Maybe "love" is overstating it, but suffice to say Richard Boone, as Paladin, and Valerie French, as Secura Celine, hooked up in the Iverson Gorge during season three of the TV Western "Have Gun — Will Travel." It was clear the two characters had warm feelings toward each other — at least by TV Western standards.

Paladin emerges from Devil's Doorway in "Ransom"

The characters' fling was part of an episode titled "Ransom," which premiered June 4, 1960, near the end of season three. "Have Gun — Will Travel" chalked up an impressive 226 episodes during its six seasons on CBS, spanning 1957-1963. Many of those episodes included location shoots at the Iverson Movie Ranch, with the bulk of the location work for "Ransom" taking place in Iverson's Upper Gorge.

This shot shows the proximity of Rock Island, in the background at the right of the frame, to Crown Rock, at the left, behind actor Tom Palmer, who plays a character called Sutton. I'll ID the key features in the next photo.

Here's the same screen shot with the main rock features identified. Crown Bench remains in place today, along with half of Crown Rock, including the part seen here. Crown Rock and Crown Bench are now part of the landscaping for the Cal West Townhomes, while Rock Island is now mostly underground.

This shot points out a small rock that was placed at the scene to help both Valerie French's character — apparently played by a stunt double — and Richard Boone's Paladin scamper up and over Crown Bench to take cover after someone opens fire on them.

Valerie French, or her stunt double, gets a boost from the prop rock as she vaults toward the top of Crown Bench. It may or may not be the real Valerie French, who appears quite fit and can be seen elsewhere in the sequence darting among the rocks with ease. She also does her own equestrian work during the Iverson shoot. But this is the best look we get at her face during the Crown Bench stunt, and it's inconclusive.

Valerie's character, Secura, lands on top of Crown Bench. This was a minor stunt, but from the looks of it in the video, this part of the stunt may well have produced a scraped knee — or worse.

One reason I'm pretty sure it's a stuntwoman is that she keeps her head down most of the time — especially when she loses her hat, as seen in this shot.

The stuntwoman (or Valerie) makes an Olympics-style gymnastics move to swing her body around and vault into the relative safety of the crevice behind Crown Bench — all while Tom Palmer holds perfectly still.

Next up is Paladin, and Richard Boone clearly does his own rock climbing here — althiough the camera cuts away almost immediately after this shot.

In the next shot the whole gang is all cozy, tucked safely behind Crown Bench — even if Secura appears justifiably uncomfortable about where Sutton is pointing his gun.

After Paladin goes off to be a hero, Secura begins to warm up to Sutton. Apparently they once had a "thing."

Richard Boone rock-hops on top of the Devil's Doorway Cluster in pursuit of whoever's been shooting at them. Meanwhile, back at Crown Rock, Sutton makes the mistake of turning his back on Secura ...

... with unpleasant results.

With Sutton now out of the picture, the lovebirds are reunited — although by now they both apper to have serious doubts about where things are headed. Behind them is Crown Rock.

The widely filmed features Crown Rock, Crown Bench and Rock Island remain neighbors today, although only about half of Crown Rock has survived and at least two-thirds of Rock Island is now buried beneath tons of dirt that was used in grading for condo development. I've blogged previously about the weird fate of Rock Island, and you can read my most recent post about it by clicking here.

"20 Million Miles to Earth" (1957): a classic Ray Harryhausen monster terrorizes the Iverson Ranch

Details on the fate of Crown Rock appear in my post about Ray Harryhausen's monster from "20 Million Miles to Earth," which you can find here. I'll also point you to a post from several years ago about Crown Rock, which you can read by clicking here. It has additional photos of Crown Bench, and includes an unusual five-second video that contains Crown Rock, Crown Bench and Rock Island.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very believable...paladin was quite the charmer.