Western Sheep Flats Adobe Complex, in all its circa-1938 glory.
"Army Girl" (1938)
Here's another view of the Western Sheep Flats Adobe Complex as it appears in "Army Girl," where it serves as the Cavalry installation "Fort Lawson." This is essentially the opening shot of the movie.
"Wee Willie Winkie" (1937) — Victor McLaglen and Shirley Temple
This shot from "Wee Willie Winkie" gives an idea of what those same buildings looked like one year earlier. Built specifically as the India outpost for "Wee Willie Winkie," much of the sprawling set remained in place for decades, surviving until Sheep Flats was sold to build a mobile home park in 1963. Please click here to see a detailed analysis of the transition of the set from "Winkie" in 1937 to "Army Girl" in 1938.
"Little Big Horn" (1951) — cinematography by Ernest Miller
"Army Girl" co-DP Ernest Miller is in my pantheon of the top Iverson cinematographers, not only because he may have shot more movies at Iverson than any other DP, but more important, because he seemed to genuinely "get it" as far as what was special about Iverson. Miller had an incredible eye for how to shoot the location ranch's rocks, trees and other features, and showcased them at times in ways that have never been equaled.
"The Devil's Apple Tree" (silent film, 1929) — Ernest Miller, DP (not an Iverson production)
A native of the Los Angeles area who was born in 1885, Miller got an early start in the movie business. He was in his mid-40s by the end of the silent film era and had already amassed a lengthy resume as a DP.
"Come On, Cowboys" (Three Mesquiteers, 1937), "Bordertown Trail" (Sunset Carson, 1944), "Bells of Rosarita" (Roy Rogers, 1945), "Ghost Town Renegades" (Lash LaRue, 1947), "The Bold Frontiersman" (Allan "Rocky" Lane, 1948), "Check Your Guns" (Eddie Dean, 1948), "Dead Man's Gold" (Lash LaRue, 1948), "The Hawk of Powder River" (Eddie Dean, 1948), "Outlaw Country" (Lash LaRue, 1949), "The Longhorn" (Wild Bill Elliott, 1951), "Oklahoma Justice" (Johnny Mack Brown, 1951), "Canyon Raiders" (Whip Wilson, 1951), "Kansas Territory" (Wild Bill Elliott, 1952), and the movie that may be Miller's greatest Iverson achievement, "Little Big Horn" (Lloyd Bridges, 1951).
You can read more about Ernest Miller in this earlier blog entry about him, which I've recently updated. The entry is part of my series on the great Iverson cinematographers.
If anyone reading this happens to have insights into Ernest Miller — maybe a relative has photos of the man, or knows details about his career or his life — I would love to hear from you. I haven't been able to find out much about him, other than his filmography and his great camera work at Iverson. Please comment here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oscar-nominated "Army Girl" co-DP Harry J. Wild went on to his own notable achievements at Iverson, albeit on a much smaller scale than Ernest Miller. Outside of "Army Girl," Wild's best cinematography at Iverson, in my opinion, can be seen in another movie that found its way onto my list of Iverson Movie Ranch greats: the RKO B-Western "The Fargo Kid" (Tim Holt, 1940), which, unfortunately, seems to be a little bit hard to find.