"Escort West" (1959) — Victor Mature in Oak Park
Here's a shot of Victor Mature with the Simi Ridge in the background — the bluffs above Lindero Canyon in Oak Park, Calif. The shot comes from the MGM-UA Western "Escort West," released in early 1959 but filmed in 1958 and sometimes cited as a 1958 release.
"Firecreek" (1968) — promotional still
The Lindero Canyon area of Oak Park hosted a number of manmade movie sets during its filming days, especially in the late 1960s. In this promo still for the James Stewart-Henry Fonda movie "Firecreek," the same ridge seen behind the suburban house in the previous photo is seen again, this time with a small Western set below it. The promo still comes from the collection of Western movie location expert Jerry England.
A widescreen shot from the movie reveals more of the town set that was in place in Lindero Canyon in the 1960s during filming of "Firecreek." The movie's first release date was Jan. 24, 1968, and filming would have taken place during 1967.
"The Big Valley" (1967)
The twin peaks above Lindero Canyon can be seen near the center of the frame in this screen shot from the TV series "The Big Valley." The photo comes from the episode "Wagonload of Dreams," which was shot in 1966 and premiered Jan. 2, 1967.
Below is a video of a key scene in "Escort West" shot in Lindero Canyon, below the Simi Ridge ...
I have to admit I've been looking at these photos and clips of Lindero Canyon pretty intently — maybe TOO intently, because after a while my imagination got the better of me and I began thinking something else might be going on in the screen shots from "Escort West." Let me share with you my flight of fantasy ...
"The Big Valley" (1966)
Please click here to read a recent post with additional details about filming in Oak Park, including more about "Escort West" along with material about Oak Park shoots for "Gunsmoke" and "The Big Valley," That post also details the location of the Barkley family mansion in "The Big Valley."
Off the Beaten Path is a series of posts that are not specifically focused on the usual subject matter of this blog, the Iverson Movie Ranch. Past subjects have included Bell Ranch, Pioneertown, Corriganville and other old filming locations. You can go directly to the Off the Beaten Path posts by looking up the term "Off the Beaten Path" in the long index of labels at the right of the page, or by clicking here.