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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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

John Payne and Emile Meyer join forces in the Iverson rocks on "Restless Gun"

Emile Meyer

Emile Meyer was one of those actors you probably recognize by face, but almost nobody knows by name. He appeared frequently in Westerns, both on TV and on the big screen, with notable performances in "Shane" (1953) and on the James Garner TV show "Maverick" (1957). And like most of the Western actors of the period, he put in his time on the Iverson Movie Ranch.

"The Restless Gun" (1957): Emile Meyer on the Upper Iverson

Meyer worked the Upper Iverson with John Payne when Meyer made a guest appearance on Payne's TV show "The Restless Gun." Meyer played Sheriff Wade Lawson opposite Payne's idealist cowboy-gunfighter Vint Bonner in the episode "Man and Boy," which premiered Nov. 25, 1957.

John Payne on Iverson's South Rim in "The Restless Gun"

Here's a shot of Payne from the same episode of "The Restless Gun," taken during the lead-up to the climactic shootout at the Miner's Cabin on the South Rim.

The episode features some unusual lighting, at times creating the impression that the rocks are lit by campfire light. This one looks like day for night, given how well-lit the background is.

A unique image seen in the episode is this silhouette of a cactus in full bloom, apparently taken atop Iverson's Cactus Hill. Meyer and Payne are the riders.

Here's a shot of a rider traveling along the top of Cactus Hill against a dramatic Chatsworth sunrise — although I get the impression we're supposed to see it as a sunset. In the distance we can see a little bit of Chatsworth Reservoir from back when it was an actual reservoir. It appears as a tiny lighter-shaded horizontal strip to the left of the horse's snout.

Another interesting shot from the episode is this one filmed against the backdrop of Oat Mountain, with a radar dish visible that was part of the Nike missile defense system that was in place during the Cold War. The missile base slips into the backgrounds of a number of Iverson Movie Ranch productions of the 1950s and early 1960s — to read more about it, please check out this earlier blog post.

The "Restless Gun" episode makes ample use of the Iverson rocks, but they're often shot using lighting and angles that make identification difficult.

The climactic sequence plays out behind the Miner's Cabin, on the Upper Iverson's South Rim. This is a relatively rare view of the back of the cabin, looking north toward Oat Mountain, visible in the background.

Much of Meyer's on-screen time is spent against the same background rocks.

Meyer did break out from that one rocky background just long enough to be shot against a different rocky background. Here Meyer displays his trademark frown — and the rock behind him seems determined to match it.

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