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.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Nailing down the location of the Snakeskin Mine Shack in the George Montgomery movie "Gun Belt"


The 1953 Western "Gun Belt" shot virtually all of its outdoor action on the Iverson Movie Ranch. The scene depicted in the above promotional still for the movie, featuring George Montgomery on the left with a young Tab Hunter, was filmed in Central Garden of the Gods.

"Gun Belt" (1953) — Snakeskin Mine Shack

The movie contains a few Iverson rarities, notably this small cabin located in the Rooster Foot area near the northern edge of Cactus Hill. The cabin is presumed to be a facade, as this view of it is the only one that appears in the movie. But it's noteworthy nonetheless, because it was extremely rare to find any manmade structures on Cactus Hill during the filming era.

I call the structure the Snakeskin Mine Shack because of this sign that appears early in the film, pointing the way to what turns out to be the shack.

Cactus Hill, on the former Iverson Movie Ranch

Cactus Hill, seen from the north in this Bing bird's-eye view, is a large hill that separated the Upper Iverson and Lower Iverson. Today it is home to a couple of water tanks, and construction of residential estates has recently begun at its eastern end. This shot and the additional bird's-eye views that follow can be seen in greater detail by clicking on them to enlarge them.

Much of the northern edge of Cactus Hill is strewn with heavily filmed movie rocks, appearing in this shot as a diagonal band of rocks stretching from bottom left to top right. Most of the former Upper Iverson has been taken over by large residential estates, a few of which can be seen in the bottom half of the shot. It should be noted that, because these shots look at Cactus Hill from the north, the shot is "upside-down," with the former Upper Iverson appearing at the bottom of the frame.

Of particular interest for examining the shack location in "Gun Belt" is this zoomed-in portion of Cactus Hill, again seen in a Bing bird's-eye view. This shot offers a better look at a large rock formation I call Rooster Foot, near the bottom of the frame.

This is the large rock feature I'm talking about when I refer to Rooster Foot.

Zooming in further on the Rooster Foot area we can pinpoint the location of the Snakeskin Mine Shack.

This shot points out the rocky background area that appears behind the mine shack in the movie shot.

Here's another look at the shack in "Gun Belt." Notice the rocks in the background.

This is what those rocks look like today. The shot was taken by photographer and film location researcher Jerry Condit, who discovered the location of the shack.

"Gun Belt" (1953) — Platypus Shack

"Gun Belt" contains a few other interesting Iverson structures as well, including an upgraded version of the Platypus Shack, seen in this screen shot. As modest as this building may appear, an earlier version of the Platypus Shack wasn't nearly as fancy. It was also located in a slightly different spot, sitting just a bit farther away from the rock Platypus, seen at the left of the shot. I've blogged previously about the Platypus Shack, and you can read that entry by clicking here.

"Gun Belt" lobby card showing action on the Upper Iverson

You can click on the Amazon link below to check out a four-movie DVD set that includes "Gun Belt" along with another nice Iverson movie, "The Lone Gun," from 1954. The set also contains two non-Iverson movies, "Gunsight Ridge" and "Ride Out for Revenge."

2 comments:

Mark said...

Great detective work on finding the location of the shack!

Swami Nano said...

Thanks for your comment, Mark. My hat's off to Jerry Condit on this one, as he tipped me off to the mine shack location. He has been doing some great location work, including some non-Iverson stuff that I hope to feature soon in an "Off the Beaten Path" entry. Stay tuned for that.

-SN